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  1. #1
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    QA Network vs Dev Network

    Does anyone have an argument for why testing should be done on a separate network from development? Wouldn't it cause interference to perform load testing on the development network if there was also other traffic being generated by developers? Our company is trying to put all of our QA machines on the same network as dev, and I am not sure it is a good idea, but really don't have a good argument. Can anyone offer some insight here? I need quick help if anyone has the time today.

    Thanks,
    b.

  2. #2
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    What sort of tests are you performing? During the course of your testing, do you anticipate the need to control the network for a test? If not, then having control over the network may not be important.
    Thanks,
    Tim Van Tongeren

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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    We pretty much do functional testing and some performance testing. The performance testing has really turned into just comparing the previous version to the new version to make sure it isn't any slower. Our only concern was not being able to control levels of network traffic during these times so as not to skew results. Some times the developers generate large volumes of transactions for their own purposes. Other than that, I am not sure we need to control the network actually. So, does this mean we don't need a separate network? Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    I believe that all testing of any application that could potentially connect to an outside source should be done on an isolated QA-only network. The reasons for this are:

    1) Developers have a habit of hardcoding servers into code during development. This has sometimes led to an application accessing the developer's machine during testing.

    2) The test network needs to be stable and always at a known condition. If you're doing a load test and someone decides to copy 400MB across the network, this might affect your results.

    3) Sometimes you do testing with production data involving email addresses or containing IP addresses of customer machines. If you're on an internet-accessible network, this can be BAD if you slip up. We've had cases where we accidently sent out orders to vendors as if they came from the customer who's data we were testing with. Oops! It seems to be a common thing to happen, actually.

    4) for testing purposes, its always nice to have complete authority to alter the network to whatever situation works best at the time

    5) you don't want developers on your test systems. They tend to randomly want to test something on your machines, thinking noone will notice :-). This isn't good when your data isn't what you expected afterwards. Having a totally separate network is the most diplomatic and reliable way to achieve this

    We have a main fileserver which has 2 network cards, one on the test network and the other on the corporate. This acts as a way to transfer files from one network to the other. I can also VPN to the office from home, remote desktop to this machine and then remote desktop to any server on the test network. Also, people in the QA group have 2 network cards on their machines. This is somewhat of a compromise to a totally isolated network, but it works just as well as long as noone installs proxy software or lets a developer have the same dual-NIC configuration

  5. #5
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    bmcclint1

    You actually need 4 environments to do it properly.

    1. Dev - Less formal sandpit for developers to use trial and error. Should be a functional equivalent to production.

    2. Test (or System Test) - Strictly controlled by software release with minimal patching, should be a functional equivalent (or better) to production.

    3. Staging(or Pre-Production) - Must be equivalent (or near enough to) production. Ideally it should even be on the same LAN. This is where Environmental type testing (Load,Volume + Stress) should be done (formally). This environment should be in sync (same version+data if possible) with production, except when doing a new release. Should not patch this environement, unless you need to patch production.

    4. Production (the real environement) - Even in production your need to do a PVT or Install Set to Work type test to ensure the actual software is functioning (believe me I have seen this step fall over) .
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

  6. #6
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    bmcclint1

    You actually need 4 environments to do it properly.

    1. Dev - Less formal sandpit for developers to use trial and error. Should be a functional equivalent to production.

    2. Test (or System Test) - Strictly controlled by software release with minimal patching, should be a functional equivalent (or better) to production.

    3. Staging(or Pre-Production) - Must be equivalent (or near enough to) production. Ideally it should even be on the same LAN. This is where Environmental type testing (Load,Volume + Stress) should be done (formally). This environment should be in sync (same version+data if possible) with production, except when doing a new release. Should not patch this environement, unless you need to patch production.

    4. Production (the real environement) - Even in production your need to do a PVT or Install Set to Work type test to ensure the actual software is functioning (believe me I have seen this step fall over) .
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

  7. #7
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    Atlast we were able to convince our Management for a seperate QA environment for us.

    Firstly, the QA environment should be an integrated environment for performing end-to-end testing.Secondly the softbase should be stable for QA Testing.Thirdly, Developers should not have access to the QA Environment.Finally for Script capturing using tools and replaying a seperate envrionement alone would be ideal since even with a small change to GUI my scripts will fail

  8. #8
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    We have been offered a separate VLAN. Is this the same as our own network? As far as having 4 environments, I think that is more academic than realistic - there is no way I will ever get that. At this point, I am just trying to do the best I can with what I have. Do most of you have that ideal setting? Cyblue - your reasoning seems to be what I am looking for. Point 2 is a specific concern of mine. As for developers testing on my machines, how is that any different even if we are on different networks? Dev and QA share the same database - yes I know this is a bad idea but have no choice. I am working towards getting our own set up.

  9. #9
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    bmcclint1

    We do. Not academic at all, more ideal. It depends on the economics of what you are testing and the lifecycle length of the product. Obviously if you can't afford it you don't do it, but if the product has a long lifecycle and generates enough revenue, it is ideal.

    How are you sure what you are testing if developers have ready access your environment?
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

  10. #10
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    Re: QA Network vs Dev Network

    You shouldn't have dev and qa sharing the same database. It is not only bad, I'd say its unacceptable. Take your test machines, buy an 8 or 16 port switch and hook them together with that. Who needs permission? Just do it, they're your boxes (or should be). You'll probably want 1 box to have 2 connections, one to each network, to facilitate sharing files between them. Unless they are working with you on a problem and you're watching what they do to your system, dev should never be on your test machines. VLAN? If that means they can put you on a separate subnet such that you can't access other subnets except through an established procedure that you have access rights to control then that should be ok. I've thought about doing that here. The only problem it wouldn't solve is the one of performance testing on the network. Network usage could still affect your results. Sorry my posting is behind, I don't usually read the General forum.

 

 
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