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Understanding Cloud Testing and the Need for It

Cloud services and applications have become an integral part of the connected devices ecosystem. Since connected devices transmit a large amount of data, you need a cloud platform that is reliable and has various tools to process, store, and analyze these data streams. This is why there is a need for rigorous cloud testing that will ensure a smooth user experience. After all customer experience, in the long run, is what ensures that a product or service is successful. Before we get to understanding the need for cloud testing, let us understand its definition. If we had to define it, cloud testing is a type of software testing where cloud-based environments are simulated to mimic real-world conditions from different geographical regions. This has become possible due to the evolution of virtualization in cloud computing. Cloud testing can be seen as a service and as there are more and more cloud-based applications, there is a need to test these apps and services thoroughly with a well thought out strategy customised to each service. The testing strategy should include both functional and non-functional requirements of the application.

Types of Cloud Testing

Any cloud application will have to go through the following tests as part of the functional requirements. Functional Testing: This allows you to do a thorough check of all the functional parts of the software (features and functionalities).  Various tools can be used to help in the process such as SauceLabs, LoadStorm, Rapise, and SOASTA Cloud test among others.
  • System Verification: This helps you to verify whether all functional parts of the software are interacting with each other as per the requirement.
  • Integration Testing: It ensures that your software or application is compatible with different platforms and can function efficiently even while moving from one cloud infrastructure to the other.
  • Acceptance Testing: The application or software is given to a few users to find out if it meets their expectations.
Now let’s take a look at some of the aspects of the non-functional testing. Non-functional Testing: It entails aspects such as usability, reliability, scalability, disaster recovery, and performance of the application, which are considered as the non-functional aspects. Various tools can be used to test non-functional requirements such as AppLoader, CloudTestGo, AppPerfect, etc.
  • Performance/Load Testing: One of the key aspects to test is how will the application respond during peak load. To validate the performance, testers simulate the environment to measure the performance of the application. This test is executed in a variety of environments, including different operating systems, browsers, and different versions of these, among other parameters.
  • Disaster Recovery: Disasters may not strike frequently, but they are unpredictable and can cause application downtime. With disaster recovery testing, the testers will be able to evaluate how much time is required for recovery. This helps in ensuring that the application is up and runningn the shortest possible time. .
  • Scalability Testing: This type of non-functional testing helps to test whether the application can scale up or down depending upon the number of user requests.
  • Security Testing: Most cloud-based applications have to handle sensitive user data. It is important to ensure that proper authorization is required to access this data to avoid any data leaks. Therefore, it is important to verify the integrity of the data.


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Common Challenges in Cloud Testing

  • Simulating environments is one of the key elements when it comes to testing. However, one of the challenges is that there could be some configurations concerning servers, storage, or networking which the specific cloud provider may not support. So simulating those environments can become difficult.
  • Unified standards for connected devices can make the entire testing process easier. Lack of unified standards makes it difficult to integrate data centers with public cloud resources. Cloud providers generally have their own architecture and different models of operation, which ultimately hampers interoperability. That is why there is a need for proper standards across the environment.
  • One question that always comes up with the cloud and IoT is security. This question has always been raised because the encryption techniques have not been up to the mark. Though most cloud providers can offer assistance in testing, it still does not cover all the required areas especially data stored in remote locations. Vulnerable APIs also contribute to security threats.
  • Another factor that bothers the testing efforts are infrastructure issues. Ideally, the first step should be to find out whether the provider offers all configurations, storage, and technologies that are required. This has to be done before you shortlist the tools you would use to perform the test otherwise you will end up extending the time to market.
  • Most cloud providers would talk about the availability of their services at all times. However, this may not always be possible as there have been instances where cloud services have been unavailable, which has affected the testing process. These potential availability issues can cause problems in testing various properties that require access to the cloud.

Preparing for Cloud Testing

You can use the following points to prepare for your cloud testing: Defining Objectives: Cloud testing always requires close cooperation between developers and testers. Disparate teams will have to come together and set clear objectives. There needs to be a clear understanding of the business needs, which will help in defining the objectives.  This is the first step before devising a strategy. Clear Strategy & Planning: Ideally, the next step will be to set a clear strategy in place.  No testing strategy can be executed without thorough planning. This helps you to set a budget and timeline for conducting the test, along with assessing what kind of challenges or hiccups you can face during the test. A clear strategy helps in better estimating all factors. Finding a Reliable Partner: You have to be very careful while choosing a partner. Always choose a partner that has considerable experience and someone who can understand your business needs. Shortlisting your Tools: There are various tools out there, and trial versions are available for most of these tools. It is best to use the trial versions and check which tool would be best suited for your testing process. Constant Monitoring: Once the process begins, it is good to monitor the derived test results in real-time.  It will help the testers to analyze the results in real-time and take appropriate actions swiftly. Cloud-based testing allows you to reduce your costs and improves your time to market. Since there are various challenges that you can face, it’s best to hire a reliable partner who can understand your business needs and perform testing as per your requirements. Get in touch with one of our experts to know more.

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