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Cloud Computing Testing – Introduction, Types, Challenges & Advantages

27-Dec-2019

Cloud Computing Testing – Introduction, Types, Challenges & Advantages

Many organizations are adopting the cloud environment, and there are many that are planning to move services on the cloud. This new invention of technology is taking the online world by storm. Cloud computing is great when you have to access the data from anywhere around the world or when you have to store an enormous amount of data online.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the virtual environment, which enables you to store, access, use, and transfer data anywhere and anytime. Cloud computing provides flexibility, speed, accessibility, and management services.

When you are on the cloud, you can make bank transactions while on the bus. You can update your mobile app on the go; you can update WhatsApp and Facebook status while commuting, etc.

Let’s take an example of meal consumption at a restaurant to understand cloud computing. Having a meal at a restaurant is different from eating at home. The objective is the same, i.e., meal consumption. However, the approach is different at home and at the restaurant. At home, you have to have all the required ingredients, you have to prepare it yourself, and you have to clean after the meal. When you have a meal at the restaurant, you just have to order from the menu and pay for the service. It is not your responsibility to prepare the dish and serve it.

The above example is similar to the ideologies of cloud computing- “Pay for the usage,” “On-demand availability.”

Types of Cloud

Public Clouds: As suggested by the name, in a public cloud, the services are available to all. The resources are allocated and are dynamically provisioned as per the request.

Private clouds: Private clouds are of particular organizations; they are managed within firewall rules of the organization. Private clouds are only available for the users of a particular organization.

Hybrid Clouds: Hybrid clouds are a mixture of public as well as private clouds. Companies can choose the services they want to expose to all and the services they only want to expose to their users in the organization.

The Need for Cloud Testing

Cloud  means testing resources, such as software, hardware, etc. which have on-demand availability. The testing here can be viewed as “service.” It is crucial to make sure that the product meets its functional as well as non-functional requirements.

Benefits of Cloud Testing

The benefits of cloud testing are far too many. Here we have attempted to highlight various advantages of cloud testing:

Cost-Cutting

There is no doubt that cloud-testing is cost-saving as you only pay for the resources you use. You can pay for the testing environment that you wish to use and pay for that alone. You don’t need to invest in expensive equipment and spend a lot of money on upgrading and maintaining it. You can have all the hardware and software at your disposal, and you will need to pay for it when you actually use it.

Scalability

Testers can decrease or increase the computing resources as per the need. Cloud computing is exceptionally useful when businesses change their requirements frequently.

Time-Saving

The great advantage of cloud-based testing is that you can run your application on different hardware simultaneously and fix defects fast.

Easily Customizable

When you use cloud-based tools and services, you can match an end user-centric environment with less cost and less time. Test teams can perform performance testing scenarios in various permutations and combinations.

Well Configured Test Environment

It takes a lot of time to set up a test environment on various devices. If there are any errors during the environment configuration, they will be repeated on all devices. You can easily avoid this with the help of cloud-based tools; these tools are pre-configured, which saves your time as well as money.

Faster Testing

The testing is automated with cloud-based tools; it reduces the time to market your software. You don’t have to wait for the lengthy manual testing process to complete; everything is automated with the help of cloud-based testing.

Better Team Collaboration

With cloud-based testing, you can implement DevOps in a better way; it requires the collaboration of testers as well as developers. Cloud allows testers to spin up test environments with data and different configurations and helps in automating the process.

Constant Availability

Software testing is available at any time. This helps testers to speed up the testing process as testing is available anywhere and anytime.

What Are The Challenges Of Testing In The Cloud?

There are several benefits of cloud testing, which assure the quality of the application. But there are some challenges of cloud-based testing that should be taken care of well in advance. Let’s have a look at the operational challenges of cloud-based testing:

Security And Privacy Concerns

The encryption techniques are far from perfection; it raises security and privacy concerns. Although there is a provision of testing in a private environment, security concerns persist.

Potential Availability Issues

Providers guarantee you round the clock availability of services, but even a small bit of downtime can result in negative consequences for businesses. Let’s take an example of Amazon Web Services, in 2013 it went down for half an hour, which led to inconvenience for many companies that required access to AWS to test properties that required Amazon Web Service.

Service Level Agreements

To differentiate the responsibilities of vendor and cloud users, vendors provide some terms and conditions of their cloud services. These terms are necessary, but the problem is that they are often biased. As a user, you need to pay attention to conditions so that you are not misled.

Infrastructure Issues

Before finalizing your cloud testing tools, make sure you get all the configurations, technologies, storage you require from the provider. It is difficult to emulate the customer environment when some configurations are not supported by the provider. For testers, it is a time-consuming process to create a test environment that includes all the required settings; therefore, you have to make sure that you get everything you need from the provider.

Hidden Costs

We all hate hidden costs, don’t we? Vendors are required to inform about the prices to users, however improper use of test environment can skyrocket the cost. Testers need to plan their test environments to avoid any hidden charges. Also, take into account the cost for data encryption and monitor the use of resources of the cloud.

How to Prepare For Cloud-Based Testing?

Certainly, testing on the cloud is beneficial for organizations. Follow the below-mentioned tips to test on the cloud:

Set Objectives

We cannot stress this enough-set clear objective. You can benefit from cloud-based testing when you have a clear understanding of your needs. In cloud-based testing, close cooperation between developers and testers is needed. Only then you can conduct all the necessary tests throughout the software development lifecycle.

Create a Testing Strategy

Before moving your project to the cloud, make sure you decide what kind of tests you want to perform. Analyze how much time the testing will take and what are the risks associated.  The testing strategy helps you to avoid unnecessary costs and plan your budget better.

Plan Your Infrastructure Well

Don’t forget to think about the infrastructure requirements necessary for building a test environment. The cloud-based services should provide the required hardware, software, bandwidth, and testing tools. Determine beforehand for how long you need the testing environment.

Select a Reliable Provider

A reliable provider is a necessity when you are looking for a cloud-based testing environment. Take a look at each provider’s reliability, quality, and security. Always choose a provider with a good amount of experience who ensures quick set-up and tear down of the test environment. Have a look at the range of services offered by the provider-testing tools, physical infrastructure, licenses, and thorough provisioning.

Free Trials

There are many providers of cloud-based tools that offer free trials. With free trials, you can get to know if you like the services provided by a particular provider or not. You are not stuck with a provider; if you are not satisfied with the services, you can take free trials from others until you are satisfied. Through free trials, you learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each service.

Monitor and Analyze Test Results

It is always better to monitor test results in real-time. Real-time results help you to react to the performance-related issues quickly.

Conclusion

Cloud-based testing is the future if you are not using it; it’s time to start taking advantage of its benefits. It significantly reduces cost, offers flexibility and stability. By going for cloud testing, organizations can acquire tools, infrastructure, and licenses at a low cost and can utilize these resources to the maximum.

[Related Read: Future of Cloud Testing]

author

Kanika Vatsyayan

Kanika is working as a Quality Lead in BugRaptors. She is proficient in testing website and mobile applications cross various domains. Expertise in Team management and Project management, she is also involved in WBS creation, creation of test plans, involved in direct client communication, etc.

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