Virtual Instruments unveils new version of Load DynamiX Test Development Environment

New support for 32Gb Fibre Channel Series Appliances and new 40Gb Ethernet Series Appliances help to more than double TDE’s performance capability.

San Jose-based Virtual Instruments has announced both version 5.6 of its Load DynamiX Test Development Environment (TDE), and a new family of Load Generation Appliances, which include new 32Gb Fibre Channel Series Appliances and new 40Gb Ethernet Series Appliances.

Last year Virtual Instruments and Load DynamiX were separate companies, brought together in March 2016 by HighBar partners, and given a new cash infusion.

“This was a smart merger, created when HighBar saw the opportunity to bring the two companies together,” said Raj Patel, Senior Director, Corporate and Field Marketing, at Virtual Instruments. “Both companies do app-centric performance management, where before any storage deployment takes place, they test, validate and vet vendor claims to ensure that in-production performance is as expected. Once in production, we can assess how those workloads are performing.”

Patel noted that while there is overlap between the solutions from the two original companies, they provide an end-to-end dev/ops platform because Load DynamiX is focused more on the pre-production test/dev environment, while Virtual Instruments’ Dynamics’ VirtualWisdom is more for production environments.

“The products themselves complement each other extremely well,” said Peter Murray, Principal Systems Engineer and Technical Evangelist at Virtual Instruments, who came to the company from LoadDynamiX. “LoadDynamiX has a unique capacity to take performance stats from the VirtualWisdom product – from any vendor’s array – and distill a model and project a Load DynamiX workload that mimics the workload as close as you can get in the real world.”

“We are also vendor-agnostic, which differentiates us,” Patel said.

Virtual Instruments goes to market through a three-pronged model – channel, OEM, and direct, with the latter being done for some established enterprise customers –

“We work with VARs and educate them on our philosophy for workload assessment,” Patel said.

The new 5.6 release significantly ratchets up performance and scalability with support for multiple 32Gb Fibre Channel interfaces and 40Gb Ethernet interfaces within a single appliance, allowing performance load limits to be tested at very high levels.

“We invested considerable time and resources to get this enhanced performance out of the product, and they make the load generating capability more than twice what it was before,” Patel said. “We added a new multicore capability to get to these 32Gb and 40 Gb rates, as well as new features around their SAN, NAS, and Object storage validation capabilities.” Those features include new advanced functionality additions for NAS and Object protocols, including NLMv4 client emulation support for NFSv3. They also include branch control support for NFS, automated SMB credit settings, and HTTP Retry and Pipelining enhancements.

The feature upgrades for the Test Development Environment include User Settings Profiles, Custom CDB Builder templates, and better integration with third party centralized repositories. Support for a new RESTful API also makes it easier to deploy Load DynamiX as an extension to customers’ automated test harnesses.

“The analytics catalogue has also been expanded significantly, baking new capabilities into the ever expanding analytics set,” Patel said. “This helps teams make better decisions about the data.”

Enhancements have been made on the VM side as well.

“These include much more sophisticated alarms and alerts,” Murray said. “You can also now drill down in in a much simpler manner, and ease of use has been expanded.”

Murray said that the new features and functions add significantly to an already strong product.

“You can do what used to be weeks worth of complex testing in hours,” he said. “TDE mimics the use case the vendor desires, and gets them up and running. They can do iterative tests, and see what gave the best overall latency, and the best overall IOPs. Using public tools is very difficult, and you simply couldn’t do these things before.”