Case Study

Fortune 100 Software Company Doubles Test Lab Productivity and Adds Support for Remote Workers

Fortune 100 Software Company Doubles Test Lab Productivity and Adds Support for Remote Workers


The Challenge
  • Customer needs to validate software using a variety of servers and Network Interface Cards (NICs) for each software release.
  • Test networks are configured using patch panels to provide an isolated network for each test scenario.
  • The resulting situation is error-prone and requires frequent access to the test lab.
The Solution
  • A fully automated system for creating network topologies using NETSCOUT’s TestStream Management Software and Test Automation switches.
  • Expandable test lab connectivity with a variety of port speeds from 100 Mbps copper to 100 Gbps fiber.
The Results
  • A 50% increase in test lab productivity.
  • Eliminated the need for physical lab access before beginning a test cycle.
  • A seamless transition to working from home due to COVID-19.

Customer Profile

The customer is a leading supplier of enterprise software solutions that are deployed on all types of infrastructure including physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud.

The Challenge

The customer has an outstanding reputation for producing high quality software with predictable release cycles. One of their test labs was already struggling to keep up with demand, and the company had plans to increase the frequency of software releases. Like many test labs, this lab used patch panels to create network topologies specific to each test scenario. While this is a common practice, there are also common downsides:

  • Patch panels are error prone. Although patch panels rarely fail, the act of plugging and unplugging cables leads to problems such as connecting a cable to the wrong port, having a cable fail at the connector, and in the case of fiber optics, connectors can easily become dirty and lead to intermittent problems during testing.
  • Patch panels in test labs always become disorganized. With the constant cable moves required for testing, patch panels quickly end up looking more like a tangled mess of difficultto-trace cables than the neatly labeled patch panels you see in production data centers. As the test lab patch panel becomes more disorganized over time, the likelihood for both human error and cable or connector failures increases.
  • Patch panels require physical access. For this customer, the test lab was located two floors away from the engineers, and each round trip resulted in an unnecessary loss of time. As the patch panel became more disorganized, the multiple trips back and forth to the lab to verify the connections were correct led to an incredible loss of man hours.

The Results

  • Increase Test Lab Efficiency – By using NETSCOUT’s Test Automation solution, the customer’s test tools are used much more efficiently, and the need to purchase additional tools has been greatly reduced.
  • Increase Test Lab Performance – By removing the manual patching requirement, all the problems associated with patch panels (cabling mistakes, broken connectors, excessive man hours, etc.) have been eliminated. Using automated topology creation provided by the NETSCOUT® solution, the customer can run multiple test cases remotely overnight, whereas previously, each test case required manual intervention.
  • Business Continuity While Working Remotely – The customer had already deployed their NETSCOUT Test Automation solution before the COVID-19 pandemic forced their team to begin working from home. Thanks to the remote capabilities the NETSCOUT solution offers, their transition to a remote work environment was seamless, enabling their lab testing to continue as usual.

The NETSCOUT Test Automation solution provides the team 24 x 7 access to their critical testing services and equipment from any remote location.

Test Lab Automation

NETSCOUT’s Test Lab Automation solutions help customers improve their network and application test lab efficiency, speed, and performance. NETSCOUT delivers highly scalable and intelligent solutions that improve overall test lab performance by:

  • Enabling automated topologies with an easy-to-use software interface to remotely connect to test tools and devices
  • Reducing the time required for test set up and testing
  • Enabling customers to increase the utilization of existing test tools and devices under test
  • Decreasing the need for investment in additional test tools

Solution in Action

The customer chose to deploy a NETSCOUT Test Lab Automation solution consisting of TestStream Management Software and an nGenius 3900 Series switch for Test Lab Automation. The NETSCOUT solution eliminated the customer’s need for their unwieldy patch panel.

The customer is able to efficiently validate their software solution with their partner ecosystem that includes a variety of COTS servers and network interface cards.

As a follow up, the customer replicated their NETSCOUT solution at a sister lab in China where similar benefits were realized.