Virtual PC in a compatibility and configuration environment

Discussion in 'Virtual PC' started by daddio, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. daddio

    daddio Guest

    I currently manage a QA lab with 45 PCs and Macs, 300 plus Ghost images,
    specifically for compatibility and configuration (CC) testing against our
    company's software. Does anyone have any experience with software testing in
    a CC environment with Virtual PC? It's hard to imagine doing full-blown CC
    sanity checks with Virtual PC. Virtual Server?

    Thanks in Advance...
    daddio, Nov 9, 2005
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  2. FWIW, we have several large customers who have virtualized most of their
    QA efforts consolidating many boxes and centralizing them onto a set of
    powerful hosts using Virtual Server and other virtualization platfoms.

    The trick is to virtualized all your Ghost images into VHD base images,
    reduce variations with differencing disks and orchestrate the deployment
    of these configurations using your existing test automation and
    collecting the results.

    Wow, this sounds like one of those fuzzy IBM commercials, but it's true.

    Sorry, I can't help you for your Macs. I'm writing this on a Powerbook,
    and the only virtualization software I'm aware of the open source
    Mac-on-Mac effort. MonM is more like a Virtual PC on x86 product than
    Virtual Server. Some virtualization benefits are possible but is much
    more of a DIY effort.

    Disclaimer: I work for a company that sells a virtual QA management
    solution, but I'm also a long time developer and contributor to this and
    many virtualization forums.
    Richard Cardona, Nov 9, 2005
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  3. daddio

    daddio Guest

    Thanks, Richard - I'm still trying to visualize/conceptualize my Lab
    customers using this in a configuration environment. For example, a user
    will currently Ghost an image on, say, a P4 Clone from a menu selection of 4
    choices (98, ME, 2K, XPH). This takes between 2-10 minutes to deploy the
    image. He/she will then run test plans or automation scripts on that
    OS/configuration. And the user will typically occupy a couple of machines in
    the Lab, side by side, for ease of testing.

    What I guess I'd like to see is those four images loaded simultaneously via
    Virtual PC and Ghost, so that the customer can jump between OS's on one PC.
    I'll need to experiment with Ghost within VPC to see how that works. When I
    mentioned sanity checks, the tester/developer would probably want to verify a
    bug in a "real" environment, too. Hate to see bugs get out in the field if a
    test passes on VPC, and fails in a real-world environment.

    Since we have a terabyte and half of storage for Ghost images and we're
    running on a GB network, I'm not sure of the benefit of VHD.

    Again, this is pretty new to me, so the fuzzy IBM commercial analogy is
    about right.

    Thanks again.

    daddio, Nov 9, 2005
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