Performance Testing Methodology for Cloud-Based Applications
Ever since the digital world tasted cloud technology, things have never been the same. From the convenience of data storage to the extraordinary accessibility that comes with cloud-based frameworks, the deployment and monitoring of applications have never been so easy.
Simply putting it into words, the cloud offers an infinite resource pool offering the best in computing, networking, storage, and all that is vital to scale business applications of the future. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to check the performance of the cloud-based applications in order to sustain value and foster a perfect end-user experience.
The primary reason why performance testing is done for cloud-based applications is to ensure all the functional and non-functional aspects are aligned to work properly. More importantly, it allows testers to create a cloud-based solution that is designed to work seamlessly for all the expected load and designated operations.
In this blog, we will discuss the overall methodology for performance testing on cloud-based applications. But before we dive into the process, the blog will guide you through the benefits of cloud performance testing and other essentials that can help underline the importance of performance testing for cloud-based applications.
Cloud Performance Testing: Why Is It Needed?
Cloud performance testing is meant to check on three significant factors. These include Speed, Scalability, and Stability. It helps to ensure the application responds quickly, handles the load well, and works smoothly across any given condition.
In other words, the objective behind performance testing services is to eliminate performance bottlenecks and not to locate any bugs or glitches. The inability to work on performance testing could make an application experience speed and load issues when used simultaneously by multiple users.
Moreover, it can even lead to inconsistencies on different devices or operating systems causing usability issues like constant downtime and cost-related concerns.
Benefits Of Cloud Performance Testing
Unlike other testing-related activities, cloud testing is an easy operation and can easily be configured. Some of the benefits associated with cloud testing include:
Cloud testing allows budget control as it does not require testers or the developers to invest in installation setup or maintenance of any hardware components.
The next big benefit of cloud performance testing is no investment is required in software or hardware when working on scalability goals and fetching maximized performance. Cloud performance testing enables users to access resources from any device with just a working internet connection.
Cloud testing for tracking the performance of an application can be done from any location. Be it global scaling or testing from a remote location, cloud performance testing offers great geographical flexibility.
Another significant advantage of cloud performance testing is the diversity it brings within the network environment. From handling multiple requests to using different platforms, cloud performance testing is suitable for every hybrid work environment where customization is needed.
Cloud testing programs are embedded with standardized and pre-configured software that allows immediate rectification of issues for necessary efficiency and quality outcomes.
Cloud Performance Testing Vs In-house Testing
Conventionally, performance testing was a labor-intensive task that needed access to massive resources and dynamic infrastructure. However, the struggle to keep up with the changing business models and advanced infrastructure made the organizations move out from in-house applications to cloud.
The cloud-based testing as a process was an entirely different approach compared to in-house testing. It aims at metrics such as system latency and throughput that come from the changing number of users accessing an application. Besides, cloud testing works on different load profiles and performance metrics.
Also, elasticity is another major factor surrounding cloud infrastructure that defines the cloud’s ability to deal with varying loads. It means the convenience of adding or removing resources in a live setup. Moreover, cloud setup even allows you to work on availability, fault tolerance, reliability, and scalability factors within the infrastructure.
In a nutshell, a cloud-based performance testing environment allows you to achieve maximum performance in a cost-effective manner with easy scaling and simulation for concurrent users accessing the application from diverse geographical locations.
Cloud Performance Testing Methodologies
When aiming at cloud performance testing, testers need to aim at multiple kinds of performance tests to yield optimum results. It usually begins with load testing followed by stress testing, latency tests, browser tests, targeted infrastructure tests, failover tests, capacity tests, and soak testing.
Besides, the process is divided into two major segments i.e. functional and non-functional testing. While functional testing aims at testing every function of the application in context to the requirements and specifications, it is usually not concerned with source code. Rather the process involves testing functionality with appropriate test input, expected output, and comparison of expected output to original output.
On the other hand, non-functional testing allows you to test the system readiness against the non-functional parameters of the applications that are not covered during functional testing.
Since working on cloud-based testing is a complex process, once all the tests’ requirements and goals related to the test process are defined, here are different cloud test methodologies that are leveraged depending on their use:
- Testing The Entire Cloud: Under this, the cloud is considered as a whole entity that takes account of all the features it offers.
- Testing Within The Cloud: It works by assessing the internal features of the cloud based on which testing is pursued.
- Testing Across Clouds: Based on test specifications, it is carried on different kinds of clouds like private, public, or hybrid.
- SaaS Testing The Cloud: Based on function and non-functional test requirements on the cloud, SaaS testing is done.
Cloud Performance Testing: Defining The Process
Since every organization based on its needs opts for different methodology, the objective behind performance testing is always the same. It begins with meeting the pre-defined criteria, comparing the two systems I.e. actual and expected, and identifying the aspects of system that can degrade performance.
Here is the step-by-step guide to the performance testing process that any organization needs to master in order to create high-performing applications:
Getting Familiar With The Testing Environment
The first step to performance testing begins with knowing your physical test environment. This includes developing an understanding of the production environment as well as tools available within the infrastructure. Besides, you must aim to understand hardware and software along with network configurations before you begin the test process. It helps to create more efficient test processes and locate any challenges that you may encounter during the performance testing at the earliest.
Understand The Performance Acceptance Criteria
The next step to performance testing needs to identify goals and constraints related to throughput, resource allocation, and response time. This stage even involves analyzing all the criteria outside these defined goals to locate any constraints. The information developed then can be used to establish performance criteria outside the project specifications for maximum coverage. At times, the testers are likely to find no additional benchmarks and therefore could consider other available applications to compare the performance goals.
Planning & Designing Tests
The planning and designing stage involves determining how usage varies for end users and therefore key scenarios for all possible use cases. It not only allows simulating the end user’s perspective but even helps to plan the performance data for maximum efficiency taking access to other metrics beyond the defined test outline.
Test Environment Configuration
At this stage, testers work on preparing the test environment before execution while arranging tools and other resources that can help improve the overall outcome.
Test Design Implementation
Based on the test design, testers along with developers work on creating the performance tests to take it forward towards implementation.
Running The Tests
After implementation, testers aim at executing and monitoring the tests by running the defined and developed test scenarios.
Retune & Retest
Once the test is executed, the data attained is consolidated. The results obtained are then analyzed to identify any scope of fine-tuning the tests for any performance gaps or improvements. As improvements grow smaller with every improvement and retesting, the process stops when no bottlenecks are shown by the system. At this stage, you are likely to be left with issues caused by CPU which might need advancing the power of CPU.
Most of the time, testers who are working on cloud performance testing end up with the question that what is the right amount of testing for any given application? However, the reality is there is no such magic number that can tell you how often you must test the system. The number of times you need to test a system varies for every organization based on their application, their approach, and their needs.
As the process could involve extensive costs, most organizations usually curb the process to save expenses on time and resources. Therefore, cloud performance testing should be leveraged appropriately to align well with the client’s goals without allowing the time or budget to take a toll. Once you are sure of the end results you need to achieve and have a sound test plan in place, cloud performance testing can take you miles ahead on your digital journey.