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  1. #1
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    Should I use a separate machine to run Silk?

    Hello all,

    I'm planning an implementation of an automation project that will require the tests to use at least 3 machines. One machine is our server, a second machine is the equivalent of the client machine, and a third machine is a target application.

    My question is: Would it be safe to drive my tests from Silk installed on one of these machines, or would it make more sense to run Silk from another machine?

    Our department is undergoing budget restrictions, so rounding up another machine may be difficult, but I'm worried that: a) I may need to re-boot machines; and b) the memory footprint from Silk runs a risk to interfere with the applications I'm trying to test.

    First time running a large-scale project, so I'd appreciate any advice on how others have dealt with this kind of problem.

    Thank you in advance!

    -Chris

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  2. #2
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    Re: Should I use a separate machine to run Silk?

    Chris,

    I certainly concur with your assertion that SilkTest should be drivin outside the test environment, particularly given the server/client structure of your test. Keep in mind that the SilkTest controller machine need not be a particularly beefy machine. It is simply making a call and waiting for a response before making the next call. The machine, even a wimpy one, will be snoozing. All the work is taking place on your three station network you described. Perhaps it will help with the budget constraints to know that you don't have to dig up a powerhouse machine to pull off what you are describing.

  3. #3
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    Re: Should I use a separate machine to run Silk?

    We have often run silktest on just one machine (the aut is effectively a standalone app, not client-server or web) without difficulties; admittedly silktest can occupy a sizeable chunk of memory, but that has always been insignificant compared to our aut's memory footprint (it's bloatware of the highest order); and it is only when we have encountered a serious memory leak somewhere along the way that this has become a problem, in which case it would become a problem on any machine, whether or not both silktest and the aut were running there.
    On the other hand, our testing has never involved rebooting a machine in the course of testing, so I don't know what impact that would have.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Should I use a separate machine to run Silk?


    If you plan on running your test cases via multithreading (parallel or spawn statements), then you may want to invest in that dedicated driver machine. I experienced problems with the local host when I was running multi-threaded scripts on three platforms. I tried for quite a while to debug the problem, but I never could work around it successfully. I got another machine and installed another agent, then used the local host to drive the other three. This took care of the problems.

    Also - if you use the local machine to run tests on, you can't interact with that machine until the tests are completed. If you are only using it to drive other machines, you can still work on other things. This has come in very handy when I needed to see some segement of code during a test run.

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    Atlee

  5. #5
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    Re: Should I use a separate machine to run Silk?

    Another advantage to using a dedicated automation Host PC is that you can use Silk to programmatically restart or even shutdown the remote target PCs. Silk cannot restart a test machine that is also serving as the automation Host.

    A separate Host PC also allows you to reload clean O/S images on your remote target PCs using a tool like ImageCast under programmatic control of Silk.

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    Tony Mrozinski
    Sr. Software Test Automation Engineer
    Residential Access Division
    Intel Corporation

  6. #6
    AJ
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    Re: Should I use a separate machine to run Silk?

    My advice to all companies who are implementing automated testing is to buy an extra machine for the automation person to develop and execute tests from.

    I even advice to execute the tests on the application on a different machine than the one with SilkTest on it. If you must you can use the same machine, but optimally a new one is best choice.

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    AJ Alhait
    BetaSoft Inc.
    AJ Alhait
    BetaSoft Inc.

 

 

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