Applications Developers Get New Tool

Tool helps developers simulate how apps will work across real-world WANs before they are deployed.

Little-known software testing provider Shunra Software Ltd. later this month will introduce a tool for applications developers intended to help them understand how their applications will work across real-world WANs before they are deployed.

The new Shunra/Stratus software, made up of a server and agents that reside on the developers workstation, allows applications developers to collaborate with network operations personnel so that their applications are designed to perform optimally over the types of network connections that they are destined for.

Applications developers typically dont have access to production network during the application design and QA testing phase. Instead the applications are typically tested over high-speed LANs in a lab setting, where latency, jitter and other production network issues are not present.

The Shunra/Stratus Windows-based server includes a Web interface that allows developers or network engineers to define such parameters as bandwidth, latency and other types of real-world network scenarios. An existing network link can also be recorded as a measurement for testing. "We provide a way to let them record latency, packet loss, jitter and so on, and then bring it into Stratus," described Shunra CEO Benny Daon, in New York.

Shunra/Stratus also includes agents that run on each developers workstation.

Definition files can be created by network operators that describe the characteristics of the different links that an application will use. For example, a file can be created for different remote offices. "The networking team can put in bandwidth limits, latency, packet loss, a reordering of packets, hardware faults within the connection, and router emulation," said Daon.

Finding and fixing application faults after they are deployed is more costly and complex than if they are caught early in the development phase, he asserted.

Despite its low profile, the six-year-old Shunra has over 900 customers using its WAN emulation software. Customers include Alcatel, The Boeing Company, Cisco Systems Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, FedEx Corp., and General Motors Corp. Shunras worldwide headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel, with U.S. headquarters in New York.

The software, available now, is priced at $25,000 for a server and 25 agents.