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Performance, Scale and Conformance Testing: A Brief History

When we started Valid8.com 14 years ago, the network and telecommunications landscape was very different. Back then, the primary method of communication, including web browsing, was via analog copper wires to the home. Users called to service providers via modems and hoped they connected at 56k. Mobile phones were still “cell phones” and the primary use was voice. Only a small percentage of users were experimenting with emails on their phones. The network operators drove the bulk of their profits from voice services with conformance testing highly standardized based on the market or geography. Testing was predicable and built into processes. Equipment vendors were expected to run the same tests in order to have access to that carrier market.

With the advent of technologies like the iPhone, the landscape changed dramatically. Today the market is more about data than voice, with voice communication via network (VoIP and VoLTE) commonplace. More companies have entered the space and created new innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and WebRTC. Traditional technologies, like voice and fax, are still prevalent, and need to be considered as part of a comprehensive test plan. This paradigm shift means that testing methodologies that worked in the past are not necessarily a fit with the new applications. Since testing tools have not kept up with these changes, companies are often forced to do less testing; sometimes just a minimum viable product test, creating more risk.

Initially acting as value-added re-seller, we saw first hand the shift in requirements. These new companies and innovations needed a different approach to their testing. The environment was no longer one size fits all, and companies were budget conscious with regard to testing. Some of the available testing products were Windows-based and not purpose built for load testing, limiting their performance capabilities and breadth of features. Other options, such as taking an open source tool, adapting it, and applying it to the current application would work in the initially, but could not adapt to changing needs.

Realizing that companies needed a testing toolkit that was efficient, cost effective, and flexible, Valid8.com developed our own fully-featured solution for active testing of applications. The solutions are in use by many Fortune 500 companies world-wide. Our desire and driving force is to deliver tools to lessen the burden on engineers tasked with the testing of these technologies and enable them to test features that previously could not be tested. As such, we have focused on specific technical aspects, including:

  • Scalable WebRTC testing
  • IoT device simulation and gateway testing
  • Virtualization of testing for SDN and NFV
  • LTE 4G & 5G ready
  • Integrating with Fax/TDM/SS7 legacy systems
  • Feature, performance and conformance testing
  • Flexible, comprehensive training tools in new technologies for education institutions and network operators

With almost 3.5 billion internet users globally, access to the internet commonplace throughout the world, and new applications being deployed almost daily, automated testing that is nimble enough to handle unique requirements while also cost effective is paramount. Valid8.com has been able to both help companies through our flexible solutions, and ensure the communities they serve have reliable access to critical applications.

As the dependence on mobile technology grows, and technology companies rush to innovate and expand, quality and reliability will continue to be important in both development and deployment, making testing a integral component of any business’ strategy. Automated testing technologies, like Valid8.com, provide a critical component to the process.

ian carpenter

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