GLA in network resilience test


The Greater London Authority (GLA) has employed emulation software to test its network, to ensure it is resilient and able to provide a good experience for its users. It follows a case earlier in the year where Royal Mail networks were criticised.

The GLA chose iTrinegy’s INE for Windows for the performance tests, which interrogated all client/server systems and web and Citrix-delivered apps. It also tested its business VoIP systems.

As with many companies and organisations, the authority is now relying on VoIP technology for much of its communications. Offering a cost effective means to stay in touch, the other benefits make it a sound business choice.

It was decided to test using network emulation to provide greater control over each run and to aid replication. Having to work across a wide range of environments, from WAN to 3G, it was important to check how demand and external conditions impacted upon user experience.

The system replicates real life conditions, allowing external factors such as bandwidth drain and loss to be tested. Latency and jitter are also tested. As it runs across Windows XP, Vista, 7 and all Windows Server Platforms, most if not all applications can be thoroughly tested, without needing an outage across live systems.

The test comes shortly after Royal Mail faced problems.

In April, the company saw criticism come its way for its customer-facing website. Industry analysts suggested that the network as a whole, and the applications that sat on it, were not being adequately monitored.

As yet however, there has been no official statement from Royal Mail as to why this was the case.

To ensure systems work well, it is essential that business work with providers proven to deliver quality, reliability and performance. The regular testing and updating of these is also advisable, in order that the best performing systems, hardware and technologies are always in place.