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Cluster Building Process, Phase 3: Testing

This phase of the cluster building process requires the individual components of the cluster to work together as if they were a single computer system.

These three steps take the cluster from a group of individual pieces flying in close formation, to a functional system meeting the customer's requirements, and finally to full release for production use (see Figure 4):

  1. Operational testing
  2. Acceptance testing
  3. Hand-over to full production
Figure 4

Figure 4 Cluster building process, phase 3: testing.

Depending on the target application and user environment for your cluster, the testing phase may range from relatively easy to extremely difficult. The general-purpose cluster, which is expected to support multiple users running multiple job types simultaneously, is at the high end of the difficulty scale, while an application-specific cluster running only a single application is at the low end of the scale.

Often, a formal set of tests and objectives will be associated with the customer's final acceptance of the cluster. A test plan should address each of the acceptance criteria received from the customer. Testing will invariably wring out things that were overlooked in the cluster design—be prepared.

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