A TcL Script Solution for Automated Repetitive Power Reboot Regression Testing

Ironically, the biggest problem with repetitive reboot testing is that it is extremely repetitive. Although repetitive reboot testing can yield valuable data during product development, it’s generally a long, drawn-out procedure that can lasts for days or weeks. Obviously, it’s somewhat impractical to assign several employees to constantly oversee the repetitive reboot testing through completion, so many test labs rely on an automated solution to make regular reboot cycles are initiated without interruption for the duration of the test. One popular solution employed in many test labs is to automate repetitive power reboot regression testing using TcL (also known as “Tickle”) script.

Not surprisingly, the most critical element in a TcL script driven repetitive reboot test application is a switched PDU that will respond to TcL script commands. In this type of application, TcL script is sent to the switched PDU in order to automatically initiate each reboot cycle. Typically, the device being tested draws power from the switched PDU, which receives TcL commands via network or console port. In order to capture any error messages or status reports that are generated by each reboot cycle, the test device is also connected to a data recording device. When a TcL script command is sent to the switched PDU, the PDU automatically switches power to the test device Off and the On again, while the data recording device stands by to collect any relevant data that results from the reboot cycle.

In addition to providing a means to initiate reboot cycles in response to TcL script commands, an advanced Switched PDU product may also provide other capabilities that help to oversee the test process and improve the quality of test results. For example, if the Switched PDU includes monitoring and alarm capabilities, this allows the PDU to automatically notify test administrators when excessive high temperatures, unresponsive test devices, power supply issues and other relevant conditions and events are detected.

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