TesLA: Enabling multivendor Test Automation
The TesLA (Test Lab Automation) Alliance is an open industry alliance of IP test vendors working together to author, publish, support and implement standards that enable seamless and vendor agnostic Test Lab Automation.
The TesLA booth the Interop Conference and Exhibition, on May 17 – 21 in Las Vegas, NV was a big success. This was a big event, not only because many TesLA Alliance members were participating, but because it represented, in a sense, an unveiling of the fruits of the alliance – the first public display of emerging TesLA standards and proof-of-concept demonstrations of interoperability for the same, based on runtime XML-driven standards. The TesLA alliance also issued a press release highlighting Interop details and featuring comments from TesLA's CAB and industry supporters.
The Interop conference was the perfect setting for the first public demonstration of TesLA standards in action, since the traditional focus of the show has been on interoperability.
Eight TesLA members participated at Interop, including APCON, Gale Technologies, Ixia, Mu Dynamics, OnPATH Technologies, Shunra, and QualiSystems.
Among the more significant TesLA events and deliverables happening at Interop was the “TesLA Alliance Pavilion”. Located in booth 1813, adjacent to Ixia, the TesLA Pavilion featured Gale, Ixia, OnPATH, and Mu. Ixia also had its own exhibits in booth 1813, and elsewhere on the exhibit floor were APCON at booth 975, QualiSystems at booth 1956, and Shunra at booth 2235.
At Interop, at the alliance pavilion, TesLA also unveiled the first draft of its IP testing standards, due for ratification in June 2009. This draft is currently on the TesLA PBWiki site as “Draft for Comments”. Members are invited to review and provide feedback. For an account to access the TesLA PBWiki, please send an email to: .
As mentioned each Gale, OnPATH, and Mu hosted demos, showcasing one or more aspects of the emerging TesLA standards for test lab automation and interoperability. Each demo had TesLA-branded data sheet handout providing a summary of the TesLA Alliance on one side and a description of the demo scenario on the other side.
In a strict sense, the TesLA standards were still converging, so the interoperability demos were based on what we would consider to be the pre-standard implementations – which is a normal step in the standardization process for any technology. But there is no question that this is a significant milestone in the short history of the TesLA Alliance.
The Gale Technologies demo showed the interoperability of Gale’s AutoLab software with Ixia’s Test Conductor, via an AutoLab plug-in to Test Composer. It illustrated this interoperability at both the Device Control Adapter (DCA) and the Test Bed Markup Language (TBML) TesLA interfaces, based on pre-standard implementations.
The Mu Dynamics demo showed the Mu Automation and Unexpected Traffic Generation API integrated with Ixia’s Test Conductor software, in several different security-testing scenarios, including a PVA test, a pass-through service level traffic variation test, an end point traffic variation test, and a denial of service test. It illustrated this interoperability via a Device Control Adapter (DCA) TesLA pre-standard interface.
The OnPATH demo showed test lab connectivity and monitoring. It demonstrated interoperability of the OnPATH physical layer switch and UCMS software with Ixia’s Test Conductor software, illustrating how traffic generation and analysis, physical layer switching, and intelligent monitoring all work seamlessly together. It illustrated this interoperability via a Device Control Adapter (DCA) TesLA pre-standard interface.
The fourth pod of the TesLA Pavilion presented an overview of the TesLA Alliance, and particularly of the Phase 1 standards that include the Test Authoring Tools (TAT), Device Control Adapters (DCA), and Testbed Resource Scheduling (TRS). This pod also gave participants the chance to discuss the TesLA standards via interactive whiteboard discussions with TesLA experts.
Each TesLA Interop demonstration vendor also wrote a white paper, featuring discussion of different TesLA principles and used their solution demo as an example. The titles and abstracts of the three white papers are shown below:Architecting an Automated Test Environment – by OnPATH Technologies
In today's product development environments there is a driving need to decrease time to market while increasing test coverage and product quality. These two seemingly conflicting objectives are being accomplished by network and application product companies through well-architected automated test environments. The ROI for implementing test lab automation is compelling in terms of product development time saved, efficient sharing of test equipment, and last but not least in reduction of costly field defects. This paper will provide discussion and guidelines on the key components that must be considered when architecting and implementing an automated test lab environment.The Importance of a Well-Formed Ecosystem for the Adoption of Lab and Test Automation – by Gale Technologies
There is much discussion these days of "green" practices and compliance. Essential to the notion of green is the concept of the ecosystem. An ecosystem can be defined as an interdependent system of organisms that are functioning as a whole, within the context of their environment. In business and technology, an ecosystem is also a system of elements that are functioning in a well-coordinated way in order to achieve greater results than any of them can do individually. This paper draws an analogy between natural ecosystems and the importance of a well-formed ecosystem among technology partners, in order to achieve the best practices in test lab automation. In short, this paper demonstrates how the TesLA Alliance is establishing a well-formed ecosystem in the test community, one that will speed the efficient and effective adoption of lab and test automation for the benefit of its user community.Real-World Unexpected Weakness Testing – by Mu Dynamics
As Network Operators look to migrate much of their infrastructure to real-time IP services, the reliability and security of the network has become increasingly important. But with increased complexity comes increased risk, and thus service providers and network equipment manufactures must bear the responsibility of ensuring these networked applications and systems are going to be reliable, available and secure in a production environment. This paper will explore how an integrated approach to Service Assurance testing offers unique and powerful benefits to customers. In this case, the focus will be on the Mu analyzer’s ability to integrate with Ixia’s Test Conductor using the TesLA automation interface. This allows the Mu analyzer to be used along with the other test devices that can be controlled by TesLA and Test Conductor to gain a complete picture of the operational characteristics of the system under test.
These white papers will also be available on the TesLA web site.
The template for the datasheet can be downloaded from here