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Developers deploy distributed test systems for a variety of reasons. Distributed systems allow users to meet space and geographic constraints as well as distribute processing across multiple nodes. When designing a distributed test system, developers should consider many factors to create a system that best suits their needs. Some of the key considerations include measurement functionality provided by the instruments, instrumentation bus capabilities, locality, and distribution. To manage these considerations, a user might meet system needs by interconnecting multiple bus platforms to create a hybrid test system. Connecting multiple buses in a distributed system can seem daunting and overwhelming. With the proper tools, however, a developer can architect a distributed system to meet constraints like measurement, timing, space, and geographic needs and benefit from increased computing power. Using a layered test architecture with an integrated software framework is key to easily and successfully combining various buses into one system. With a hybrid test system, developers can extend the longevity of their systems by maximizing their investment in hardware and software while still integrating newer technologies into the system.