Ixia BreakingPoint Review

Validates the datasheets for anti-malware, DDoS, and ransomware response with prediction

What is our primary use case?

We use Ixia BreakingPoint as a security tester oriented to test other network security solutions. Validation is needed in case of major changes in your network security infrastructure. It might be a change in your HW, major change in architecture or if you just want to be sure, that new feature will not have an effect on the performance of your security solution. We use it for IDS, anti-malware, anti-DDoS, anti-ransomware, etc.

You can use it also for testing the impact of an attack on your valid application traffic and infrastructure. Ixia BreakingPoint provides us with advanced network security features.

How has it helped my organization?

What Ixia BreakingPoint brings to the end customer is the use case. We use the product for the POC of security products, proof of concept. 

If you are choosing a vendor for your firewall, IPS, or Anti-DDoS solution, you can use BreakingPoint to validate the datasheets.

You can try the solution in a production environment or simulated production environment to see how your custom network perimeter performs under attack.

What is most valuable?

We had an increase in the usage of the virtual solution for hardware-based testers. We require only one person for deployment and maintenance. 

With the virtual product, you have to cooperate with the department working on your virtualization or private cloud. That's only in the initial phase.

What needs improvement?

The SSL simulation is realistic but some kinds of tests work imperfectly. The production traffic simulations are not realistic enough for some types of DDoS attacks.

The additional feature I would like to see included in the next release of the solution would be a better simulation of SSL attacks in the DDoS module.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Ixia at the company for over 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have had only one problem this year with the stability of the product. It was a result of the new version. Ixia BreakingPoint has very good stability overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For the scalability, there is a hardware product. We have a server that is not working well right now. Ixia BreakingPoint is scalable only to some point. There is a virtual version of the product which is scaled to 100s of virtual testing blades.

The performance of the product depends on how many blades you deploy. You can get very good performance for it with multiple users at the same time. 

BreakingPoint is used by our network and security engineers for our customers. It's not a full-time job. If you need the test, you can be done in half an hour.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support strongly depends on what you are testing, because their knowledge of the product is very good. Their responsiveness and professionalism are good. 

If you need some technical advice with your test or with the device you are currently testing, you can have a little problem. They are responsible. It's a good service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Ixia BreakingPoint is easy. With more complex scenarios, it gets increasingly complex because depends on what you are testing. 

If you only want to do baseline tests for some product traffic or a simple DDoS attack, it's straightforward and easy. 

Deployment and implementation for baseline testing are usually done in one day.

What was our ROI?

For a reseller, it's hard to calculate ROI. For customers who are using Ixia BreakingPoint for POC, they usually see ROI in six months to one year.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have the end-user and use one virtual tester which has a one year subscription license for $25,000 US Dollars. That is the price for your private cloud or virtualization infrastructure.

We use Ixia BreakingPoint to run the virtual solution. Our customers usually have in-house private clouds. The cost is only for the subscription license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We use multiple testers in our security portfolio. With other vendors, there is very low competition in this market sector. I have seen it all but I don't use it.

Our customers prefer Ixia BreakingPoint. There is only one major competitor.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend not to use the OpenStack solution. It's hard to implement. If you have a choice, choose VMware. 

If you want high-performance, use recommended hardware with DPDK and Intel support. Use new hardware with PCI Express 3.0/3.1. Use multiple network cards for multiple blades.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Ixia BreakingPoint a nine.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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