Welcome!

Related Topics: Cloud Security

Cloud Security: Blog Post

Avalanche NEXT Accurately Tests Performance, Scalability and Security

Interview with Ankur Chadda, Director of Security and Application Testing Solutions at Spirent

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please tell us, what is Spirent Communications all about?

Ankur Chadda: Spirent Communications is a global leader in test & measurement offers an extensive portfolio of solutions to test data centers, cloud computing environments, high speed Ethernet networks and services, 3G/4G wireless networks and devices, network security, and global navigation satellite systems.

What's new?

Chadda: We just launched Avalanche NEXT; a solution that accurately tests the performance, scalability and security of today's application-aware network infrastructures, by generating authentic traffic and attacks. It combines Spirent Avalanche's performance testing with Spirent Studio's threats and application emulation capabilities. It produces traffic with authentic payloads based on actual usage for realistic security, load and functional testing.

The biggest challenge industrywide is pushing either the product or solution to the end of its lifecycle with testing. It is similar to an insurance policy where you don't notice it until things start going bad. The value of our testing is not the typical ROI where you can say "buy this and you will get this." It's more about protection and understanding that spending this money on testing means avoiding outages and the impact of negative brand recognition.

Who is your target audience?

Chadda: Our target audience is enterprises of large to medium size as well as service providers and security equipment manufacturers. We reach them through multiple channels including online media, blogs, tradeshows, social networks, forums and discussion groups and our own direct sales force channel.

I'd be curious to hear any general thoughts you have on market trends...

Chadda: The "Internet of things" is an impactful trend that means there are new classes of devices that are connecting to the internet. There are things such as thermostats and refrigerators or industrial control systems which were not initially developed to be online that are now boasting their online connectivity. The security aspect of this trend remains to be seen, as it is unknown how robust and resilient they are to attacks.

In the past, if you had an online attack it would only disrupt your day-to-day activities when the server went down. With all of these systems attached to the internet, you have the risk of actual physical real-world damage resulting from online-based attacks. Consider a water delivery system that can be controlled via an internet-based system. Now there are physical risks such as possibly flooding an entire town. The risks are no longer just virtual, so companies need to test properly in order to ensure security and reduce risk.

What is the viral aspect of your product?

Chadda: With Avalanche NEXT, we are making security testing accessible to non-security experts. It offers an intuitive interface that is unparalleled and is driving adoption among several different industries. It's easy to send attacks and application traffic to perform fast security testing that best mimics real-world conditions. Another viral aspect of the product is the more than 3,500 applications it supports for testing, a number that is well beyond any competitive offerings. Larger companies need to manage thousands of applications and updates that are running through potentially millions of devices. Avalanche NEXT allows them to duplicate and test such a high amount of network stress.

What's the business model?

Chadda: We make hardware-based equipment and build software that leverages it. This is sold as a complete solution that we market to enterprises and equipment manufacturers.

Who are your competitors?

Chadda: Ixia is our main competitor for Avalanche NEXT.

How do you differentiate from your competitors?

Chadda: Avalanche NEXT offers the highest number of applications (more than 3,500) which can be generated for customer testing. This allows users to be able to pick out nuanced traffic with our more in-depth realism. For example, you want to make sure you can test the various things done on Facebook or Twitter from the organization, whether it's marketing campaigns or something with entertainment value.

We also feature TestCloud which has the latest database of apps, malware and attacks. It syncs up with Avalanche NEXT online so clients always have the latest testing scenarios, they do not need to wait for weeks for manual updates.

How does your technology differentiate from the competition and can you elaborate on the different technology deployed?

Chadda: Avalanche NEXT can perform higher-performance application, security, and fuzzing testing all in one solution, a significant competitive differentiator. It offers highly intelligent fuzzing where customers can target their solution to ensure it is resilient and robust against potential mutations. If for example you are doing HTTP-based fuzzing test, Avalanche NEXT will create hundreds of thousands of protocol mutations to show you if the solution falls flat or crashes.

What business or technology could yours disrupt?

Chadda: Spirent's testing includes methodologies which are built into the test cases, meaning companies no longer have to build them from scratch. This allows our clients to conduct testing without having in-depth knowledge on testing methodologies. They can have robust security testing performed by lower-level staff, allowing the more experienced IT staff to focus on issue resolution or other concerns.

Please tell us the story of the company's beginnings?

Chadda: Jack Bowthorpe was the founder of the Group of Companies now known as Spirent Communications. Mr. Bowthorpe's background was in the supply of "everything electrical," and in 1936, with limited financial resources, Goodliffe Electric Supplies Ltd was formed. The Company was based in London as a designer and supplier of overhead transmission line fittings. The strategy of the Company was to spot a niche in the electrical and electronics market and fill it; this was a strategy that continued into the 1990's.

By the mid-1990's Bowthorpe was a diverse Group of niche companies supplying components and accessories to high-tech organizations in defense, aerospace and, telecommunications, with a broad range of industrial applications. In 1997 the Group announced a change in its strategic direction and that it would focus its investments on markets with high growth potential and divest its non-core businesses.

The Company changed its name to Spirent plc on 12 May, 2000 and declared that the Group strategy would be to focus on high growth, high margin, high technology activities and build a world-leading communications business. The Company changed its name to Spirent Communications plc on 8 May 2006. In November 2012 Spirent sold the last of its non-core businesses, Systems for $64 million. Following this disposal Spirent's activities are fully focused on the communications test and measurement market.

Where to buy your product?

Chadda: We have a distribution model with our own sales teams located in the majority of regions throughout the globe. In some regions we have distributor networks. To buy the product, companies should contact their local sales team via Spirent.com.

What's next on your product roadmap?

Chadda: We already have virtual solutions for existing solutions. This technology will be used to support Avalanche NEXT on virtual infrastructure. Advanced virtual testing is a focus of our product roadmap alongwith producing solutions with even more capabilities at higher speeds and testing of more ports.

Are you targeting a first VC round? If yes when and what will you use the funds for?

How much money is being sought?

Chadda: We are currently not seeking VC funding. Spirent Communications is an established company and is publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange.

What else would you like to add?

Chadda: When the internet started it was not made for what it is used for today. According to many experts we are still in the honeymoon phase and might not realize what kind of impact the "Internet of things" will have on security and vulnerability. The need for security and security testing will only continue to grow and be critical for any business to thrive.

Spirent Communications plc. (LSE: SPT), a global leader in test & measurement offers an extensive portfolio of solutions to test data centers, cloud computing environments, high speed Ethernet networks and services, 3G/4G wireless networks and devices, network security, and global navigation satellite systems.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Mountain View, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Buy her a coffee if you like her article: http://xeniar.tip.me

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
"This week we're really focusing on scalability, asset preservation and how do you back up to the cloud and in the cloud with object storage, which is really a new way of attacking dealing with your file, your blocked data, where you put it and how you access it," stated Jeff Greenwald, Senior Director of Market Development at HGST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed ...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...