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An Introduction to Cloud-Based Testing

Shifting the gears: On-premises to Cloud-based testing

Amid today’s dynamic business climate, many organizations are increasingly embracing a remote workforce model. For some, this is only a temporary move, while others might not see employees coming together in one physical office again. These unprecedented changes demand companies rethink their SDLC and strategies when it comes to software testing.

Also, the strain on the release schedules due to the increased usage of software and on the QA team to find and fix defects before the product reaches users adds complexity to testing on physical devices/ on-premises testing. This only means that on-premise testing is no longer an option in the post-pandemic era.

So, what’s new: Cloud-based testing.

In the past few years, there’s been a lot of buzz about cloud-based services, and rightfully so. Cloud-based testing allows the creation of realistic testing environments and emulates real-world user traffic to help test web, mobile, app, network, and infrastructure on the cloud.

With the cloud-based offering, you can save money and time over building your own infrastructure such as server hosting, database implementation, and maintenance because you only pay for what you use. For example, if you only get a sudden spike in demand during the holiday season or Black Friday sales, then you only have to pay for the cloud resources such as devices, OS, browsers used during that time.

With tests executed on the cloud, testers can accelerate the development process while achieving high accuracy. The sheer number of cloud testing platforms provides great benefits for QA teams: automation, collaboration, and speed.

“By the end of 2021, 3/4th of midsize and large organizations will have adopted multi-cloud or hybrid strategy.” – Gartner predicts

On-premise & Cloud-based testing: The challenges

Let’s dig into the on-premise testing challenges

#1 Infrastructure cost

The following are some of the costs involved,

  • Dedicated resources to set up, monitor, maintain and upgrade the devices and tools
  • Increased space for storage of physical devices for each location

#2 Maintenance cost

The following are some of the costs involved,

  • Purchase of software, set up, configuration, regular upgrades
  • Server cost
  • Configuration
  • Huge amount of tools and devices consisting of all OS, browser combinations, and versions

#3 Time spent on manual tests

With on-premises, test engineers have to manually configure test environments, devices, etc., and wait till the previous test runs have ended to start the next one. The amount of time spent becomes a setback for teams wanting to transition to Agile and DevOps culture.

This also accounts for scalability issues and makes executing tests from remote locations nearly impossible.

Cloud-based testing bears some challenges too. Let’s check them below,

#1 Infrastructure

Although cloud-based testing tool providers largely support all configurations, storage, and devices, not all of them fully offer the tech stack you need. It becomes challenging to create accurate tests if environments are not highly replicated or emulated.

#2 Security threat concerns

Although cloud-based testing vendors have put a great deal of focus on security, the lack of encryption and data protection techniques in some solutions still makes many companies nervous.

#3 Possible hidden costs

Cloud-based services cost money, and usage of test infrastructure and environments can add to those costs. The QA team needs to chalk out a proper plan to carry out testing activities on the cloud to keep costs down. Don’t be surprised if expenses go up beyond what you originally intended because of excessive or improper usage of resources.

Before signing on with a cloud-based service, be aware of these risks and evaluate them in light of the benefits. You can reduce the likelihood of encountering these challenges by defining your requirements and carefully going through the service-level agreements.

When you’re thinking about moving to the cloud, the only thing you can do is consider whether the pros outweigh the cons.

Tests that can be run on cloud

Cloud-based testing supports both functional test automation and non-functional testing.

Functional testing: As the name specifies, the test verifies if all the application functionalities are working as expected and ready for release. Types of functional testing include

  • Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Regression Testing
  • User Acceptance Testing

Non-functional testing: Non-Functional testing looks at how the application performs in a live environment. This type of testing takes into consideration aspects such as

  • Scalability
  • Performance
  • Security

Why cloud-based testing is better

Let’s look at some of the factors briefing why cloud-based testing is better

  • Readily available access to virtual devices and emulators
  • Eliminates installation of servers and maintenance costs
  • Ready to use pre-configured environments and labs
  • Easy provisioning of building a CI/CD pipeline
  • Availability of resources from anywhere in the world, anytime (24*7)
  • Enable parallel execution of tests on a wide range of OS, browser, and device permutation and combinations
  • Pay per need
  • Bring together the QA and DevOps teams encouraging collaboration and efficiency
  • Better disaster recovery
  • Real-time reports and reduces time-to-market

Getting started with Cloud-based testing

Before moving to the cloud, these are some of the questions to ponder

  • Is cloud-based testing beneficial for a small team?
  • Do we have to learn new tech stack to operate testing on cloud?
  • Do we have to modify our current testing strategy?
  • What are the types of testing that can be executed on cloud?
  • What are all the potential issues that we need to be aware of?
  • What tools are required to run tests on cloud?

Focus areas:

Taking the first steps in cloud-based testing technology requires that you examine your organization’s needs. Before testing in the cloud, first, figure out what you want to accomplish with cloud-based testing and how it can benefit your organization.

Sit down with your QA and DevOps team and come up with a testing strategy that takes into account the cloud resources you need, the setup of a continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline, which tests you need to run and analyze test reports, and how long you’re going to keep using these resources, so you don’t pay for them if they’re not being used.

It’s worth experimenting with various cloud-based testing providers to see if they’re the right fit for your team’s needs, expertise, and size. By doing this, you’ll be able to understand the benefits and challenges of different software tools.

Final thoughts

Cloud-based testing is crucial and is the way to go if you want to stay relevant and take on the path of digital transformation and remote work.

If you’re unsure how cloud-based testing providers work or need help switching to cloud-based testing, Zuci’s QA experts are here to help.

Let’s get started today!

Regardless of the cloud model you choose, Zuci offers a range of cloud testing services to inspect every aspect of your cloud application.

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Keerthi Veerappan

An INFJ personality wielding brevity in speech and writing. Marketer @ Zucisystems.

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