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Thursday, January 5, 2012

What are different aspects of network testing?

Network is interconnected collection of hardware components and computers interconnected by communication channels which shares data and resources. Computers are said to be interconnected if they are capable of sharing data and information. These computers are said to be autonomous since no computer can start, stop and control the other computer.

- Network is needed because through network we can share resource which means we can make all programs, data and peripherals available to anyone on the network irrespective of the physical location of the resources and user.
- It provides reliability i.e.a file can have copies on two or three different machines, so if one of them is not available ,the other copies can be used.
- It also affects the cost factor which means personal computer have better price/performance ratio then the micro computers.
- Using a network, it is possible for managers, working far apart, to prepare financial report for the company.
- The changes at one end can be noticed at another and hence it speeds up the co-operation among them.

Network has some disadvantages also.
- Network makes systems more sophisticated and complex to run.
- This can add to costs and you may need a specialist staff to run the network. - If software and files are held centrally, it may be impossible to carry out any work if the central server fails.
- If networks are badly managed services can become unusable and productivity fails.
- File security is more important especially if connected to WAN e.g. protection from viruses.

Network testing is done by various types of tools. These tools help us to test switches, routers, servers and other networks. Network testing aims at determining the strength of the integrity of the network.

- Network testing methodology aims at testing the networking equipments and live networks.
- Network testing requires the network to adhere to the standards of networking. - It doesn’t matter what the software testers test the network for inter- operability, scalability, performance or protocol conformance, they can always rely only network testing for in depth and un biased testing of the network.

Speed testing is another aspect of network testing.
- Speed test can be used to verify if the internet service provider is delivering the connection speed that they promised or not.
- These days network equipment face validation challenges.
- There is a dire need of improving the quality and the performance of the core product.
- While the network complexity is constantly increasing, the process of network testing is increasingly becoming more intricate and time consuming.

There are certain problems that arise while performing the network test. They have been listed below:

- The complex combination of software, firmware and hardware components makes it very difficult to test a particular device as a single integrated system. Such cases often require manual intervention.
- The streamlining of remote manufacturing processes not only makes the whole testing process more complicated but it also makes it difficult to meet the market requirements on time.
- Performing network testing across a wide variety of scripts, testing equipments and network protocols requires complex configuration processes and long set up.

Whether the network to be tested is WAN (wide area network), LAN (local area network), VPN (virtual private network, data center products or other networking devices, network testing over comes their validation challenges and at the same time it increases test automation coverage and provides massive reduction in overhead testing costs and time consumption.

These days automated network testing set up is available. It significantly reduces the test duration, coverage and optimized test operations. Such set ups offer complete automation and configuration of the test prior to testing. The created test cases confirm to standards and provide maximum flexibility and re-usability.

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