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Product review: BreakingPoint Systems' BPS-1000

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NETWORK DEVICE TESTING


BPS-1000
REVIEWED BY ED SKOUDIS

BreakingPoint Systems

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Price: Starts at $185,000

Before enterprises deploy new network equipment, they need to make sure they can handle a barrage of traffic, including exploits and attacks.

BreakingPoint Systems' BPS-1000 is designed to test network equipment under gigabit loads of legitimate and exploit traffic to measure performance, traffic leakage, packet dropping and stability.


Test ComprehensivenessA-  
The BPS-1000 is unique in supporting tests at various layers of the protocol stack, all in one package.

Other tools focus on testing a device at one layer, such as the ability to switch Ethernet frames (Layer 2) or evaluate how network equipment routes packets (Layer 3) and handles malformed headers (Layer 3 and up). Others simulate large numbers of TCP sessions (Layer 4) or complex application mixes (Layer 7). Still others launch exploit traffic through a network device to see how it detects and blocks attacks (again at Layer 7).

The BPS-1000 also includes traffic replay capabilities to spit out packets from a capture file, modifying elements of the headers, including IP address and TCP sequence numbers. Playback can be sped up or slowed down to see how the device deals with changes in the rate of incoming traffic.

However, the tool is architected to test network equipment only, not end-system targets. Based on a sender-receiver architecture, the tool is designed to send packets and determine what makes it through a network device. Unlike other security testing products, the BPS-1000 is not designed to attack end systems and determine which particular packets caused them to crash.

This was first published in February 2008

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