IT Quality Assurance Tools

Effective testing lowers operational costs and raises the stature of IT in the organization.

Effective testing lowers operational costs and raises the stature of IT in the organization. The quality assurance tools that rose to the top of this category will help IT staff implement services that support business objectives while also containing costs.

WINNERS

Real World Traffic 1.0

Ixias Real World Traffic 1.0 combines custom hardware and software to generate traffic loads that emulate real-world conditions. The tests can take some time to set up, but the Real World Traffic solution allows administrators to stress-test a variety of infrastructure products and services before wide-scale production deployment—and thus stop problems before they start. Ixias TXS traffic-generation load modules support 10/100/1,000M-bps Ethernet interfaces and use a RISC processor and Linux operating system. The flexible chassis allows test capacity to be increased as needed, and cards can be easily moved to different chassis to accommodate modified test loads. Ixia recently added support for NetIQ Corp.s Chariot load testing software, enabling the Real World Traffic suite to cover just about any scenario.

FINALISTS

SiteScope 7.6

Freshwater Software Inc.s SiteScope 7.6 is an effective Web site monitoring tool that reduces ongoing maintenance costs by eliminating the use of agents. SiteScopes real-time alerts and extensive Web application testing capabilities will give administrators early warning of Web site problems. SiteScope can also use Web services technology to aid in the notification and maintenance process. For example, alerts can automatically execute a Web service or invoke a diagnostic Web service. Organizations with Web services on the horizon should consider SiteScope to monitor their servers.

Vivinet Assessor 2.0

NetIQs Vivinet Assessor is a good fit for IT managers who are considering adding voice traffic to their IP networks. Vivinet Assessor provides fine-tuned analysis of the existing network infrastructure and its ability to handle voice traffic. This is important because advance preparation is widely considered key to a successful VOIP deployment. Of course, every IT project benefits from planning, but VOIP is one of those applications that is almost certainly guaranteed to fail without proper setup. The interesting thing about VOIP traffic is its sensitivity to delay. Vivinet Assessor first does a systematic inventory of the network, finding critical components such as routers, switches and links. Vivinet Assessor uses a thorough understanding of codecs, network device characteristics and current traffic loads to estimate the quality of voice calls over IP. Using reports from tests that Assessor runs periodically and over time, IT managers will gain the insight needed to remediate the network for voice traffic.

Excellence Awards Winners and Finalists: