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What hardware do you use for testing?

BScott
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

As I'm testing here at home, a few people have very nicely sent me notes about what they're seeing on their Windows machines. And I realized that I have about 5 different Macs and several iPhones but no working Windows at all (our old HP laptop will barely handle the web any longer). It's time to request a machine for testing.

My stuff is mostly browser-based, so I can get by with something pretty basic, but I do need more than just one platform unless I want to rely on pinging my colleagues to check things for me. Pretty sure @BenGarrison would get sick of that real quick.

What do you consider essential for testing in your job? Does working from home make that more difficult for you? (I have limited space for extra setups, let's be honest.)

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11 REPLIES 11

steven
Rising Star II

We don't actually keep a lot of hardware on hand for testing, we have a few iPads and iPhones for the very few iOS apps we develop (and are actively working on sun-setting). We use https://www.browserstack.com/ for all of our testing! It's not really expensive, and it works well. Does JumpCloud use anything like that, or are you all hardware testing?

BScott
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

I can't speak for the product team, but an emulator would probably work for what I'm doing. My experience in the past at other companies, though, emulators aren't as great for hardware testing. The teams I worked with at Cisco had lots of different equipment scattered around their cubes for troubleshooting. 

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steven
Rising Star II

Yeah, I do agree hardware testing is better. Especially if you're testing load times for sites that require you to be on a VPN. BrowserStack has a feature where you can route their website through your network for sites that are behind a firewall... but the load times are a pain because it's routing networking through 3 different sites.

thomasmartin
Novitiate I

I usually pull the first box off the palette of new hardware to do testing. I use a mac vm whenever possible but for DEP configurations it's not always the best.

Yeah, there are times when a vm just won't quite cut it.

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dagryph
Novitiate III

I have an m1pro macbook for most of my daily work, but I use Parallels which allows me to stand up a win11 or macOS VM for testing (non-DEP testing). Then add the profile/agent for mac/win testing. Each new macbook gets added to Apple Business Manager, so each time it's a test of the zero/lite touch experience and further refinement of policies and profiles. Older systems that get replaced, then become test systems either for me or our test team. This is in addition to my x64 VMware home lab (because working from home is still a thing!)

BScott
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

I've worked from home in one form or another since my oldest was small (except for a very brief stint when we moved to NC). He's 14 now. So yeah, working from home definitely still a thing for me!

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rlyons
Rising Star I

I rarely need to worry about hardware testing itself, it's all about the OS/Applications. I have an HP Proliant DL380 and a couple of Lenovo System X3650's at home along with about 15TB of hard drive space via an EMC disk array, that I use to run VMWare with a network emulation via GNS3, and Windows/Mac/Linux devices as virtual machines. This *might* be overkill for you.

Really, find a nice Desktop i7/Ryzen 7 or higher, with a good 32 or 64 GB of RAM, and get work to finance you the $200/yr for a VMUG subscription to get VMWare on that thing. Then you can run any of the OSs you need all on one box. Yes, including MacOS. You have to run a patch to install the OS under VMWare, but it works a treat.

This is also great, because you can snapshot a fresh install, then clone or restore to that as needed with out having to go through the whole install>update process.

If you need something more custom, start with an AsRock Rack server motherboard and slap that into whatever ATX case you need.

If high performance is not an issue, and space/cost is the decider, pickup an HP T730 off ebay. You can run VMWare on that too and has enough grunt to run all three OSs without much problem.

BScott
Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

I'm sure others have way more complex needs. For me, I simply need to test from a browser with Windows because I got reports of some things happening that weren't happening on my Mac. All these years later and web standards still don't solve things. lol

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Anonymous
Not applicable

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dagryph
Novitiate III

Here's another one if VMs are possible: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/

Quick and dirty Windows VMs with different browsers specifically for testing.