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I want to automate Test machine maintenance work like - software installation/upgrade, OS update installation etc. Instead of writing custom scripts or manually managing each Test Machine, I would like to streamline & automate the process, and centrally manage it.

This is what I am looking for (requirements could change over time):

  1. Support for Desktop - Windows, Mac OS and Linux systems
  2. Support for tablet and mobile – Android, iOS (Not required. But nice to have. This may be required in future)
  3. Ability to Centrally Manage following on Test Machines:
    • Windows Updates
    • System Settings
    • Update/Install Softwares:
      • Test related – TestComplete, Fiddler etc.
      • Browsers- Firefox, Chrome
      • .Net framework
    • File System – Adding/removing/updating folders, files.
    • Services – Stop, run, restart, install, uninstall
    • Snapshot management for VMs (Managed by Hyper-V)
  4. Also a must have feature is the ability to maintain history of the changes done on each test machine.
  5. If possible, ability to rollback changes if required.

So let’s say I want to upgrade TestComplete across all my test machines, I should be able to define steps that can be run from a single point on all machines – switch to snapshot -> install new TestComplete version/force update -> update firewall to allow Testcomplete -> reboot machines -> update snapshot.

I am looking for a tool that’s easy to use, scalable, and preferably has a low learning curve .

I would really appreciate any guidance in this area.

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I would suggest taking a look at Vagrant Up, Packer, etc., from HashiCorp the have both Open Source tools and commercial offerings to allow you to specify & manage the images that your VMs are based on, the software that gets installed and the set-up of the images based on simple, version controllable, text files.

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