June 18, 2008 -- At NXTcomm, Spirent Communications announced the formation of the Test Automation Alliance (TAA), billed as an ecosystem of testing companies focused on improving productivity across the entire telecom product development and service deployment life cycle. Spirent expects the alliance to promote a common vision, enabling service providers and network equipment manufacturers to optimize lab resources through advanced automation.
Achieving seamless, straightforward, sustainable and cost-effective test automation is a significant challenge for lab managers, maintains Spirent. As such, the TAA offers a framework, dubbed "the Automation Continuum," which integrates best-in-class test automation technologies such as lab management, configuration management, test authoring and test management.
The framework enables test labs to either choose from a suite of device-agnostic, best-in-class tools targeted at advancing a specific area of an existing automation framework, or purchase a complete test automation framework. No matter what level of automation the test labs have deployed, the alliance says it seeks to enable a continuum in automation advancements.
"The Test Automation Alliance challenges the status quo and redefines testing as a continuum that integrates best-in-class lab testing tools to create a holistic approach to lab automation," comments Elisabeth Rainge, director of network software at IDC. "It focuses on the requirements of service providers and network equipment manufacturers to accelerate the deployment of new services and products, as the testing cycles have begun to exceed development cycles."
Members of the Spirent-led alliance include EdenTree Technologies, FanFare and MRV. The companies, all providers of automation technology, say they are committed to leveraging their combined expertise to advance the Automation Continuum framework, which includes the following:
-- The Spirent TestCenter is an integrated platform covering a range of network technologies from Layer 2 to Layer 7 for LAN, enterprise, metropolitan, carrier and broadband access networks devices.
-- EdenTree provides a software platform that delivers a dynamic lab environment that optimizes equipment usage, sharing and tracking.
-- Fanfare's test authoring and test management tools, iTest Team and iTest Personal, are designed to eliminate the need for manual and repetitive testing tasks.
-- MRV offers a set of physical layer tools that enable test automation of the physical layer and facilitate remote testing, while reducing cable-related test errors and allowing test equipment to be shared between multiple testers.
"TAA is a result of the ongoing dialogue Spirent and other alliance members had with lab managers and engineers who expressed concerns about diverse test systems and solutions that failed to interoperate effectively to address the complexity of testing emerging next generation technologies," says Neil Anderson, vice president of global services at Spirent Communications. "With support from Spirent's suite of test systems and managed services, test labs are now able to cost effectively advance automation to drive productivity in the testing process."