Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: David Balaban, Scott Allen, Harry Trott, Waqar Ahmad, Liz McMillan

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

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
Join IBM June 8 at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn how to innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. You need to deliver quality applications faster and cheaper, attract and retain customers with an engaging experience across devices, and seamlessly integrate your enterprise systems. And you can't take 12 months to do it.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The paradigm has shifted. A Gartner survey shows that 43% of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016. However, not just a handful of companies are still using the old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways, unaware of the critical barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can you become a winner? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will present a methodical approach to guide the holistic adoption and enablement of IoT implementations. This ov...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...