Three Reasons REST is Rocking the Foundations of Test Labs

ImageOne of the most exciting changes taking place in the world of lab automation is the massive amount of attention being given to REST APIs. For a decade or more in the networking world, test automation was synonymous with writing Tcl or Perl scripts to drive test equipment, devices under test, and other lab equipment. Especially within large equipment vendors, labs have long been established where test automation experts focused on monolithic test tools.

However, the move to REST has shaken the foundation of this old paradigm to its very core.

Here’s why:

1. REST lets you choose your language and OS

With REST APIs lab managers can use the programming language of their choice, such as Python, Ruby, or even Go. This is a big bonus for companies looking to hire engineers with current and market-relevant skill sets. REST also removes dependencies on particular operating systems – no longer are test platforms tied to specific versions of Windows or Linux. REST’s independence from language and operating systems protects automation environments from the inevitable costly upgrades to test infrastructure.

2. REST is key for Virtual and SDN

The REST trend is especially critical for the virtual and SDN worlds, since the devices under test themselves are predominantly being architected with a REST API as well. Being able to control both the test equipment and the device under test using REST APIs is natural and convenient. Moreover, using a REST APIs allow the rapid building of test solutions consisting of multiple service components, including the device under test, test equipment, and additional software pieces.

3. REST is Pervasive

Working with OpenStack? OpenStack has a REST API. Building an OpenFlow SDN router? OpenFlow has a nice REST API. Want to use Jenkins in your continuous integration environment? Jenkins has a REST API too. This is what we call “Test-as-a-Service” at Spirent!

For more information on REST API support on Spirent’s solutions, please visit, http://www.spirent.com/solutions/Automation

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