STB Suite

July 2004

Ask Dr. SCSI The real Dr. SCSI– “What does ‘Manufacturing’ mean?”

Q. “What does ‘Manufacturing’ mean?”

A.When we refer to our Manufacturing Modules or products, we are talking about test products designed to simultaneously test and configure many drives at a time, across many host bus adapters. All of our manufacturing products are multi-threaded, meaning that each device being tested has its own test thread. This accomplishes several things:

  • Each device can proceed through the test sequence as fast as it is able to. This means that faster devices will not be slowed down by slower devices.Since each device is being tested “independently” each individual drive under test can be paused, restarted, and stopped without affecting any other device under test.
  • Each test thread will create an independent log file and database entry for each device.



A Custom Manufacturing example

What if our Disk or Tape Manufacturing module isn’t perfect for your needs? Here is a recent example from a customer who needed to integrate a custom Fibre Channel test into an existing test process. The FC test needed to accept the addresses of the devices to test via command line arguments, and needed to allow the test sequences to be specified via a simple text file. None of our “standard” products did this – But – our standard Developers Toolbox (DTB) does!

Before we tell you how long it took to write this custom test solution, let’s list a few things that it needed to do:

  1. Run simultaneous threaded tests to each drive specified on the command line
  2. Be able to run a sequence of up to 100 tests on each drive for each test run
  3. The tests must be specified in a text file
  4. Tests specifications must include Sequential Access, Random Access, Write, Read, Write/Read, data compare on reads, data pattern, test by number of blocks, or test by time.
  5. An overall test log file must be produced showing if any of the specified drives failed any test
  6. An individual test log must be produced for each drive, showing all test parameters and results.

Sounds pretty bad – sounds like an expensive custom job, doesn’t it?

Not really! Using our Developers Toolbox (DTB) we were able to get the specs from the customer on Friday afternoon, and we emailed the project to them the next Wednesday! The customer preferred C++, so that’s what it is written in. But it could have just as easily been written in Visual Basic. And if Windows wasn’t the target platform, we could have used GC++ and delivered the project to run under Linux. That’s how easy it is to write custom applications using Developers Toolbox (DTB). If you’d like a copy of the VC++ project to see for yourself – just Contact Support and ask us to send it over to you – you’ll be amazed at the power available, and the ease of implementation.


Announce Linux DTB

Our Linux version of Developers Toolbox (DTB) is in it’s final test stage and will be shipping in the next Performa release!



Did you know…

…that Variable block transfers are now available in our disk and tape manufacturing modules?



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