Advanced Test Automation: Making the case for Test Lab Automation

Test automation is not new, but is becoming a business necessity, driven by the growing complexity of today’s networking technologies and competitive product development schedules. The need to bring new products and services to market very quickly, yet also ensure these new services meet exacting performance standards, makes test automation a strategic imperative.

So, how do product development engineers manage conflicting schedules and needs for lab equipment access while controlling costs? While the testing process often consists of a combination of automation tools set up in-house and running “one at a time” testing projects with dedicated lab assets, this approach can’t address today’s need for cost effectiveness.

Today, labs function in much the same way as they have for the last 10 to 15 years. The test engineer uses a variety of dedicated test equipment, devices or systems under test, and rewires either a patch panel or the devices directly as topologies and test configurations change. The practice is inefficient and not conducive to sharing, tracking, or managing the resources in the lab.


Several trends are causing companies to rethink this old paradigm:
• Cost pressures make it more difficult to buy test equipment without documented justification
• The number of DUTs and the variety of interface types is growing, making the labs more heterogeneous
• The increasing need for multi-site organizations, telecommuters, off-shore developers and testers, and remote customers to have remote access to the lab

Add to that time-to-market pressures and lab consolidation, and you have a compelling set of reasons to do it a better way.

Why not make topology changes with a PC (locally or remotely), eliminating the manual patching of yesterday, by adding physical layer switches that can be used as programmable patch panels?

For more information on how to automate your test lab and leverage the cost and productivity benefits click here.



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