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How to leverage the cloud for performance and load testing

The cloud is used for nearly everything these days. Companies are now storing more of their sensitive, mission-critical data within cloud platforms, especially as security concerns continue to be addressed and mitigated.

The cloud has the ability to provide a wide range of functionalities, and is increasingly being leveraged for performance and load testing. Gigaom Research reported that current industry findings show that testing makes up more than half of overall development costs. What’s more is that teams are now utilizing more than 30 percent of their time dealing with the complexities of testing environments. In these respects, cloud testing has its fair share of advantages, including flexibility, scalability and reduced upfront costs. Let’s take a look at the cloud through the lens of performance and load testing to see what considerations users should make when using the platform for such trials.

Different flavors of cloud testing

“Cloud testing comes with its fair share of advantages, including flexibility, scalability and reduced costs.”

Network​ World contributor Ole Lensmar noted that there are several different ways to leverage the cloud for software testing. In some environments, third-party vendors utilize their cloud system to run and manage the tests. Other solutions enable the user to utilize the provider’s cloud resources to run and analyze their own tests.

“For example, testers can use the cloud to generate massive distributed load tests, simulate a large number of mobile devices, or run functional and performance monitors from all over the world,” Lensmar wrote.

In addition, TechTarget contributor and author of the recent “Key best practices for cloud testing” white​ paper John Scarpino pointed out that the cloud is mainly used for testing in three ways: as a testing enabler, as a platform for non-functional testing and for functional testing.

  • Testing enabler: Scarpino noted that when the cloud is treated as an enabler, testers have the ability to establish scalable environments in which to run their trials. These can be expanded or scaled down depending on the tester’s needs.
  • Non-functional testing: Non-functional testing in the cloud mainly consists of testing for vulnerabilities in performance, security and disaster recovery. These tests can show where a website or app may have glitches or other issues in need of repair.
  • Functional testing: Functional testing, on the other hand, deals with integration, regression, individual gestures and features, as well as the overall system.

Top considerations for a cloud testing solution
However the team chooses to leverage the cloud, there are several considerations that they need to keep in mind when selecting a solution. Available cloud testing platforms are not created equal, and thus administrators need to carefully weigh their options to select the suite that’s best for them.

Teams must also consider the vendor that they’ll be working with. SOASTA is an industry leading provider of cloud-enabled testing and user monitoring solutions through the SOASTA platform. To find out more about leveraging the cloud for performance and load tests, contact SOASTA today.

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