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Ravello Puts Networking Labs on AWS

Ravello Systems launched Smart Labs for the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) and Google Inc. clouds for testing networking and security implementations.

Ravello describes itself as an expert in nested virtualization, or running unmodified guests atop virtualized hardware.

The new Security Appliance Smart Labs and Network Appliance Smart Labs provide encapsulated VMware Inc. and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) environments that can be run on the cloud infrastructure for development, testing, training and demonstrating technology. VMware is an industry leader in network virtualization and KVMs provide virtualization hypervisors for Linux systems.

The company said the labs leverage the elasticity of the AWS and Google clouds to augment the functionality of physical, on-premises datacenter labs.

"Our goal is to enable the entire ecosystem of networking and security technologies with real-world labs that run in the cloud to achieve a level of scale and accuracy not possible with traditional network and security simulation approaches," the company said in a blog post yesterday.

Simulating a Network Threat
[Click on image for larger view.] Simulating a Network Threat (source: Ravello Systems)

"Using Ravello's technology, we enable true 'datacenter-like' labs in the cloud -- without any restrictions on layer 2 networking and security testing," the company continued. "We envisioned a world where network and security teams are not constrained by hardware capacity each time they need a lab for design, modeling, proof of concept or even upgrade testing."

Company exec Navin Thadani noted that VMware- and KVM-based virtual appliances are the most common virtualization formats today, but not all implementations can run in the cloud. But with the company's HVX nested virtualization approach, such appliances can run without any needed modification on AWS or the Google cloud, with access to the layer 2 plane and support for advanced technologies such as promiscuous mode, span ports, broadcast and multicast.

"Our goal is to enable professionals to perform testing, design and training exercises using real network and security appliance OSes in the public cloud," Thadani said.

The Smart Labs service employs pay-for-usage pricing starting at $0.14 for two vCPU, 4GB chunks.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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