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How Continuous Performance Testing Plays An Important Role In Devops?

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By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 101
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Businesses per se are going through challenging times given the fast changing market dynamics, the advent of new technologies and shifting customer preferences. This need to deliver quality products in double quick time to beat the competition have brought in the concept of Agile-Lean. According to this approach, testing a product for glitches should be done during the development stage only instead of the traditional practice of doing it later. Also, hastening the delivery of quality products can be achieved when waste from the system is systematically removed.
Incorporating such changes often needs the overhauling of legacy systems and developing a quality culture in the organization. DevOps steps into the Agile-Lean approach as an all encompassing concept – right from the conceptualization of an idea – production- testing – delivery – receiving customer feedback – and working on the feedback to further enhance the quality of the product.

What is DevOps all about?

The DevOps approach stems from integrating each and every department in the organization especially the Development (read Development and QA) and Operations. It further emphasises on creating a quality culture in the organization where every stakeholder will be responsible for upholding the quality of a product during the SDLC phase and beyond. DevOps is underpinned on coordination, communication, automation and integration of processes across departments. It comprises of components such as Continuous Integration and Delivery. In the former, codes are checked simultaneously along with writing thereby identifying and eliminating glitches quickly and easily. The Development and QA teams carry out the integration of codes on a daily basis by using automated tools. Continuous Integration (CI) ensures the codes in the form of a product are ready for release in the quickest possible time.

On the other hand, Continuous Delivery or (CD) takes the concept of product release a step forward. It stresses on enhancing the product quality based on the customer feedback. This helps the organization to stay in competition by fine tuning the product to the customer preferences of the day. It ensures short iterations, an accelerated time to market and reduced cost. However, it has been seen that organizations that embrace DevOps without incorporating a quality culture fail big time. Another important aspect that can ensure the success of DevOps is executing performance testing on the product on a continuous basis.

Why should you settle for a sound performance testing strategy?

Today’s customers are a restless and choosy lot. They are aware of the new technologies and mindful of the experiences in specific domains. For example, if it is about an eCommerce portal, customers expect their feedback to be taken seriously and queries attended to promptly. They are aware of the AI-based chatbots that have brought about a significant enhancement in customer services. So, should you own an eCommerce portal, you better incorporate technologies that enhance the customer experience a great deal. Hence, your performance testing strategy should incorporate load testing, stress testing, scalability testing, spike testing, and volume testing.

These types of performance testing services ensure the product works fine when there is a spike in customer demand. For example, during the holiday season, there are spikes in the shopping pattern of customers. And if your eCommerce portal is not tested to address these, the system may hang or crash leaving the customers frustrated. In such cases, you may even lose your customers for good.

Moreover, since today’s software has multiple interfaces with devices, operating systems, frameworks, and networks, it should undergo a rigorous performance testing exercise. The end-to-end testing on performance metrics can validate the software as far as meeting customer preferences is concerned.

How to execute DevOps through continuous testing?

This can be achieved by following three steps.

The first step is to streamline the processes and let DevOps strike a root in your organization. The silo-based Development and Operations teams should be assimilated. The Operations team should listen to the customer feedback and pass the same to the Development team for quality enhancement by being a part of the development scrum. The CI/CD pipeline should be streamlined and made efficient for each and every stakeholder.
The second step is about breaking a large test into smaller components mostly at the API level. The performance testing approach should be to test various services independently of each other in a specific timeframe.

The third step is about testing the dependent services by using virtual dependencies to test various scenarios. This can save time as well as not impact the UX of customers during testing.

Conclusion

A robust performance testing approach should be undertaken in the DevOps environment to validate the scalability, functionality, and usability of software by repeatedly testing its various components. This can help identify and eliminate the glitches, thus making the software more customer oriented and competitive.

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