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VQMS: Managing the Virtual Test Environment

Quoting SD Times

Virtualization has allowed the art of testing to advance, as fewer machines are needed to run multiple environments in which to test an application before it goes into production.

But setting up and tearing down those virtual test labs has lengthened test cycles, and created a complexity that often forces companies to put off testing until after the application is released.

To help relieve this problem, a company called Surgient is set to release on Oct. 2 version 5.0 of its Virtual QA/Test Lab Management System (VQMS), with advanced management features and better scalability.

“Our software creates and provisions [test] environments,” said Erik Josowitz, vice president of marketing for Surgient. “Virtualization got its start in unit testing, keeping sandboxes on developers’ machines. But it hasn’t been convenient for complex applications.”

‘THE BRAIN’ IS IN CONTROL

At the heart of Surgient’s VQMS solution is a control server—“the brain,” Josowitz said—that understands scheduling and can determine the number of servers available for reallocation of the virtual lab software. A second part is the library of application configurations, which Josowitz described as “a database of VM images…where they live, what’s in them, what operating system they’re running.” These pieces require a resource pool of servers running Microsoft or VMware virtualization software with Surgient’s control agent also running on them. Josowitz said VQMS does not support Xen because that software is “not quite there yet” for large-scale commercial installations, but noted that support could be added at any time if the demand is there.

The test team logs into the Surgient software via a portal and makes requests for a number of configurations, and then the software reserves space on the resource pool machines to meet the necessary capacity, and provisions the virtual machines on those servers, Josowitz explained.

An integration with Mercury’s Quality Center lets developers look at application failures as they happen, negating the need to recreate bugs in a lab environment to rectify those issues, he added.

The latest release of VQMS can now handle thousands of machines running hundreds of configurations that need to be managed all at once. Prior versions could only handle hundreds of machines at any given time, Josowitz said, and was not as scalable for larger organizations. VQMS 5.0 also comes with SOAP and XML Web services interfaces for advanced integration with reporting and testing tools.

Josowitz said Surgient is positioning the solution as “IT as a service,” in that “folks request what they want and it’s delivered.”

Read the original, here.

Published Monday, October 02, 2006 6:49 AM by David Marshall
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