Shunra Simplifies Pre-deployment Application Performance Testing

The new release of the Shunra Virtual Enterprise simulation software automates the process of analyzing service level compliance when pre-production applications are tested against real-usage scenarios.

Predicting the impact that new applications will have on a production network and determining how well those applications will perform on those networks before they are deployed has been a long-standing problem for IT. Shunra Software Ltd. hopes to change that.

The New York company will introduce a major new release of its Shunra Virtual Enterprise simulation software that automates the process of analyzing service level compliance when pre-production applications are tested against real-usage scenarios.

Shunra VE, previously called Shunra Storm, creates an exact model of the customers network environment, which is then used to test the performance, features and scalability of pre-production applications.

A pair of new consoles, dubbed VE Predictor and VE Profiler, are designed to help network planners and QA testers get a better handle on whether new applications will meet their service level objectives once deployed into production and whether conditions such as network latency, jitter and packet loss will cause the application to fail or under-perform.

"VE Profiler tries to understand how the application will perform under a range of network performance conditions. It looks at key transactions that represent the use case for the application," described Amichi Lesser, director of product marketing at Shunra in New York.

Key transactions of the application are described through scripts, which are then executed and analyzed through a wide range of network conditions.

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"We ask, How will this perform when the user is close and then farther and farther away from the data center? Then we take a different set of conditions, like how will this transaction work with dialup, cable modem, or a T1 link. It can also add packet loss, link congestion and a number of users exercising that transaction," he added.

Such tests are performed in the context of service level objectives that the user defines for the transaction.

"If the developer says it should take seven seconds, we map under which conditions it met and in which it failed to meet those SLOs," he said.

Prior to VE Profiler, users were required to perform that analysis by manually changing the different network conditions and then running the test transactions against each of those conditions.

With the new VE Predictor, Shunra allows users to run business transactions over recorded network parameters and measures performance against pre-set service levels.

"We start the process by generating a network topology that represents a specific target network. Then we describe different business processes we expect it to run on, such as a branch office in New York, Tokyo and London. Predictor automatically runs the different transactions from each of the branch offices based on what we tell it to do. As they run we look at the performance in context of the SLOs," said Lesser.

Shunra also added a new VE Reporter that allows users to generate reports appropriate for a range of viewers, from IT executives to business managers and QA engineers.

Shunra, which competes with Opnet and Compuware, is unique in its ability to test actual application performance and compare that against SLOs, Lesser said.

Shunra VE 4.0 is available now starting at $70,000.

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