ATMs remain an important delivery channel for the banking industry, providing customers with convenient access to their money and other financial services. However, managing and testing an ATM fleet can be a daunting task.
To improve efficiencies, remain competitive and deliver superior customer experiences, ATM fleet deployers must transition away from manual testing processes and implement modern tools that enable testing automation and facilitate 24x7x365 anytime, anywhere access to the ATM testing environment.
In this blog we take a look at what ATM testing virtualization is, along with some best practices on how you can implement virtualization software into your organization's ATM testing processes.
This blog is a summary of our new guide, Virtualizing an ATM - Best Practices. If you’d like to explore any of these topics in more detail please download your free copy of the guide by clicking on the below image.
What is Virtualization, and What is its Value for ATM Testing?
Unlike ATM simulators that only simulate ATM behavior, virtualization goes one step further by using an actual copy of the ATM software stack (including the operating system, application and log files) and abstracting it from the physical ATM hardware components.
A virtualized ATM is highly beneficial for ATM testing for a number of reasons as it:
Enables remote ATM testing 24x7x365 through cloud software
Minimizes the need for expensive ATMs and lab spaces
Increased ATM testing speed, bandwidth and coverage
Facilitates the use of testing automation and programmatic interaction with ATMs
Allows for test device faults with no risk of damage to actual ATMs
ATM Virtualization Best Practices
With those benefits in mind, how can ATM fleet owners leverage ATM virtualization to upgrade into their testing capabilities?
Paragon’s VirtualATM solution delivers the technical components, as well as step by step guidelines on how to capture, convert and deploy an ATM image into a virtual environment.
Following is a high-level summary of the key steps in the virtualization process:
Step 1 - Prepare the ATM: Ensure the ATM that is being virtualized is operating properly and has the most recent software updates. It is important that no software defects or faults are captured as part of the virtual image.
Step 2 - Discover and Capture the ATM Devices: To ensure successful testing it’s critical to understand what devices are installed on the ATM you are virtualizing, including the EPP, card readers, printers, cash cassettes, etc.
Step 3 - Image Capture: Capture the ATM image, including the ATM application, the OS and any other apps, files or data, using industry standard tools that are consistent with your organization’s virtualization environment.
Step 4 - Convert the Image: The captured image and hardware information must be converted into a virtualized ATM appliance that can be deployed in your virtualization environment.
Step 5 - Deploy the Image: Once you have verified that the new virtual ATM operates in the same way as your physical ATMs, you can deploy the virtualized ATM into your on-premise or cloud environment and begin using it to expand and automate your ATM testing.