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NEBS: Ways to Lessen Unpredictability When Testing Applications


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April 29, 2011

NEBS: Ways to Lessen Unpredictability When Testing Applications

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

There is a lot of unpredictability when it comes to testing for scenarios found in the production environment. NEBS testing however, can add an increased level of security for products that pass the rigorous testing suite.

Appliances can, and do sometimes fail to work as expected in the production phase. In addition in certain circumstances, deploying an appliance impacts testing and quality assurance practices. Similarly, interactions between hardware and software can break down and cause the appliance to show errors or be unavailable.

The reason for these difficulties may have nothing to do with an application. When something like this arises it means that users need to come up with a diagnosis, restore the correct operation and come up with safeguards to avoid it happening in the future.

But there is an option -- using dedicated appliances. With dedicated appliances there is no need to test for whatever the appliance may encounter in the customer’s site.

Purpose-built appliances make for easier deployment, integration and use in the enterprise. An added advantage is that a back-up image is made before the update. That way, if the appliance fails, the image made before the failure can be found and restored for proper operation.

In addition, information gathered during the update can be used by a testing organization to determine why the upgrade failed and suggest fixes for the future.

With purpose-built appliances, there is also lower cost, less time-to-market and increased testing efficiency.These factors, as well as the trend that appliances are becoming more complex, mean that testing has to be an efficient process.

When it comes to the subject of testing, too, one cannot forget the importance of NEBS, also known as “Network Equipment Building System".

NEBS are guidelines for telecommunications equipment, which are situated in a central office. It is an industry requirement in the United States. When developed, the guidelines make it easier for a company to design equipment that is compatible with a Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) central office.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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