Welcome!

Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, James Carlini, Pat Romanski, Peter Silva

Related Topics: Security

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, Tech blogger and SVP of Transform PR/San Francisco- Mountain View. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. Transform Public Relations is a full-service PR agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. Buy her a coffee if you like her article: http://xeniar.tip.me

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.