Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud

Containers Expo Blog: Article

How Service Virtualization Helped Comcast Release Tested Software Faster

Service virtualization has allowed us to get great utilization from our testing staff and complete more projects on time

Frank Jennings Comcast Service Virtualization

"Service virtualization has allowed us to get great utilization from our testing staff, complete more projects on time, and also save money by lowering the overall total cost of performing those tests for a given release."

Frank Jennings, TQM Performance Director at Comcast, shares his service virtualization experiences with Parasoft in this Q & A...

Why did Comcast explore service virtualization?

There were two primary issues that led Comcast to explore service virtualization. First, we wanted to increase the accuracy and consistency of performance test results. Second, we were constantly working around frequent and lengthy downtimes in the staged test environments.

My team executes performance testing across a number of verticals in the company-from business services, to our enterprise services platform, to customer-facing UIs, to the backend systems that perform the provisioning and activation of devices for subscribers on the Comcast network. While our testing targets (AUTs) typically have staged environments that accurately represent the performance of the production systems, the staging systems for the AUT's dependencies do not.

Complicating the matter further was the fact that these environments were difficult to access. When we did gain access, we would sometimes impact the lower environments (the QA or integration test environments) because they weren't adequately scaled and could not handle the load. Even when the systems could withstand the load, we received very poor response times from these systems. This meant that our performance test results were not truly predictive of real world performance.

Another issue was that we had to work around frequent and lengthy downtimes in the staging environments. The staging environment was not available during the frequent upgrades or software updates. As a result, we couldn't run our full performance tests. Performance testing teams had to switch off key projects at critical time periods in order to keep busy- they knew they wouldn't be able to work on their primary responsibility because the systems they needed to access just weren't available.

How did this impact the business?

These challenges were driving up costs, reducing the team's efficiency, and impacting the reliability and predictability of our performance testing. Ultimately, we found that the time and cost of implementing service virtualization was far less than the time and cost associated with implementing all the various systems across all those staging environments-or building up the connectivity between the different staging environments.

Did you consider expanding service virtualization beyond performance testing?

Yes, the functional testing teams sometimes experience the same issues with dependent systems being unavailable and impeding their test efforts. They're starting to use service virtualization so that they can continue testing rather than get stuck waiting for systems to come back up.

We're currently in the process of expanding service virtualization to the functional testing of our most business-critical applications. We're deploying service virtualization not only to capture live traffic for those applications, but also to enable functional testers to quickly select and provision test environments. In addition to providing the team the appropriate technologies and training, we're taking time to reassure them that their test results won't be impacted by using virtual assets rather than live services.

In your opinion, what is the key benefit of service virtualization?

The key benefit of service virtualization is the increased uptime and availability of test environments. Service virtualization has allowed us to get great utilization from our testing staff, complete more projects on time, and also save money by lowering the overall total cost of performing those tests for a given release.

If you could start all over again with service virtualzation, what would you do differently?

I think things would have run more smoothly if we had a champion in place across all teams at the beginning to marshal the appropriate resources. The ideal rollout would involve centralizing the management and implementation of the virtual assets, implementing standards right off the bat, and using the lessons learned in each group to make improvements across all teams.

Any other tips for organizations just starting off with service virtualization?

Make sure that your virtual assets can be easily reused across different environments (development, performance, system integration test, etc.). It's really helpful to be able to capture data in one in environment then use it across your other environments. Obtaining data for realistic responses can be challenging, so you don't want to constantly reinvent the wheel.

Also, don't underestimate the amount of education that's needed to get the necessary level of buy-in. For each team or project where we introduced service virtualization, we needed to spend a fair amount of time educating the project teams and business owners about what service virtualization is, what business risks are associated with using it for testing, and how the system proactively mitigates those risks. People are understandably nervous when they hear that you're removing live elements from the testing environment, so some education is needed to put everyone at ease.

Service Virtualization: Real Results Webinar
Want to learn more about service virtualization at Comcast, including how it saved them about $500,000 and helped them reduce downtime by 60%?

Watch the on-demand webinar Service Virtualization: Accelerating the SDLC with Simulated Test Environments.

New Research Package from Gartner and Parasoft: Accelerating the SDLC with Service Virtualization

gartner service virtualizationThe new Service Virtualization research package from Gartner and Parasoft provides more details about how service virtualization helps organizations accelerate the SDLC. Download it to learn:

  • Why service virtualization is a "must-have" for accelerating the SDLC.

  • How service virtualization helps organizations release thoroughly-tested software faster-and at a lower total overall cost.

  • Recommendations for organizations getting started with service virtualization.

  • Strategies for streamlining the release management process beyond service virtualization.

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Content Strategist/Writer at Tricentis, writes about software testing and the SDLC—specializing in continuous testing, functional/API testing, DevOps, Agile, and service virtualization. She has written articles for publications including SD Times, Stickyminds, InfoQ, ComputerWorld, IEEE Computer, and Dr. Dobb's Journal. She also co-authored and ghostwritten several books on software development and testing for Wiley and Wiley-IEEE Press. Dunlop holds a BA from UCLA and an MA from Washington State University.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...