The Technical Committee, created to monitor Microsoft's compliance with the terms of the antitrust settlement, needed an isolated, robust, responsive, and dynamic testing environment for their evaluation of network protocol documentation and development of server prototypes.
The testing environment had to be isolated from the production network, individual test beds needed to be isolated from each other while sharing the same physical network, and the system needed to support users who were physically remote from the site, and the sheer number of systems and applications that needed to be tested rivaled the number of systems Microsoft itself would test, and the TC didn’t have the hundreds of Windows test specialists that Microsoft had.
I used the VMWare Workstation product to create a private cloud of virtual servers and clients running both Windows and Linux, and created reusable "starter" virtual machines ahead of user requests. These virtual systems deployed much more quickly than the previous procedure of building each system from scratch, and the VMWare software allowed users to save system states at various stages of configuration and testing, which enabled quick reversions to prior states and easy repetition of tests. With six server and three client versions of Windows, as well as the various applications and Service Packs, the number of testable configurations enabled by the cloud reached into the hundreds. I also worked with our IT staff to configure the production network and test environments such that testers and developers could remotely access the test environments, but test execution would still be isolated from the production network.
As a result of my efforts, initial deployment of test systems went from requiring up to ten hours to needing only 30-40 minutes, and reconfiguration of existing systems to a "clean" state was reduced from ten hours to approximately ten minutes; depending on the specific test, this represented a reduction in installation and configuration time from 80-90% of each test scenario to 5-10%, saving each developer and tester 200-500 hundreds of hours every year and enabling a commensurate increase in productivity. Hundreds of different client-server-application environments were tested with comparative ease. Additionally, all functionality of the test network was available to all users, no matter their physical location.
This experience shows my ability to solve technical problems, manage technology, and think strategically.