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At Cisco, reducing Customer-Found Defects (CFDs) is a top priority and is an initiative mandated by CEO John Chambers. Cisco product engineering methodologies require field trials with live traffic for preproduction products. But Cisco IT was not willing to put these alpha products on its production network; they needed a separate network - one with live traffic yet safely separated from the production network. To that end, Cisco's Intelligent Network Systems Emerging Technologies (INSET) group designed the IT Alpha network to test new products in new configurations that change weekly. INSET's results are invisible to Cisco customers: today, INSET finds an average of 111 bugs every month, 333 a quarter.
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