Quality – How Arrcus Drives Continuous Innovation and Growth

, VP of Engineering

February 12, 2019

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein

That is why the tag line for Arrcus is “Network Different”

At Arrcus, that’s how we continue to create a truly unique opportunity for our customers by enabling open integration of silicon, hardware, and software – essentially providing them the benefit to choose best-in-class options. Our approach to networking is ushering in a new wave of innovation across the datacenter, the edge, and the cloud.

How do we do this? We have laser sharp focus on quality.

Our goal is to provide a solution that maximizes the overall uptime and stability of our customers’ networks and in turn reduce their operating expenses by continually enhancing the quality and reliability of our software. While we emphasize product innovation, our approach also utilizes a non-disruptive, easy-to-deploy product mindset. Quality is built into our organizational culture. It starts with the team, is factored into our hiring process and further manifests itself in our software architecture, design implemention, and throughout our development and test methodologies.

Key pillars of our quality standards are:

  1. Our team and culture
  2. Architectural principles
  3. Test automation harness – continuous verification

Our team and culture

We’ve brought together the brightest and the most curious minds in the industry to reinvent networking. Our team is a senior and experienced group that comes from market-leading companies that has delivered high-quality products to a wide range of customers.

The combined track record? 450+ products shipped, 160+ patents issued and 240+ IETF drafts/RFCs.

We dream big, but we also know that our commitment to quality and innovation will lead us in achieving our ambitions.

At Arrcus, testing and quality are the responsibility of everyone. This means that developers own testing and developers own quality. We design, develop, and test code while looking to harden corner cases and race conditions to have an uptime of five 9s.

Architectural principles

Quality comes from using sound architectural principles of software design with a strict adherence to high standards during implementation. In our groundbreaking ArcOS®, we have a modern, microservices-based architecture built from first principles without any code bloat and with the right level of process separation to keep the system running even with multiple failures. Built to be modular since inception, ArcOS supports per process re-startability, bringing unprecendented resiliency to network devices.

Customers have repeatedly told us that they are constrained by incumbent vendors providing them bloated software code with unnecessary capabilities negatively impacting the quality of the features they need. Ultimately, they want to design and operate resilient networks that just work! That’s why it’s important to have a network software built from first principles with best-fit protocols and features that improve ease of use and quality.

Our development and QA process has been built on modern tenets of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). From code to deployment, we’ve drastically shortened delivery and deployment times for network software through seamless integration with modern CI/CD pipelines.

Test automation harness—continuous verification

Network software is an accumulation of a complicated set of processes with interdependencies between themselves and the underlying hardware. Even with the best-in-class software architecture, a robust, exhaustive test automation framework that scales to cover the breadth of technology and the depth of features is imperative. From the beginning, we’ve had an automated test harness that runs on virtual and switch hardware platforms.

Our automation framework enables creating test suites at scale and validating them with minimal effort. It is built using the YANG models and the code is 100% auto-generated. This makes it easier to build scenario validation modules while also enabling us to rapidly create all required framework APIs for any new features. Our “Enhanced Test-Driven Development” (eTDD) methodology allows us to develop scale test suites before the features are fully developed. Testers can start building integration and sanity test suites while developers are building unit tests, resulting in a hardened and scalable software implementation.

Summary

At Arrcus, we focus on ensuring that we deliver value to our customers through product innovation, feature velocity, and best-in-class quality. Our product quality is a result of a holistic set of processes integrated into the company across all levels. It is a continuous effort at Arrcus and is driven by our team and culture, architectural underpinnings of our software, and our test automation harness.

Network Different with Arrcus!