Mu Dynamics extends app testing to groups of apps

Mu Dynamics has extended its application testing software to recreate the current mix of applications in production and then test these as a group to see how they affect the network and each other.

New applications can be added to the mix and quickly tested, with the test results showing how they affect the network and other apps. The dashboard-like reporting shows graphically how applications perform as the load increases. At a glance, one can see, for example, that Oracle Applications are 100% available, and the corporate ban on BitTorrent is blocking about 2/3 of the BitTorrent traffic at the firewall.

Last week, Mu Dynamics announced Blitz, a hosted service that lets mobile software developers test apps as they develop them. The free version lets you test for up to 1,000 users. The traditional alternatives from rivals typically are expensive and time consuming, according to Mu executives.

The company was founded in 2005, with backing from Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Focus Ventures. CEO Dave Kresse formerly was vice president and general manager of NetApp's storage management and application integration business unit.

Mu Studio, first released in 2009, is an appliance-based application that captures an application's packet stream, and deconstructs the behaviors of the interaction between user and application. The software can "tell the difference between [a user] going to Facebook and playing a game on Facebook," says Kowsik Guruswamy, Mu's CTO and co-founder.

Mu Studio in effect translates this information into a proprietary file format for a test case. The software compiles the files and plays them, adding repeated instances to mimic additional users, and collects data about the application's performance and it's impact on the network.

The new release now does this for a mix of different applications and types of applications. Because it captures actual packets on the network, Mu Studio 6 can accurately recreate the network's production traffic, and then scale it as desired. The mix can include Web, enterprise line-of-business, and mobile applications.

The approach is very different from traditional testing products, which, Guruswamy says, have focused mainly on Layer 2-4 infrastructure protocols. Companies in this market include Spirent Communications, and Ixia.

Also new in Mu Studio 6 is the capability to scale to millions of concurrent users and application flows.

The new release also is integrated with the recently introduced Mu TestCloud, which is an online store with more than 1,000 application tests for peer-to-peer apps, video, games, voice, social media, and enterprise applications. You download the tests you want and can be running them within minutes, according the vendor.

Finally, a new set of APIs let customers integrate load and performance testing into their own test automation frameworks.

The new Blitz service lets developers register, upload their mobile application code, and almost immediately start running tests on it and on the APIs, including those offered by sites such as Facebook. Blitz was designed for software developers as an automated, affordable, self-serve testing platform for applications. The initial free version will support up to 1,025 users. Paid plans have not yet been announced.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.


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