Step 4 Develop a Test Plan

Now that you have prepared to create the prototype, the next step is to create the test plan that will be used on the prototype. The best tool available to a designer is a topology map of the prototype test network. This one diagram can be used to view the entire network and can be the single most important document of a prototype. On this diagram, you can include major configuration parameters such as network speeds, topology information, WAN line speeds, and descriptions of specific network devices, such as firewalls.

Figure 8-1 shows a topology map of a sample network design. Notice that only the marked region of this proposed design will be the subject of the actual prototype test.

A topology map of the test environment proves invaluable. The prototype topology map can include a list of simulation tools, Cisco hardware and software, and non-Cisco hardware and software you will need for the prototype. Some of the non-Cisco hardware you might want to make use of include cables, modems, null modems, WAN connections, Internet access, workstations, servers, design simulation tools, telephone equipment simulators, and so on.

While compiling a list of the resources you will need, it is important also to list and plan the tests that you will perform on the prototype network. The test plan should reflect the goals you decided upon when the design for the prototype was created: Remember that these goals were designed to meet the customer's needs.

Performing a demonstration for the client might be complicated and might require the involvement of multiple people to ensure its success. If you require help from coworkers or collaboration from the customer's staff, remember to request the help with ample time to coordinate your resources. To make sure that everyone understands what to do for the test, be sure to develop and review a script.

Figure 8-1 Design Topology Indicating the Prototype Area to Be Tested

External Router A

Figure 8-1 Design Topology Indicating the Prototype Area to Be Tested

IP Net: 11.11.11.0/24 External Segment

PIX s Firewall B

SMTP Gateway

PIX s Firewall B

Fail Over Connection

External Router B

External Router B

Fail Over Connection

Firewall B

RMON Probe

Table 8-3 shows a table included in a script that maps out the roles and responsibilities of the people involved in the presentation. By clearly defining this type of information, people are better prepared to contribute to the success of the presentation.

Table 8-3 Creating a Script

Table 8-3 shows a table included in a script that maps out the roles and responsibilities of the people involved in the presentation. By clearly defining this type of information, people are better prepared to contribute to the success of the presentation.

Table 8-3 Creating a Script

Role

Contributions to the Project and Script

Design Consultant

Review the design and define the customer's goals

Provide the network diagram

Review the benefits of the design

Project Manager

Develop a schedule

Map milestones

Develop an implementation plan

Provide contact information for the client

Account Manager

Handle customer contact

Compile competitive information

Network Engineers

Create detailed implementation plans

Draw up testing overviews

The script should be tested ahead of time either at the Cisco lab or the customer's lab. Preparation only reinforces the testing, which in turn shows your customer that your team is coordinated and professional and also may point out any unforeseen problems that must be resolved before you present the final product to the customer.

Finally, the test should highlight the strengths of the Cisco product and point out how the competitor's product would not prove as useful. Remember to review the test plan to avoid possible issues that would arise later during the demonstration.

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