Friday, September 19, 2008

Network Testing - Abstract Thinking

Creating a Network Test Plan

To prepare a plan to test the network. The plan defines the scope, approach, criteria, schedule, responsibilities, resources, and procedures.

Define Objectives

Define the objectives of the test by identifying the areas of the network to be tested including:

· Volume Testing. Ensures that the network operates smoothly when subjected to production volumes of data over long periods of time.

· Stress Testing. Ensures that the network operates smoothly when subjected to the maximum load expected in production, all at one time. A good rule of thumb is to subject the network to 25 percent more data and processing than is expected during peak loads.

· Recovery Testing. Ensures that backup and recovery procedures are working properly.

· Security Testing. Verifies that the network meets the security requirements.

· Performance Testing. Verifies that performance criteria are met (e.g., response times).

Define Acceptance Criteria

For each test objective, define the criteria for successful completion. For example:

· All expected results are achieved on the initial run.

· All severe, and high priority faults are corrected and the associated test(s) rerun successfully.

· A documented plan is put in place specifying how and when outstanding low and medium priority faults will be resolved.

Define Schedule

Identify the high-level activities and tasks together with expected start and completion dates.

Define Responsibilities

Identify the individuals who will be involved in the test and their roles and responsibilities.

Define Resources

Identify the staff, hardware, and software requirements. Confirm that the Network Deployment Plan has accounted for these requirements and resolve any differences.

Define Procedures

Define the procedures to be followed in preparing the test cases, preparing test scripts, preparing the test environment, conducting tests, and verifying test results.

Tips and Hints

Document any assumptions made while preparing the plan.

Plan to use automated test tools wherever possible to significantly reduce the testing effort and duration. Automated test tools can be used to generate and apply an adequate number of transactions to facilitate stress and performance testing.

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