Jan 12, 2023 Industrial

Full System Simulator: How DevSecOps Professionals Are Saving up to 90% of Their Testing Time

By James Hui

james-hui

DevSecOps professionals of today have certain challenges that no others have faced in the history of their respective fields. But what if an effective full system simulator could reduce testing time and improve efficiency by up to 90 percent?

In this era of programming and computing, software developers and engineers need to consider various techstack combinations, differing processor architectures, multiple end-user devices, and of course, many layers of network security if they want their organizations to stay competitive.

It’s never been more critical to ensure your DevSecOps teams are nimble—working smarter, not harder—when it comes to testing and iterating their software designs. And for many organizations, one of the most common bottlenecks to growth and scalability is the need to test software designs on hardware.

Why hardware-based testing won’t cut it anymore

While hardware-based testing has been the standard for decades, it has several limitations for today’s landscape. For starters, hardware-based testing requires that the most up-to-date hardware be available and that the prototype supports different devices and operating systems. Moving beyond this more elementary concept, we also must acknowledge the limitations hardware presents when a developer needs to investigate an error state or run regression tests. Lastly—though not to be minimized—to scale and be successful in today’s environment, your DevSecOps teams need to better collaborate in order to maximize efficiency and innovation.

That’s where a cloud-based simulation platform comes in.

Wind River Simics is a full system simulator that can create a digital twin “from chip to system.” Our simulation platform allows organizations to accelerate DevOps teams to maximize efficiency, saving, on average, 80 to 90 percent of their QA time.

In the coming years, every organization is going to need to opt for a full system simulator if they want to stay competitive. Many understand the importance of a cybersecurity attack simulator, for example, but minimize the importance of a full system simulator for complex systems.

What is cloud-based simulation software, and how does it work?

Simulation, like what we do with Simics here at Wind River, offers the opportunity to create your hardware’s digital twin: a simulated virtual environment where your software developers can test, troubleshoot, or record single or simultaneous software tests.

60 to 80 percent of tests can be migrated from hardware-based to simulator-based behavioral testing. Then, we can correlate the testing to perform coverage analysis, which means that we now are reducing our dependencies of hardware testing.

By using simulation technology, developers can test, iterate and automate software tests, launching advanced and complex software with an intelligent edge faster than ever before. Virtual systems can also be replicated and tested much more often—from anywhere—without the penalty of having to use bespoke hardware, making collaboration easier.

Ultimately, this means building a much more robust software that stands the test of time, makes testing more efficient, and automates future tests.

Why determinism matters in simulations

Simulation with determinism is the great feat of achieving the same results once we’ve replayed and recorded something several times, creating a baseline. This means difficult testing environments and situations can be simulated to test software, as we intentionally try to trick or—in a controlled way—break the software, exercising parts of its code.

This simulation helps DevSecOps professionals adopt a streamlined approach to a given challenge, which helps them evolve their software over time.

We know that building software is important,” Hui said, “but what is much more important is testing the software so that the software that we build can stand the test of time and make testing more efficient.

4 reasons to use cloud-based simulation software

Cloud-based simulation does so much more than just streamline testing and QA processes of complex systems and software design. Here are four additional ways your team will benefit when it moves to a simulated testing environment:

  1. Scalability: Cloud technology enables simulation to be scaled. For instance, by leveraging this technology instead of just simulating one board or one CPU, the complete base station can be simulated.
  2. Developer Collaboration: Software is teamwork. Using the simulation as the medium for testing makes global collaboration easier because there are fewer discrepancies between various pieces of hardware. It helps people come together and look at one single source of truth so that they can improve the software together.
  3. Reduced Development Time: By enabling teams to collaborate globally, the time it takes to design and test software as well as reduce errors is dramatically lowered. In fact, Wind River customers report that they're saving 80 to 90 percent of their time after adopting simulation into their workflows.
  4. Increased Efficiency with Simics: A full system simulator can be used by software engineers to simulate the hardware of complex electronic systems. It helps teams collaborate to get work done quickly on their evergreen platform.

How to get started with simulation for your software development team

By using a full system simulator for testing, you're ensuring faster, more effective results that will make your DevSecOps teams fly through hours of testing in a matter of minutes. With Simics, developing software for complex systems is easier and faster, plus it comes with smart security and built-in safety functions. This simulation technology not only helps speed up these processes but also cuts costs and provides performance metrics that enable us to operate more efficiently day after day.

Ready to learn more about how our full-system simulation platform can help your business? Contact us or check out our webinar, Tips for Using Simulation Technology to Launch a Robotic System Program.

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