[Lustre-devel] your opinion about testing improvements (was Lustre-devel Digest, Vol 72, Issue 17)

Nathan Rutman Nathan_Rutman at xyratex.com
Wed Apr 11 16:00:40 PDT 2012

On the 4/5 TWG concall we discussed this further, and came up with 5 items that we would
like to address.

   Xyratex started by suggesting that the test suite included with every
   Lustre release needed reworking.  This led to a group conversation
   that focused on the following areas:
   1) refactor unused tests
      Test scripts have grown unwieldly and do not form a coherent
      test package.  As a result, there are some tests that are
      used regularly and others that ineffective and skipped.  We
      should remove the unused tests.
   2) create single test suite
      Each release has its own test suite and assumes that the client
      and server will use the same test version.  It is becoming common
      today to have different client/server versions.  In this case, it
      is unclear which tests from which release package should be used.
      Instead, we should have a single test suite that accommodates
      different combinations of client and server versions.  
   3) extract individual tests from the scripts
      Many of the tests are run as a suite.  There needs to be some
      mechanism to allow running components of the suite independently.
      To do this, we will need to make clear the dependencies of the
      subtests so that users know a test can be run only after another
      component of the test has executed.  Also mentioned was the need
      for a common header on all test results to facilitate
   4) client failure shouldn't stop the tests
      The goal is never to have test failures, nonethelees failures
      currently can stall test progress.  The suites need to be written
      to allow for client failures.  
   5) increase code coverage
      There are new tests that we should consider adding to the Lustre
      suite in order to increase code coverage. Suggestions were xfstest
      and some of the MPI tests. 

Obviously this is not as bold as Chris' statement, which, by the way, I am happy to entertain as well.  Do others have anything to add to the list above, or thoughts on proceeding with a completely new architecture?

On Apr 8, 2012, at 5:04 PM, Chris Gearing wrote:

	Hi Nathan,

	Please excuse the lack of included context but I think it's fair to say that the current test-framework and scripts are at the end of their evolutionary life and that whilst they will be required to fulfil a role in test for the foreseeable future what is required is a vastly more capable and scalable approach to testing Lustre in particular and massively parallel exascale file systems in general.



On Apr 3, 2012, at 7:21 AM, Chris Gearing wrote:

	On 03/04/2012 07:07, Roman Grigoryev wrote:

		Hi Chris,

		Thank you for answer ( I have cut part of my original message):

			When we run interop tests the test system runs test scripts belonging to

			the server version against those belonging to the client version. So we

			might use 1.8.7 client scripts against 2.2 server scripts. These scripts

			need to inter-operate in exactly the same way that the Lustre source

			code itself needs to interoperate.

		Yes, it is. But I don't see why we should use old test base for

		interoperability testing? Between 1.8.7 and 2.x tests was fixed and also

		as test framework was changed. For getting same test coverage for old

		features we should backport new fixes in test to old (maybe already

		frozen) code.

		Also, as results, we have different tests sets for compatibility

		testing. For 1.8.7 it will one, for 2.1 - other. Only a part of

		differences shows difference between code base for one feature set.

		(F.e. we see on special 1.8.7 branch failures which already fixed in 2.x


	We don't have a single script because the tests are at times very 
	tightly coupled to the Lustre version. There were a lot of changes 
	between 1.8.x and 2.x and a lot of corresponding changes to the test 
	scripts. Where the tests are the same and bugs were found in the 2.x 
	test scripts these should have been backported to the 1.8.x test scripts 
	if this was not done then we should do it for inclusion into the 1.8.8 
	The notion of making 'master' scripts work with with all versions is 
	obviously possible but it is a very significant task and given that the 
	scripts themselves are written in a language (sic) that does not provide 
	structure a single script strategy is likely to create many more 
	'interoperability issues' than it fixes.
	Also it's worth considering that we have best part of a 1000 discrete 
	changes, whenever a test is re-engineered the test itself must be proven 
	to detect failure as well as success. i.e. If someone produced a version 
	independent test set that passed all versions we would not know that the 
	process was a success, we would need to check that each re-engineered 
	test 'failed' appropriately for each Lustre version, this is a big task 
	that I doubt can be properly achieved in bash.
	So in summary the best solution given what we have today is to back port 
	fixes to the test scripts as we back port fixes to the code. This is an 
	investment in time and requires the same discipline to test as we have 
	for coding. A single set of scripts that caters for all versions appears 
	I believe like an easy solution but actually would require huge 
	investment that would be better spent developing a modern test framework 
	and infrastructure that can support Lustre for the next ten years.

				Problem 2

				(to avoid term problems, I call there: sanity = test suite, 130 = test,

				130c and 130a = test cases)


				Answer of this question affect automated test execution and test

				development, and maybe ask some test-framework changes.

			I think you highlight a very good point here that we don't really know

			enough about the test contents, their prerequisites or other

			dependencies. I would suggest that many attempts have been made over the

			years to use naming conventions, numeric ordering or other similar

			mechanisms to track such behaviour.


			One reasonable proposal is to add a comment block at the start of each

			test script and subtest within that script that lists the test name,

			short and long description that includes what the test is supposed to be

			doing, what bug (if any) it was originally added for, what part of the

			code it is intended to cover, prerequisites (filesystem initialization,

			min/max number of clients, OSTs, MDTs it can test with, etc) in a

			machine readable format that it not only documents the test today but

			that can be expanded in the future.

		I agree, it is very important to separating meta information and test body.

		Internally in Xyratex, we use external scripts and descriptors which

		somehow add same possibility(per-test timeouts, keywords...).

			Once we have an agreement on an initial format for this comment block,

			the development community can work to populate it for each subtest and

			improve the understanding and usefulness of all existing tests.

		I absolutely agree that we need agreement to start any work on test

		improvements. How can we initiate this process? Maybe good first step is

		creating glossary to use and terms and based on these terms fix tests?

		Also, what do you think about a possible simple solutions for decreasing

		dependence problem which is currently pretty painful for us:

		1) test(test scenario) must have only number name (1,2,3..110...999)

		2) test cases (test step) must have number+char index (1f,2,b...99c)

		Only Test can be executed via ONLY.

		Test cases can be execute only as part of test.

	I don't think there is a problem with this simple solution in that it 
	does no harm as long as you applied any changes to all the branches that 
	are applicable. At the same time I will draft a possible meta data 
	format that includes the extensible metadata within the source in a way 
	that maximizes its value both today and in the future, we can then 
	review, revise and then agree that format on Lustre-Devel, although I'll 
	mail you privately so you can have input before that. It may actually be 
	the case that some work has occurred on this topic previously and if so 
	we can leverage that.
	Chris Gearing
	Sr. Software Engineer
	Quality Engineering
	Whamcloud Inc
	Lustre-devel mailing list
	Lustre-devel at lists.lustre.org

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