G&D test environment: comprehensive tests for high-quality KVM devices

G&D test environment: comprehensive tests for high-quality KVM devices

For years we’ve been equipping customers in critical environments with our KVM products. Depending on the application, the installations range from simple KVM switches to complex, fully redundant matrix systems. But even though we’ve developed each function of these systems with great care, extensive testing is essential for us at G&D. In order to meet the high demands that both customers and we ourselves place on our products, we work with a test environment especially designed for testing new products and firmware versions.

Comprehensive tests to fulfil the high demands posed on our equipment

Silver DL-Vision KVM extenders stacked on top of each other, connected with cables

Ever since we started developing KVM equipment, we’ve always made sure that our devices have been thoroughly tested before their release. But during the development of the KVM extender DL-Vision, we pursued the idea of a large test environment for the first time. Thus, we’ve already set up a DL-Vision test environment including around 100 devices at our old company headquarters in Wilnsdorf, Germany. Soon we all realized that we wanted this kind of testing to become elementary for every release. This enabled us, for example, to run tests in large systems and initial automated tests, which then left us with some time for additional manual tests.

Therefore, moving to a new, larger headquarter came in quite handy for us. Here, we finally had enough space for an additional server room. This room now is the home of various racks containing all kinds of products working together in similar applications as used by our customers.

Test environment with ever-changing installations

Part of G&D test environment: four racks fully equipped with devices to test our matrix equipmentBut the test environment is by no means a static installation. It changes, grows, and we try to optimise it with every new release. After development, a first prototype of a feature or function goes right to the test environment.  Here we carry out automatic tests, monitored by employees who know our equipment inside and out. But we also still rely on manual testing. After all, we have to check spontaneous ideas and processes as well.

But let’s take a closer look at one particular part of our testing environment.  In the picture, you can see four racks packed with equipment to test matrix devices. This is where we install new hardware that we then test with new firmware. In order to keep our promise of offering a compatible KVM portfolio, in addition to current hardware such as ControlCenter-Digital 288 and ControlCenter-Compact, the racks also holds many variants of our end devices. For example, we integrated the DVI-I-CPU-UC-Fiber computer module into this setup already about a year ago. After we had subjected the module to an automated basic test, we already knew that our update process worked without any problems. In addition to various resolution tests we could test the new CPU module directly in a KVM-MatrixGrid.

Additional test space for large IP systems

Setup of an IP matrix test. Many small devices connected by cable to an IP matrix.With our new IP matrix ControlCenter-IP, our devices need to be able to support even larger systems than before. The size of an IP matrix can be measured by the number of active end devices. That’s why we added a generous test space for all IP products to the test environment. Since these devices use standard encryption, testing them in a large network is particularly interesting. Here, we can check if the key exchange for encryption is executed correctly. This way, we were able to optimize the time it takes to switch between channels. Now users won’t even notice a difference between using dedicated KVM transmission or transmission over IP.

Bianca Schmidt

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