Verifying a new hardware or software design can be a slow and painful process. Initial testing is often done manually on an engineer's bench.
Time and cost constraints make detecting problems before release a critical challenge. The complexity of modern storage systems make it impractical to perform sufficient testing using traditional methods, yet the costs of missing a fault at the development stage can grow exponentially.
Early in the product lifecycle, hardware is often in short supply, thorough testing is essential and yet resource constraints make it difficult to fully utilize what is available. Bugged hardware testing often requires physical modification of hardware. this is a slow process and is likely to damage some of the limited hardware that is available.
- Time is critical
- Hot-Swap functionality is impossible to test thoroughly with traditional methods
- Complex enclosures are difficult and slow to test manually
- Manual Test is not an efficient use of a developers time
- Test Hardware may be limited
The Quarch Solution
The Torridon Test System enables automated removal and insertion of hot-swappable devices. A Drive, Canister/IO Module or Power Supply may be inserted into a system in a fully programmable and 100% repeatable manner.
Low-level testing is also possible by connecting and breaking individual signals to the device under test. This allows a wide range of faults to be simulated.
R&D Engineers can focus on developing products instead of manual testing.
Example: Hot-Plug Hardware Test
The simple bench test system shown above allows the full hot-plug performance of a drive to be determined.
The Torridon drive control module can simulate any hot-plug timing. Using a set of extreme timing scenarios, you can test the boundary conditions, where the system will fail. From these results it is possible to see if field failures are likely.
Any future hardware or software revision can be tested against exactly the same timing scenarios. This will ensure that the changes have not degraded the performance of the system.
Fault scenarios can also be tested. For example, powering up a drive with the 5 volt power disconnected to simulate a broken pin.
Example: System Test
A qualification system can be setup so that each drive can be connected / disconnected from the host. This allows drive failover and hot-swap performance to be established.
Multiple drives can be inserted or pulled at exactly the same time. The tests can be fully automated, allowing the system to run overnight without manual intervention.
The above example shows a 12 drive SAS enclosure under test.
Products To Consider
Development Test Systems
Torridon Interface Cards are ideal for small test systems where a small number of control modules are in use. The Array Controller is suited for larger systems where multiple drives or SBB canisters are tested at the same time.
During the design phase, the performance of the system and its likely failure points will have been discovered. The test scripts that were used in development can now form the basis of later testing of the system. Timing scripts that were developed to test single drives can be easily expanded to test every drive in an enclosure.
This reuse both saves time and ensures a consistency of testing throughout the product life cycle. Examples of how the Torridon System can help during the test phase of the life cycle can also be found here.