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Argon Blaster™ is a high-performance testing and simulation solution for generating realistic, Internet-scale traffic loads and application mixes.

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Blaster can saturate a 10 Gbps link while emulating up to a million unique flows with accurate, consistent, per-flow rate control.

Blaster provides a simple-to-use application for custom flow and packet generation. Blaster is designed to run on standard PCIe card designs based on Netronome's Flow Processors.

Blaster uses a simple but powerful underlying model. Network traffic is built from a set of prototypes. Each prototype is specified in a pcap file and represents one flow. Blaster synthesises, in real-time, hundreds of thousands of simultaneous flows from each prototype to create a flow-group. The flows can be automatically generated to have different MAC addresses and, for IPV4 packets, different IP addresses and port numbers. The traffic for a flow-group can be controlled to match any desired profile of flows/s or data rate. Multiple flow-groups are output in parallel to make the complete blast.

The diversity of flows that can be created and the control of the traffic profile allows a realistic assortment of traffic to be constructed to match any real-world usage scenario with any blend of background, application and security attack traffic. Blasts are deterministic. Packets are always output in the same order, and with the same timing, each time a blast is performed.

A pcap flow prototype file can represent a one-way data flow or a two-way communication. There are two 10 Gbps ports and data can be output either to a specific port or to different ports dependent on communication direction.

Easy-to-use Interface

Blaster provides an intuitive GUI that allows blasts to be designed and run. The blast definition can be saved to a “.blast” file for use in future sessions. A “.blast” file is an XML text file that references the pcap prototype files and defines the blast behaviour.

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Configurations Blaster can transmit from either or both ports to test inline and passive applications. Blaster's ports also have a receive capability so can be used for testing in-line equipment. Received packets are not captured in full, but a timestamp and signature is recorded for each packet received which can be matched against the packets transmitted to confirm packets were not dropped or measure latency.

System Requirements

Blaster can be installed in any modern PC running Linux. It installs as a KVM virtual machine and can be operated from within the virtual machine or externally. Detailed requirements are:

  • 32 or 64-bit PC running Linux with KVM (Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu)
  • CPU must support IO MMU virtualisation (AMD-Vi or Intel VT-d)
  • 75W PCIe full-length slot (x8 or greater)
  • 4GB free disk space

Product Contents

  • Netronome NFE-3240
  • Short-reach pluggable optics
  • Fibre-optic loopback cable for self-test


Blaster includes 12 months warranty and customer support. The Argon Blaster support site allows the latest software and documentation to be downloaded, includes a community forum and provides ticket-based customer support.

At the end of 12 months, ongoing support and release updates can be purchased on an annual basis.


Part No. Description
NFE-BLAST-2-10-001 2x10GE Blaster
NFE-BLAST-6-1-001 6x1GE Blaster

Programmable 2x10 Gbps
packet generation at a
fraction of the price of
traditional testing equipment

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How to Purchase Blaster

Blaster can be purchased directly from Netronome by contacting