The changing nature of the IP networking industry has created challenges for the IP network quality assurance teams. Technology advances are occurring at an ever-accelerating pace. At the same time, the pressures to bring new and innovative products to market faster with higher quality and performance continue. The convergence of services delivered over IP has created new network demands that call for new solutions.
TThese solutions, in turn, require new and more advanced testing techniques. New testing requirements can often take longer to develop, execute, and analyze. QA organizations are searching for solutions to their testing challenges in every area of the testing process.
Test Conductor is a complete multivendor test automation framework for IP network testing teams. It's easy-to-learn and use testing environment covers every aspect of test automation from test authoring, test and resource management, regression definition and execution, scheduling and trends analysis.
The Test Conductor framework provides the right set of tools that enable integration of lab elements from different vendors in a lab environment. By using a generic and extensible integration approach, the automation benefits are realized not just on Ixia equipment, but across all elements of a lab. These include but are not limited to devices under test, WAN emulation tools, physical layer switches, and a variety of test devices.
Unifying Multivendor Test Automation
The changing nature of the IP networking industry has created challenges for the enterprise. Technology advances are occurring at an accelerating pace. At the same time, the pressures to bring new and innovative products to market faster with higher quality and performance continue. The convergence of services delivered over IP has created new network demands that call for new solutions. These solutions, in turn, require new and more advanced testing techniques.
These new testing requirements can often take longer to develop, execute and analyze.
Figure 1: Test Conductor Components
QA organizations are searching for solutions to their testing challenges in every area of the testing process. Some of the areas where groups struggle most include:
Multivendor test labs: More often than not, the creation of a full test plan for a device or system requires a combination of different test tools and technologies. Testing with multivendor test technologies requires integration, which often requires the development or extension of a homegrown automation framework. This requires learning multiple, unique programming interfaces.
Designing and maintaining custom automation: Customized testing tools need to evolve as fast as the products being tested. As a result, test teams must spend a greater amount of time building and maintaining automation frameworks. Designing and maintaining the integration components for all the devices and test tools in the lab adds overhead for the test team. For each new version of test applications, the test team must find the time to update the lab and verify that the new software continues to perform as desired.
Lab setup times: The increase in complexity of the systems being tested also increases the time required to setup and breakdown test beds.
Team collaboration: Test teams are no longer located at a single site; they are distributed around the world. Communication among the members and the sharing of test cases and results is complicated by their distributed nature.
End-to-End Test Automation
Test Conductor is a comprehensive test automation solution that is both easy to use and highly scalable. Through multivendor test support, Test Conductor helps test engineers create tests, organize and catalog the tests in a library, associate them with any number of named regressions, and schedule the tests to run unattended or on-demand. Tests are scheduled with a Windows™ Outlook-like calendar tool. Real-time logs and summary reports allow the engineer to see the progress of the test as it runs or review the results of the test once it is completed.
Automated device under test (DUT) configuration is an integral part of the test process. Multiple devices, as well as various test tools, can be coordinated through Test Conductor’s Composer, a unifying scripting interactive development environment (IDE).
Simplified test authoring – shorten the test creation time using this full featured test authoring IDE. Composer reduces the number of different programming interfaces and reduces to one the number of test scripts required to automate an entire test. Control of all the devices under test is consolidated into a single unifying IDE, which also handles the test and measurement equipment used during the test.
Centralized test repository – reduce the time spent finding previous tests with a centralized test repository that catalogues and versions test cases created by the entire test team.
Organized regression manager – consolidate and catalog the various test regressions managed and executed by the team. The Regression Manager allows the test team to effectively share tests and regressions, track when regressions were run and compare the results of runs over time. It also makes it extremely simple to revert back to a previously run regression suite for reproduction of failures or troubleshooting.
Outlook™ style scheduler – quickly and easily schedule tests and regressions to run unattended at specific times. The Scheduler allows everyone using the lab to see which regressions are scheduled to run and when. Avoid costly mistakes of double booking the same test resources by allowing the Scheduler to manage the test resources automatically and withhold execution of a test until the resources are available.
Review trends over the course of a project lifecycle – as products move through the development process, quality and performance trends become evident. Trend Reporter allows the test manager to create reports that can be used to determine whether the team is progressing towards completion and whether the product has stabilized. Test engineers can create reports that show the performance improvements of the product over time.