Validation of Computer and Network Equipment Test System

Dr.mr555

Starting to get Involved
#1
I am a Quality Manager for a company that imbeds COTS computers, routers, and switches into our products along with designing our own interface CCAs, cables, and enclosures.

Our System Engineers have developed testing methods and scripts that employ the use of other network equipment to stress test our products while gauging data throughput and processor usage percentages while assuring operation is within acceptable temperature limits.

My concern is with validating the test system that?s been created. I would think that COTS components with onboard sensors reporting temperature and processor usage cannot be validated independently because the unit is built, tested, shipped.

I would think other, more permanent equipment, such as routers and switches used to evaluate performance could be calibrated, although I?m not certain of this. I?ll take for granted that the test environment temperature sensor can be verified to a traceable standard.
I have some limited computer hardware experience but have nowhere near the level of expertise that our System Engineers have. Please help guide me through this. Thanks!
 
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yodon

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
I don't see calibrating networking equipment. There's setup and maybe some tuning (e.g., for load balancing) but I wouldn't consider that calibration. The only "measurements" are what you indicated but that's all software-driven so no calibration.
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Generally the network equipment, whether COTS or specific development, can be verified. The verification can verify the individual items and also the system as a whole.

As for the temperature sensor, yes it can and should be calibrated. The sensor may be calibrated independently and then married up in the system. If the sensor cannot be calibrated separately, then it must be calibrated in situ. To assure that you get traceable calibration, you should employ an accredited cal lab with temperature in the scope.

Hope this helps.
 

Dr.mr555

Starting to get Involved
#4
"Generally the network equipment, whether COTS or specific development, can be verified."

Is there a piece of equipment or test kit that can be used to verify data transfer rates other than software tools?

Thanks!
 

Hershal

Metrologist-Auditor
Trusted Information Resource
#5
Yes, the network analyzer does that. I have not used one in quite awhile, but did use them in the past to verify the function of ATE.
 
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