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DKRZ extended test phase

DKRZ is constantly introducing new systems and services for its users. As long as these are not fully tested, we can only offer them with limited possibilities for users in the so called "extended test phase".

What does extended test phase mean?

Whenever users ask for new software, tools, or services, DKRZ first implements a version on internal systems to test runtime behavior and check for potential side effects in the existing DKRZ software and hardware environment.

Although these are comprehensive tests, they never cover all use cases. Therefore, we often invite users to test a new service themselves in a second phase. This can still happen on local / internal test systems or already in the production environment.

If a tool / service is ready to be tested by all DKRZ users, we open the access in the so-called "extended test phase". This means that the service has passed all internal tests and should be offered for regular use. However, a larger number of users may experience problems or bugs that have never been seen before.

What are the impacts for users?

Because a new tool / service is not hardened for a broad user group, the service may not be available around the clock. Data can be lost if the system is not already embedded in a backup system. Runtime behavior may be different than expected because a new tool / service is often installed on shared hardware.

What happens next?

We ask all users to test the new tool / service and provide feedback. Not only should an error be reported, but also inconvenience when using the new tool / service.

We're trying to revise every new tool /service after a year of extended testing.
If there are no serious disadvantages or serious bugs reported, the new tool / service becomes a regular product choice. This means that the documentation clearly states what users can expect and how the DKRZ intends to pursue the topic.

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