Mu Dynamics Gains Widespread Use Among Leading Network Product Vendors; Network Operator Use Cases Grow
Mu Dynamics, a pioneer in helping network operators and their technology vendors eliminate service downtime through proactive service assurance, today announced the addition of several new Network Equipment Manufacturer (NEM) customers, highlighting the growing adoption of Mu’s unique service assurance offering. Mu’s customer base also includes half of the top 15 global network operators. Mu’s NEM customers are building higher quality products more quickly and at a lower total release life cycle cost with fewer field “fire drills.” Mu’s new customers, including Fortinet, Intoto, Starent, Force10 Networks and Ditech Networks, join Mu’s existing 100+ deployments across dozens of customers, including: F5 Networks, Juniper Networks, Motorola, Network Appliance and SonicWALL.
Mu enables each vendor to automate many aspects of their software development lifecycle (SDLC) using the Service Analyzer to discover, document and remediate product weaknesses in Routing, Switching, Load Balancing, UTM, firewall, web filtering, virus screening, spam filtering, intrusion prevention and VPN product suites in order to facilitate customers’ build-out of VoIP, IPTV, and IMS-based services. Mu’s solution also forms the basis of the newly published August 2008 InfoWorld Distributed Enterprise Firewall Shootout plan.
“There is significant demand to have Internet on the go, and mobile operator networks are central in delivering this capability,” said Chuck Bodeman, director of test engineering for Starent Networks. “As a result, the network needs to be reliable, available and secure. Starent Networks works with solutions, such as those offered by Mu Dynamics, to ensure we are delivering robust products with the key features mobile operators require.”
There are now over 100 customer deployments of Mu’s solution worldwide at leading network operators, industrial control system operators and government agencies, as well as their network product suppliers that build diverse software and hardware solutions, including unified communications, soft switch, security, storage and routing products. Network operators depend on Mu to help eliminate application and network downtime (e.g., VoIP) that can cost in excess of $100,000 per hour according to a study from Network Strategy Partners (NSP).
“Mu’s success at extending its leadership position is a direct result of the unique, proactive insight that Mu customers gain into the reliability, availability, and security of their services, applications, and solutions,” said Adam Stein, vice president of marketing at Mu Dynamics. “Mu helps eliminate application and network downtime through its comprehensive analysis that uncovers both product weaknesses and vulnerabilities–equally critical to both end users (e.g., network operators) and their product developers.”
Diverse Use Case Modules, Numerous Automation Hooks for Quicker Time to Market
Mu’s service analyzer offers three (3) software modules; Service Level Traffic Variation Analysis (Protocol Mutations), Known/Published Vulnerability Analysis and Denial of Service (DoS) Analysis. Each module offers network operators and their product vendors unique abilities to deliver higher quality products and NGN service (e.g., VoIP, IPTV) feature sets at a higher velocity of design, development and deployment.
Service-level traffic variations highlight hidden underlying weaknesses in software that can compromise the reliability and availability of an application, product or service. The service analyzer generates millions of service level traffic variations in a wide range of VoIP, IPTV, IMS and other widely-used application protocols. The variations on service-level traffic embody a vast amount of knowledge gleaned through examining fundamental vulnerability patterns across protocols and using Mu’s internal service assurance expertise. Mu’s service-level traffic variations module helps both vendors and their operator customers answer the question: “Can the exposed services and software interfaces of this product accept unexpected traffic and continue supporting the services it is being asked to?”
“Ditech Networks’ voice quality solutions have a strong reputation for carrier-grade reliability, and Mu’s stateful solution ensures the rapid removal of VoIP weaknesses during product development to ensure the highest quality solution for our customers,” said Conne Skidanenko, senior director of engineering at Ditech Networks. “As Ditech’s Voice Quality products gain more features and VoIP service complexity increases, Mu’s product will help our development team proactively isolate and eliminate issues that could cause downtime for our customers during deployment and operation.”
The Published (or Known) Vulnerability Analysis (PVA) module offers users a continuously growing list of established vulnerabilities (more than 1,100 today, increasing on average by about 500 annually). The PVA module applies repeatable metrics to verify the proper operation of any inline signature-based network security enforcement product (e.g., Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), content-aware security gateways, deep-inspection firewalls and Unified Threat Management (UTM) systems). The service analyzer’s PVA module and its platform feature set performs automated audits in a passthrough mode (applicable to signature-matching engines within routed or NAT’ed devices, as well as those within trivial transparent-mode devices) to validate the blocking of traffic based on vulnerability triggers.
“We are pleased with the rapidly deployed ‘out-of-the-box’ experience Mu delivers to our product development and QA teams,” said Tushar Patel, vice president of Engineering for Test and Quality Assurance at Force10 Networks. “Our customers have built highly available, reliable and secure networks using Force10 products, but we are always searching for newer ways to test our products. The Mu Dynamics solution effectively probes for not-so-obvious vulnerabilities in protocol implementation in a unique way and has become an important part of our testing process, enabling us to build more stable, secure and reliable routing, switching and security products.”
Mu’s newest module, Denial-of-Service, offers analysis and testing against exposed software/services within any networked product under analysis (e.g., embedded web-based management, Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP) for setting up IPsec tunnels, etc.). The Denial of Service module enables network operators and their vendors to proactively identify and eliminate application weak spots as well as service or application and network downtime caused by DoS and Distributed DoS conditions, including malicious attacks.
DoS analysis probes service transaction limits in processing large amounts of stateless traffic. To assess storm control in a leading vendors’ new switch offerings, Mu External Test Lab (METL) member Network Test used the DoS module’s abilities to create unexpected DoS attack derivatives of common broadcast and TCP SYN flooding. The question Mu answers here is: “What level of service or network traffic causes poor application performance and/or downtime?” DoS gives customers visibility into how specific services will be impacted by different traffic patterns, not the device. Operators care about the quality of their service, not their devices. Mu helps customers focus on service resiliency as opposed to conventional load testing that focuses on device resiliency.
The Mu solution also enables users to automate a wide range of their existing quality assurance (QA) processes, service assurance, SDLC and product quality deployment benchmarks. This includes a wide range of automation interfaces, including with HP Quality Center as well as exposing the Mu’s functionality via web-based automation frameworks including the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) (an XML-based interface specification) or another technique known as Representational State Transfer (REST). Both of the latter interfaces are provided to help customers integrate the Mu into web-based laboratory automation frameworks, or simply to allow the Mu to be controlled from custom-tailored, user-defined interfaces.
Additional customer testimonials related to this release are available online: http://www.mudynamics.com/assets/docs/nem-adoption-quote-sheet.pdf.
Mu Dynamics Market Leadership
Mu created the new Service Analyzer market in early 2006. Its award-winning Mu-4000 is used to help network operators, critical infrastructure operators, government agencies, network product vendors for improving product and service reliability, availability and security. The Mu solution locates and documents potential areas of product or service weakness often responsible for costly downtime, customer churn or support “fire drills” in production networks.
About Mu Dynamics
Mu Dynamics proactively eliminates the high cost of service, application and network downtime. Mu’s solution automates a systematic and repeatable process that identifies hard-to-detect sources of potential downtime within IP services, applications, and underlying networks. The award-winning Mu solution is deployed at more than 100 locations, primarily at leading global service providers, cable operators and network product vendors. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Mu is backed by leading venture capital firms that include Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Focus Ventures. More information is available at www.mudynamics.com.