Welcome to System p Platform Test. We'd like to explain to you exactly what we mean by "Platform Test" and how it is implemented.

Platform test defined

The concept of platform test is an integration, or "stack" test, comprised of components a customer would use to build an AIX end-to-end application solution. These components are:

  1. System p hardware
  2. IBM storage hardware and SAN
  3. AIX
  4. relevant middleware and software products

In an end-to-end System p AIX environment with SAN attached storage — all the various elements and pieces — not just of a particular component — must work together. Due to the fact that nobody runs just an operating system, or a server, we have to make sure it works with a multitude of other products and functions. These components also have to be implemented and operated as a customer would, with a focus on their interactions. At IBM, product testing is and always has been extensive but a customer test is not a replacement for other IBM test efforts. We still perform what we think of as three classical test phases:

These test phases mainly focus on an individual product or function, or on a subset thereof.

To further enhance quality, we built on the foundation provided by unit, function, and system test by adding an additional test effort — System p platform test. With this, there's greater emphasis on the customer experience, cross-product dependencies, and sensitivity to end users.

System p platform test — a customer approach

Our objective is to implement an end-to-end solution of IBM System p, Storage, SAN, and appropriate software components, in a manner that customers, might use it. That means doing much more than just ensuring that products work together — it means understanding what it takes to introduce, implement, and effectively use new products and functions in a full production environment while thousands of end users are expecting constant availability. In other words, we want to experience for ourselves the challenge of integrating various solutions into a business environment. And we want to experience it first, so we can hopefully save you some pain! We document the results of our testing (including any pain we've experienced and how you can avoid that pain) in our test reports. These provide examples that span multiple products that have been run in our production-like environment. Does all of this mean you will never again find a bug? Well, nothing would make us happier! But that's a claim we cannot possibly make — we don't believe any software test organization could truthfully make such a claim about their product. The claim we can make is this: we endeavor to provide you with the most stable system platform we can.

Our test workloads

System p platform test has organized its test environment and operations to be as customer-like as possible. Our team is organized in a way that many IT shops are, and our team members take on the roles of system programmers, operators, database administrators, and so on. We focus on providing availability of applications to end users, and we pay attention to performance objectives and changes in performance as elements of the test environment are changed. We look at the recovery aspects and behavior of our systems from an end user's perspective. Our goal, like yours, is to have our workloads up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24 x 7). We have workloads that exercise the clustering, networking, SAN, storage, and application enablement characteristics of our configuration.

Learn more about our workloads and configurations here.

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