What should be your strategy for Performance Testing in the Cloud

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Cloud computing is changing the way applications are deployed, monitored, and used by the endusers. Cloud offers a virtuallyinfinite pool of resources for computing, storage, and networking resources where applications can be scaled as desired. But it is important to measure the performance of these applications in the cloudPerformance is the utmost factor in testing a web application as it directly impacts the enduser experience.  

However, Performance testing in the cloud is different from that of traditional applications. The main aim of Performance testing is to measure the parameters such as system throughput & latency with changing number of parallel users accessing your application, with different load profiles, and various other performance metrics. In Cloud infra, this becomes a bit more typical with various virtual machines coming into play. 

Understanding the cloud 

Cloud is a pay-per-use kind of model which you can scale whenever you want. You can demand the additional resources required and it will be allocated to you. With a high degree of location independence, virtual resources are dynamically assigned and reassigned according to the customers needs. 

Some of the metrics which are important for a successful cloud implementation are storage, processing, bandwidth, and the number of users accessing it at any given point. Elasticity is one of the major factors for the cloud infrastructure as it defines the cloud’s ability to deal with varying load variations by adding more resources during high load or consolidating the users to fewer points when the load decreases, all in a live cloud setup. Scalability, availability, fault tolerance, and reliability are other factors that define a good cloud infrastructure. Moving performance and loadbased application testing to the cloud lowers capital and operational costs and offers support for distributed development & testing teams.  

Cloud-based testing allows you to get the maximum performance by utilizing a cost-effective means of testing applications at scale. It also allows you to simulate load tests constituting millions of concurrent users coming from multiple geographical locations. 

Below are the types of performance tests you should conduct: 

  • Stress test: Stress testing validates the responsiveness, reliability, and stability of the cloud infrastructure under extremely high load. 
  • Load test: Load testing ascertains whether or not the system performs optimally when it is being used by multiple users at the same time. 
  • Browser testing: This type of testing is critical for determining the compatibility of a browser with the overall system. 
  • Latency testing: A latency test is required to measure the time taken for moving data messages between two points within a cloud network. 
  • Targeted infrastructure test: In this test, each component or layer of an application is isolated and tested for the ability to deliver the required performance. This test helps uncover any issue that would hamper with the overall system’s performance. 
  • Failover test: It determines a system’s ability to call in additional resources when it faces heavy traffic and usage to ensure that the end user’s experience is not affected. 
  • Capacity test: This test is essential for identifying and benchmarking the maximum amount of traffic or load that the cloud system can handle effectively. 
  • Soak test: Soak testing measures the performance of a system when it is exposed to heavy traffic for an extended duration to validate its behavior in the production environment. 

Building the right strategy for performance testing in the cloud 

Costeffectiveness is one of the major factors which is pushing cloud computing. Cloud lets you create separate test regions for system testing with ease as and when you want. The right test strategy should focus on the motive behind moving to the cloud, including cost savings, infrastructure access ease, reduction in cycle times, choice of public, private, or hybrid cloud, among others. The strategy should also clearly mention the type of tests to be performed in the cloud – do you want only Soak tests, or capacity tests, or all the ones mentioned above. There are certain risks associated with the Cloud and that should be kept in mind before making the final decision. Building a test environment, Infra requirements for the tests and the required testing tools, bandwidth, hardware, and software are the other parameters that should be part of your test strategy. 

Security, quality, reliability, latency, and bandwidth should be carefully looked upon if you are going with any external cloud service provider. After all the setup is done, we finally need to perform the execution of tests. For performance tests, it becomes typical to vary the load with varying user’s demands and many other factors, so this should be tested according to the defined test strategy. Continuously monitor and analyze test results as you would do in other setups, but in this case, it should be done in real-time to ensure you can improve it over a period of time. Cloud usage is usually linked to the payment very closely. Though scalable, you need to pay as you scale, so make sure that you have that covered with your service provider as per current usage and future usage, otherwise you might end up with a huge bill. 

Cigniti’s Performance Engineering & Testing teams have extensive experience in providing cutting edge services to global clients. Our Performance Testing expertise spans a wide range of applications including client-server, web, distributed, mobile, cloud databases, highvolume transaction systems, and highlycomplex applications. We have built a dedicated Performance Center of Excellence (PCoEthat provides end-to-end performance testing solutions for helping our clients launch futureproof applications with high responsiveness, availability, and scalability. Schedule a discussion with us to know how we can help your enterprise realize these benefits.