1 WHITE PAPER Automating Test Data Centers with TestShell 7/2013
2 Introduction implementing ByTestShell s powerful automation capabities... test data centers can achieve substantially greater efficiency, productivity and management visibity Test labs and testing data centers constitute a massive investment for technology vendors, converged infrastructure solution providers, systems integrators, and service providers. Large technology providers routinely fill tens if not hundreds of thousands of square feet of real estate with milons of dollars in equipment consuming stratospheric amounts of electricity. This huge expenditure is necessitated by the fundamental need to vadate the quaty and interoperabity of complex products and services, repcate technical issues and verify fixes, and in some cases, demonstrate and dever proof of concept testing for customers. However, the lack of automation in these testing environments presents a significant barrier to a reasonable return on the investment. Furthermore, typical manual operations in these costly data centers prevent the speed of execution and management visibity needed to maintain decent market velocity. This paper explores the case for test lab and data center automation, introduces the TestShell test and lab automation solution and its benefits, and reviews best practices for successfully automating complex test data center environments. By implementing TestShell s powerful automation capabities with proven methodologies, test data centers can achieve substantially greater efficiency, productivity and management visibity, leading to significant CAPEX and OPEX savings, faster time to market and increased business competitiveness. Test Data Center The Case for Test Data Center Automation: the Challenges Development Test data centers are normally estabshed to serve as a shared, dynamic infrastructure for development, Quaty Assurance (QA), technical support and field engineers to perform a variety of critical testing tasks. Such data centers generally include many instances of multi-vendor equipment representing the full data center stack of computing, storage, network, and virtuazation components, and three types of testing predominate here: Field Engineering Tech support QA אולי תעשי פאזל של ארבעה חלקים שיחד מרכיבים את הדאטה סנטר חוצמזה צריך להוריד את הכותרת שלא תתיישר לכותרת התכלת זה מבלבל Interoperabity or certification tests To ensure that new products will work properly with a variety of other products installed in target deployment environments. For product vendors and systems integrators, this may include testing against common customer deployment architectures as well as custom testing for strategic accounts. For service providers, this means testing and certifying new devices and software vis-à-vis all relevant production architectures. Technical issue repcation and fix verification In this use case, when a customer field issue is reported, technical support engineers and sometimes field engineers too, need to assemble the same deployment configuration in which the field problem occurred and repcate it so that escalation engineers can examine the problem in context. When the fix is ready, support and field engineers must verify that the problematic behavior has been resolved in that specific configuration before devering the fix to the customer.
3 הרעיון שצריך להעביר כאן זה שציוד\שירות מסוים עובד. זה לא ככ ברור בסביבות שונות. למשל אפשר להראות כאן גם רשת לבית פרטי וגם למפעל Testing Types Interoperabity Testing Functional Testing Customer demonstration and proof of concept (PoC) testing Technology vendors and service providers often have to provide demonstrations and perform PoC tests for customers to show that the proposed solution will work in their architectural and multi-vendor environment. All three types of testing require dynamic reuse of multi-vendor equipment and virtual resources in variable configurations or test topologies. For example, a test may require verifying the interoperabity and performance of a new version of a hypervisor in a test topology consisting of multiple server, storage, and SAN switch vendor equipment. While each of the three use cases is characterized by somewhat different processes and durations, the simpcity and speed with which infrastructure can be deployed to support these tests is plainly an important factor. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of testing data centers today, deploying costly resources in test topologies is anything but simple and fast. Ironically, the enterprise and carrier-class technology that is being tested is becoming increasingly virtuazed, agile and software-controlled. Yet, the infrastructure management, setup, and provisioning processes of the typical test data center are overwhelmingly manual in nature, clearly evidenced by the following: Absence of inventory visibity PoC Testing In most data centers, equipment inventory is not tracked in a way that provides visibity to engineers. While most organizations track assets for financial purposes, what passes for inventory management by engineers is a simple spreadsheet that is often poorly maintained. As a result, it is difficult to tell without exhaustive investigation what equipment exists, what is being used by whom, and what is actually available. Offne test topology design לחיצת היד אינה ברורה מספיק חוצמזה האייקונים גדולים מדי In the absence of usable inventory visibity, test topology is designed offne without regard to resource availabity. Visio or other diagramming tools are generally used to produce what is essentially the electronic version of a paper drawing, which is then printed to aid a time consuming and arduous hunt for the relevant equipment. Chaotic connectivity management and costly errors Once inventory is found that appears to be available, engineers must manually re-cable connections between the equipment. With different people adding, moving and changing components, typically without up-to-date documentation, errors such as accidentally disconnecting someone else s test inevitably occur. Lamentably, test breaks are a common occurrence in most test data centers today.
4 Time consuming setup 20% Device utization Manual provisioning An engineer, after painstakingly assembng a physical topology, must then proceed to perform a variety of further time-consuming logical provisioning steps. For example: loading a particular hypervisor version, changing OS images on networking equipment, setting up logical connectivity between servers and virtuazed storage devices, and instantiating virtual machines. Test engineers may be highly knowledgeable about the components they are testing, but in effect, they spend the vast majority of their time on low level provisioning tasks. Such laborious setup efforts can be summed up in a word, waste: waste of space, waste of equipment and waste of power resources: $1K-$3K Costing per square foot $50 Annual power per square foot High test setup to actual testing ratio. Technology test data center engineers can easily spend a week on the setup process for a test that takes less than a day to run. Hoarding and poor resource sharing. Given the time that engineers often have to spend physically locating, connecting and provisioning test resources into a ready-to-use test topology, it is understandable that they do not want others to effect any changes. The time-consuming setup process also makes it too costly to release resources even if a test is not ready to start immediately, so that expensive data center components may remain idle, often powered up and consuming electricity, for days or even weeks on end until a test is ready to run. Very low device utization. Tens of milons of dollars in capital equipment are typically only 15% to 20% utized. Excessive power usage. Test data center managers report instances where pre emptive power downs of large test environments caused only a few test engineers to complain, leading managers to wonder why all the other equipment was powered on continuously in the first place. 80:20 Testing ratios The degree of waste generated by manual operations at test data centers high significant impcations The degree of waste generated by manual operations at test data centers has significant impcations. To begin with, device utization of less than 20% means that as demand for testing expands with the deployment of new devices and business growth, the rate of investment in data center capacity will rise sharply. With data centers costing anywhere from $1K to $3K per square foot including equipment costs, this can lead to huge, unnecessary CAPEX outlays over time. Wasted power costs are also daunting. Assuming modest annual power costs of $50 per square foot for a 50 KW/square foot data center, the expansion of capacity needed to accommodate low device utization can lead to hefty additional OPEX. Besides the bottom-ne of wasted test data center capacity due to operations being performed manually, there is also the top-ne issue of slower business velocity. With setup to testing ratios as high as 80:20, testing cycles are longer, delaying product or service releases, or causing organizations to compromise test coverage and quaty, resulting in higher incidences of problems found in the field that are much coster to fix after products are released, and consequently, delayed customer adoption and revenues.
5 text TestShell Test and Lab Automation Solution TestShell is the industry s leading test and lab automation solution, designed to help test data centers achieve dramatically higher efficiency and productivity, leading to significant CAPEX and OPEX savings, faster test cycle completion, and better top-ne performance and competitiveness. TestShell s groundbreaking innovation es in the devery of a fully integrated, objectoriented software framework for automating the test data center, including: Centrazed, ve infrastructure and resource inventory Inventory-aware test topology design Shared, calendar-based resource and topology reservation Connectivity mapping and automated connectivity control Easy to create automated task provisioning Non-programmer friendly automation; workflow creation is based on a brary of highly reusable test objects that can be built from a wide variety of sources and leveraged to construct: we can use here the icons from the TestShell overview digram Using TestShell, the world s leading technology and service providers turn their test lab data centers from chaotic, manually-operated environments into highly efficient Lab as a Service (LaaS) clouds Auto-discovery, auto basening and other automated maintenance routines. Full test automation workflows. TestShell s architecture avoids the pitfalls of script-based approaches to automation, which cannot scale due to their high maintenance costs. A best of breed commercial solution deployed by industry-leaders worldwide, TestShell offers the fastest path to a successfully and sustainably automated testing system. Using TestShell, the world s leading technology and service providers turn their test lab data centers from chaotic, manually-operated environments into highly efficient Lab as a Service (LaaS) clouds enabng data center managers and engineers to: Manage data center inventory including physical DUT (Device Under Test) and testing equipment, L1 switches, and virtual resources such as virtual machines and virtual switches in a ve, searchable database of resource objects tagged with searchable attributes, eminating manual searches for equipment on racks and enabng engineers to interface with the data center infrastructure efficiently via software. TestShell s inventory and resource management allows for object hierarchies which can represent relatively simple nested resources such as chassis, blades and ports or complex pre integrated resources stacks such as converged infrastructure and data center in a box solutions. Create test topologies via a software GUI that allows drag and drop of resource objects onto a canvass, visually ascertain availabity, design and sanity check connectivity, and save the entire topology as a higher level object in the resource brary for their later own reuse or by other engineers.
6 Traditional Test-Automation Challenges Schedule resources and entire test topologies through a common calendaring system. Resource confcts can be swiftly resolved since it is easy to determine who is using any specific resources at any given time. Costly programming Make device provisioning error-free by building automation objects for common provisioning tasks launched via a right-cck menu in a graphical view of the test topology. Device provisioning can include uploading OS images, or common configurations such as creating GRE tunnels or routing adjacencies between virtual switches. No scalabity Low penetration Script bloat Personnel dependency Manage connectivity remotely by generating patching or cabng requests to lab administrators, or if Layer 1 switches are used, to automatically connect test topologies. Create auto-discovery and auto-base ning processes that leverage TestShell s extensive array of control interfaces, GUI automation and scripting capabities to streamne the management of inventory and device states. Roll out full test automation, including integration of existing automation scripts as testing objects, as well as creation of new test automation objects through screen, GUI and other forms of capture. Generate real-time reports and dashboards on data center device utization, topology reservations vs. activations, and even comprehensive test results. TestShell's Impact 1800% increase in test operation TestShell s Beneficial Impact on Test Data Center Operations Adoption and deployment of TestShell s powerful automation capabities in the test data center leads to significant, positive top and bottom-ne impacts for technology vendors and service providers: A dramatic increase in the velocity of test cycle completion 50% to 200% cost savings Tangible competitive edge One organization reported that after automating their demonstration test data center they were able to increase customer demo devery from 37 demos per month to over 700 demos per month within the space of two years - an increase of almost 1800%. A service provider that automated its home gateway certification testing environment and process was able to reduce certification time from three weeks to just four days. A greater demo velocity leads to a wider and shorter sales pipene and rising top-ne revenues. Significant savings in lab CAPEX and OPEX Organizations deploying lab automation software report increases of 50% to 200% in device utization, resulting in capital budget savings as well as accompanying savings in space, power, and coong costs. In some cases, these cost savings are dwarfed by the prevention of serious business disruptions that would otherwise be caused by unchecked equipment growth, especially in cases where no additional
7 real estate or power is available on campus to grow labs, putting a stranglehold on sales. By increasing device utization, labs not only save on the bottom ne, but also ensure that they do not become a bottleneck for corporate top-ne growth. Increased competitiveness Automation in Practice: A) Layer one L1 Switch/Patch switch control control Panels Just as re-engineering and automating front office business processes leads to greater business agity, responsiveness to customers and abity to execute, automation in this critical area of technology equipment sales cycles provides a tangible competitive edge that is reflected in customer satisfaction, employee productivity, return on capital, and positive brand effects. Best Practices for Test Data Center Automation To achieve successful automation outcomes, best in breed technology is critical, but must also be accompanied by best practice methodologies. While every lab environment is to some extent unique, certain best practice guidenes apply to the majority of data center testing environments. These include: B) Shared Test Objects: The Need to Evolve Physical Layer Connectivity ISoftware-based automation benefits from a structured, documented, and easy to operate physical connectivity environment. Most data centers are architected according to the Telecommunication Industry Association s standard TIA 942 layout with main and horizontal B2) Tagged distribution areas; however, many data centers do not employ structured resources for cabng fast systems fully, largely relying instead on point-to-point cable Name connections, which impede automation because changes are physically tracking difficult to implement. It is therefore strongly recommended that pointversion to-point cable connections be eminated, and that data center connectivity be moved, to the extent possible, towards a ghts-out Model operating mode enabled by software-controlled Layer 1 switches. IP Address Naturally, most organizations cannot embed Layer 1 switch connectivity in one fell swoop, and while automation of all physical layer connectivity is desirable, this may not be necessary, at least not initially. Layer 1 switches should be prioritized where connectivity changes are frequent B1) Reusable test and/or need to be implemented rapidly. For other connections, point-toautomation objects point cabng can be migrated to either passive or intelgent patch panels. (show two worflows when one object is shown in both - same color and shape) Resourcing the Automation Infrastructure Service The most successful lab automation deployments tend to assign personnel with data architecture and programming skills to build and maintain the object brary of inventory resources, test topologies, provisioning and shared testing objects and workflows. Once TestShell software is implemented as the interface between users (test engineers)
8 C) Methodology - 3 phase automation Automation in 3 steps: Topology design & resource sharing Advanced automating provisioning Automated tests routines "תקשטי" פה עם גריד של גלגלי.. שיניים או משהו כזה אולי תתני למספרים? יותר נוכחות and the actual test infrastructure, the broader user community can leverage this brary to build and reserve topologies, easily perform provisioning, and progress into test automation as the brary is built out. Dedicating resources to maintaining the object brary as an infrastructure service is strongly recommended; otherwise, if the utity and ease of use of the object brary are not maintained to a high standard, users will abandon the automation system, squandering the investment. One of the most important up-front tasks is building the object brary that represents the physical and virtual resources inside the data center. This involves gathering a comprehensive st of test lab assets and resources, designing a resource structure (e.g. chassis, blades, ports), and applying data tags to resources so that users can easily search for and locate the resources they need in the resource brary. Once the inventory has been architected into an appropriate object hierarchy and imported into TestShell, auto-discovery processes can be designed to automatically update the inventory. A Phased Approach Successful automation systems tend to be built in phases, where each phase aims for a visible productivity gain and return on investment in a relatively short time in order to drive user engagement and momentum and create reastic expectations. Generally speaking, work on automating the basic visibity, topology design and reservation/ sharing of infrastructure resources is the first and easiest phase in automating the test data center environment because it devers the most immediate and tangible benefits. For example, if two groups can successfully share an expensive set of testing resources rather than making dupcative purchases, the return on investment in automation will be swift. The second automation phase involves transforming low-level device provisioning tasks into easy to invoke, menu-driven tasks from the automation GUI. Such provisioning tasks typically start with the basic provisioning steps needed to get DUTs to a particular state, such as uploading OS images or applying patches. More advanced provisioning tasks involve common configuration steps to ready the logical layer of a test topology, such as configuring VLANs, routing adjacencies, or creating tunnels on physical or virtual switches. These automated provisioning objects help test engineers to accompsh the routine tasks that often dominate their workdays more expeditiously, allowing them to focus more on higher order thinking to achieve maximal test coverage. The third phase, which is short of full test automation, involves creating automated maintenance routines. Examples include auto-discovery, which helps keep the inventory up to date, and auto basening, which restores devices to their default provisioning states on a timed basis. Such routines require development of a comprehensive set of device control/ interface automation objects for all the devices needed in the test infrastructure so that they can be leveraged across multiple maintenance automation processes.
9 Full test automation requires the greatest time investment before results are seen, since a large brary of building block test objects must be created before testers can effectively start to author their own test automation workflows in the TestShell GUI. Conclusion Test data centers represent a huge investment of capital and human resources. TestShell automation, accompanied by best practices methodologies, offers organizations an opportunity to optimize test data center performance. The net result is significant CAPEX and OPEX savings, increased business velocity and agity, and higher levels of market competitiveness. For more information about QuaSystems, visit our website at אולי תגדילי את?הסיכום קצת.. WP-TA-1
WHITE PAPER Automating Test Data Centers with TestShell 8/2013 Introduction implementing ByTestShell s powerful automation capabities test data centers can achieve substantially greater efficiency, productivity
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