Akimbi puts virtualization to the test

Akimbi Slingshot 1.0 makes quick work of reproducing run-time environments

Virtualization is becoming a popular resource for testing software. Companies use virtual machines (VMs) not only to test external packages they’re evaluating but also software they’re developing internally. A hosted VM is a complete run-time environment that can be saved as a single-file profile on the host; the virtualization software simply reloads this to re-create the run-time environment.

Managing these profiles in a software-testing environment can be challenging. Suppose, for example, a distant branch of a company encounters a bug on an OS-database combination you can’t replicate. The branch could send you the profiles to set up and run, but you’d still have to handle the reconfiguration of the VMs for your hosts, the communication between the VMs, and the start-up of the applications within them. Slingshot from Akimbi handles all of these activities and specializes in running the virtual systems in test environments.

The product deploys VMs in multisystem configurations across a farm of hosting servers. It starts the necessary applications in the VMs so that a given multisystem setup can be resumed exactly as a tester captured and saved it. If IP addresses to the machines need to be translated, Slingshot automatically performs the translation. Moreover, it enforces security and access control to the virtual profiles. Changes made to a configuration are saved as deltas to the original profile so that a variety of different scenarios can be saved in a library and reloaded as needed. You can also define templates for creation of baseline configurations.

Slingshot works with virtualization software from VMware and Microsoft, and runs on Intel processor platforms. The product is licensed on the basis of the number of deployment processors, with tiers at 2, 10, and 25 CPUs.

Cost: Starts at $4,995
Available: Version 1.0 shipping now