Shunra updates network simulation, profiling tool

* Profiling applications for the WAN

Shunra Software this week will make available the latest revision of its product designed to not only model application performance on the LAN, but also to help IT managers profile peak WAN performance.

Shunra Virtual Enterprise 4.0 is a network simulation tool that can emulate any network environment, the company says, including wide-area links to remote and branch offices. This release has been enhanced to provide more automation and reporting features while profiling application performance.

VE is comprised of two applications: VE Predictor and VE Profiler. Predictor is an application that automatically runs transactions over a recorded production network and measures the performance of the application against pre-defined service-level metrics. Profiler generates network impairments, such as latency, packet loss and utilization, which are run against the application to further test its merit against changing network conditions.

Predictor "looks at the applications and tries to find the breaking point in that application," says Amichai Lesser, director of product marketing at Shunra. Profiler "tries to understand if the application can be deployed in a specific network topology."

VE 4.0 uses a combination of appliance and software, which is installed on a workstation in a testing network. The software maps out a network topology and measures application response time and other metrics to examine how well it will perform, Lesser says.

He adds that the company upgraded the software with more automation in the level of analysis the software can perform on each application and its relative performance. Also the reporting capabilities allow higher-level views to business managers who are curious to know if their applications can achieve desired performance under current network conditions.

"It can help plan budgets and see early on if the application is a go or a no-go based on how much it will cost to reach optimal performance," Lesser says.

Pricing for Shunra VE 4.0 starts at $70,000, and the company says one instance of the software typically handles the needs of one testing lab.

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