Do you ever wonder how businesses test that their cloud computing services are working as expected, or how they test their cloud-native applications, for example, our new test management platform, Qucate? This process is called cloud testing.
What is cloud testing?
Cloud testing involves using cloud computing services to test internet-based software applications, for example Platform as a Services (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
PaaS is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud. Resources enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated cloud-enabled enterprise applications. PaaS includes infrastructure (servers, storage and networking) and middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, and database management systems.
IaaS is a cloud computing service that offers essential compute, storage and networking resources on demand.
SaaS is offered by a cloud service provider and allows users to use cloud-based applications through either a network connection or offline/sync mode. The infrastructure, middleware, application software and app data are located in the service provider’s data centre, or in the cloud.
As a SaaS provider, we use cloud testing regularly at Koderly, especially when it involves our test management platform. Qucate allows us to manage our cloud testing process, whilst we make sure that Qucate can scale, and handle demands at peak periods.
Cloud testing is more cost effective than traditional testing as you only pay for what you use, rather than having to invest in physical resources. We’ll go into more detail about the differences between cloud testing vs traditional testing later in this blog.
If you still don’t fully understand cloud computing, you can find a real-world example here.
There are different categories of testing in the cloud:
- Testing of the cloud – this is normally by a SaaS vendor, testing application specific logic, network, and infrastructure.
- Testing cloud resources – this is normally carried out by cloud (PaaS or IaaS) vendors, primarily testing network and infrastructure.
- Testing with cloud-based tools – this is normally carried out by a SaaS consumer, utilising a cloud-based tool, such as Qucate, to conduct functional and non-functional testing of an application or service.
Types of testing in the cloud
Cloud testing focusses on the testing of applications, network and infrastructure, however other testing types that you can perform in cloud environments are:
Functional testing establishes whether software performs as a user would reasonably expect.
System testing is used to evaluate how various components of an application interact together in the system.
Load testing is used to assess an application at the maximum load at which the system would fail.
Performance testing is used to evaluate how the system performs under expected workloads and is designed to make sure your system can cope during busy periods.
Security testing inspects everything for security flaws to make sure that they can’t be exploited.
Compatibility testing is used to test aspects such as usability, reliability and performance of an application.
Cloud testing vs traditional testing
Normally, cloud testing and traditional testing will follow a different lifecycle. The following software testing life cycle (STLC) is used for all testing efforts, and is a step-by-step guide to completing your testing.
- Develop user scenarios
- Design test cases
- Select cloud service provider
- Setup infrastructure
- Leverage cloud services
- Start testing
- Monitor testing goals
- Deliver results
As well as the testing process, there are differences between cloud testing vs traditional testing.
Benefits of cloud testing
- Cloud testing requires less configuration and is more cost-effective as you only pay for what you use. Traditional testing is more expensive as you need to invest in real devices and wait for configuration to be complete.
- In cloud testing, data is stored in the cloud and is easily accessible; in traditional testing, data is stored on a local server or workstation.
- Cloud testing is normally faster than traditional testing as you don’t need to manage physical infrastructure.
- Cloud testing can be scaled easily based on testing demands.
- It’s easier to replicate a testing environment with cloud testing as you don’t need to invest in hardware or other resources. You can access resources easily.
Challenges of cloud testing
Every testing effort has its challenges, and some of these can be faced in cloud testing:
- As cloud computing is on demand, there is risk of data access, so data privacy and security is a concern.
- It can be difficult to manage different environments and infrastructures as opposed to traditional testing.
- There are challenges with migrating services to the cloud (you can read our blog on cloud migration here).
- The biggest challenge of cloud testing is the need to upgrade to the cloud and making sure that users and data are not impacted.
- You’ll need to manage different cloud networking models (public, private and hybrid) and this could lead to security and synchronisation issues.
There are key benefits and challenges of cloud testing, and it’s up to your organisation to determine whether the risks are worth the rewards. If you performed cloud testing, you’d be sure to increase collaboration, speed up your testing process, and be more cost-effective.
At Koderly, we use Qucate to plan, coordinate and execute our cloud testing process. Qucate allows you to create fully audited test plans for compliance, visibility, and transparency, whilst improving quality and test coverage. If you’re looking for a test management platform, head to our Qucate page for more information, and start your 30-day free trial today!