Spirent may be one of the biggest technology firms you never heard of – a UK firm with some half-a-billion dollars in revenue, from GPS, device and network test and measurement systems, consulting and software.
We think you will be hearing more of Spirent as it moves more into mainstream IT, building a business line offering tools and services to help test Cloud-based systems holistically, end-to-end. It’s looking to build its profile amongst SIs (who it would like to partner with) and end-users alike.
As part of this drive, the company recently linked up with IBM to offer Spirent’s network test optimization and orchestration software, iTest, extending Rational customers’ software development and test processes to address hardware products such as network equipment and IT/cloud infrastructure.
The movement of applications and workloads into the Cloud has many benefits, but means that performance and security testing becomes a lot more complicated: lots of potential places for failure, performance bottlenecks, security weaknesses, and the responsibility falls among different providers.
Coming from the network end, Spirent’s iTest offerings can help with this. Indeed Spirent has an entire methodology it calls PASS – Performance, Availability, Security and Scale – to help assess these 4 essential attributes for network-based applications. It’s also virtualized its tools so they can run ‘inside the Cloud’ as well as outside and can provide focused consulting alongside the products.
A holistic, methodical approach is necessary because improving one attribute (eg scalability) may have a detrimental effect on another (eg performance). Tools and techniques to help with these issues will be very interesting to businesses and to the SIs who are implementing and testing those apps.
At the same time, SIs everywhere are looking to increase their footprint and take marketshare in the fast-growing testing arena. Witness CSC’s recent acquisition of Applabs. We’d suggest SIs take a look at Spirent – or its peers – for a way to take competitive advantage or establish thought leadership in Cloud applications testing – which can only become a bigger and bigger issue in the coming months and years.