7.3. The Test Lab Inventory

What items will you need to operate your test lab? Every test lab has different needs, depending on the systems under test. In addition, the importance of any specific item depends on the importance of the particular tests it supports.

Figure 7.3. Extending the logistics database to include test lab hardware.

Suppose that you are setting up a test lab for Winged Bytes in order to perform testing not only for DataRocket, but also for the entire line of servers, desktops, and laptops produced by the company. You will use System Cookers, a third-party test lab, to do the environmental testing, so you don't need to buy thermal chambers, shock and vibration equipment, or HALT chambers.[] Assume that your team will focus primarily on behavioral (black-box) tests. Based on this information, let's try to put together a list of the things we'll need for the lab.

[] HALT is an acronym for highly accelerated life testing, which, through a combination of software operation and extreme environmental stress, simulates an entire lifetime for a computer. Some leading-edge computer vendors use HALT testing to predict the failures that will occur in the system under test as well as the life expectancy of the system. See HALT, HASS & HASA Explained: Accelerated Reliability Techniques by Harry McLean.

7.3.1. A Sample Inventory Template

The following sections might represent ...

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