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Ixia Offers Flash Platform Testing
Ixia's IxLoad offers large-scale, client-end testing of Flash streaming

Want to know how much Flash video or audio you can stream? Put your system to the test. Today Ixia, which creates network testing solutions, announced that it has an agreement with Adobe to include Flash Media Streaming technology in Ixia's test products. That means that for the first time Flash streaming networks can perform large-scale tests to find and remove errors before going live.

Ixia is creating application layer test emulation solutions for IxLoad, its product for mimicking large-scale real-world testing. IxLoad creates typical usage scenarios to test performance in a variety of ways. The Flash solution tests the quality of experience of when a site is hit with hundreds of thousands of Flash Player sessions.

IxLoad's tests measure both average and peak traffic, says Dave Schneider, Ixia's senior marketing evangelist, to create a realistic mix. Tests model typical user behavior on a site—pausing videos, for example, and then jumping to a different spot—and also stress the network under extreme conditions. The program measures the time between when the first and last byte are streamed, looking for delay or jitter. Use it to learn the maximum number of sessions your network can handle, as well as metrics on throughput, loss, latency, and jitter.

At the moment, Ixia is only offering Adobe client emulation, but will include Adobe server emulation in the future.

When clients find problems with Ixia, they're able to drill down and correct errors before going live. Perhaps a certain video will stop at the same point each time, Perhaps a certain codec streams too slowly because its out of date. Clients can use massive testing to find issues that otherwise would have taken months or years to learn about.

It's content delivery networks (CDNs) that could benefit the most from Flash platform testing, says Schneider. While that's a new market for Ixia, he believes CDNs aren't conducting realistic performance testing right now, but are relying on home-grown solutions.

To get started with IxLoad 5.0, check out this product page first or this page on the program's Flash emulation testing. IxLoad 5.0 is available immediately.