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Cloud Testing – Issues, Challenges, Needs And Practices

By Author: Tom Wade
Total Articles: 34

The concept of cloud computing is gaining a lot of popularity due to its ease of access, security and disaster recovery process amongst other things.

With cloud computing, companies can store, manage or process all their files and data using internet servers instead of local storage. Due to a lot of benefits offered by cloud computing, companies have also started using this technology to test performance of software and applications. cloud Testing includes testing of applications using cloud based resources (hardware, infrastructure and software) for a cohesive, end-to-end solution.

Why Use Cloud Testing

Previously, testing of applications was done internally by the testing team of a company. But as more and more services are moving to the cloud, the testing process is becoming a lot better. There are numerous benefits of using cloud software testing compared to regular testing methods.
- Lesser cost of testing: Due to the flexibility offered by the Cloud, the computing resources can be easily scaled up or down whenever required to provide a cost-effective website and application performance. Companies essentially have to pay for just what they use. Unlike the regular in-house testing process, businesses do not need to invest a lot of money to set up hardware and infrastructure for long term testing. They can go to the cloud provider directly, who takes care of the tools and licenses.
- Test under different circumstances: Cloud infrastructure is built to handle different testing scenarios for optimum results. Companies can replicate virtual users in various locations across the globe to test how the application responds when used far and wide. Cloud services also support enterprise testing due to its scalability.
- Faster testing: Tests can be run virtually on-demand with scalable Cloud infrastructure. Companies can easily schedule testing times and resources are allocated accordingly. This eliminates long delays as is seen with hardware allocation and deployment procedures of in-house testing.

Challenges in Cloud Testing

-Cloud testing can be an effective way to test applications and websites for businesses. But just like every other testing process, it has its own set of challenges.
- One of the major cloud testing challenges faced by companies is the level of service provided by the vendor. Often after a company has moved a major part of its operations to the Cloud, it cannot be accessed when required. The Cloud service provider can thus cause delays in the testing process.
- With cloud testing it can be difficult to isolate root causes for multiple problems encountered in load testing. Also, when trying to precisely measure effects of minor changes made to application code or its settings, cloud testing can make it difficult due to differences in internet traffic and bandwidth availability.
- Sometimes during load testing, one particular IP address can generate a lot of traffic. Apparently, security teams identify the pattern to resemble a DoS attack and shut down the tests. In such cases, the traffic might even be real and lack of a proper testing strategy or schedule can cause undue delays.

-Best Practices in Cloud Testing

- 1. Preparing for a two-stage process: The initial stage should be for internal testing, where minor performance issues can be sorted out under medium load. Companies should proceed to the second cloud testing stage only after preliminary internal tests, by increasing the load gradually for large-scale application testing.
- 2. Using multiple cloud providers: Using different cloud providers enable companies to test in more geographical locations and get more realistic results. Also, the testing can be more scalable. Network issues can also be sorted at the provider level in this case.

- 3. Keep your data secure: It is wise to encrypt data transferred between controllers and load generators. This secures both the data sent and received. Also, securing the load generators with their own firewalls prevents external threats.

- In a world of Cloud Computing, it can be extremely beneficial for large companies to move their application testing to the cloud.

- With cloud testing best practices, a lot of bottlenecks can be avoided and effectively results

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