In the current digital era, users are much more tech-savvy and have high expectations for fast, dependable, and aesthetically pleasing web applications. The most compelling task for developers, today, is to ensure that their web applications perform well under high user loads and are resilient to other prevalent issues. As such, load testing becomes essential to help developers identify performance bottlenecks and ensure that applications can efficiently handle heavy traffic while not compromising the quality of the user experience.
Another added complexity to this testing cycle comes from the widespread migration to the cloud. As businesses make the big move to the Cloud, new testing possibilities emerge as a byproduct. Consequently, the cloud testing market is booming and expected to grow at a high CAGR of 13% over the next five years.
The cloud offers us several fascinating key features, such as IaaS, PaaS, and other technologies as a Service. When combined with APIs, a high degree of automation, and on-demand resources, we get a cost-effective and scalable environment that was previously unavailable. Hence, amalgamating these cloud-based capabilities with load-testing processes is a game-changer for ensuring intended performance and providing scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility to web applications.
This article delves into the perks and best practices of cloud-based load testing, and how businesses can leverage it to achieve superior performance. Read on to know more:
Why Cloud-based Load Testing?
Building Scalable Applications:
Cloud-based load testing provides testers with the ability to simulate large user loads by leveraging the scalability of the cloud infrastructure. With on-demand resources, you can easily scale up or down to match the desired load, ensuring realistic testing scenarios. This flexibility eliminates the need for expensive and time-consuming hardware provisioning and enables efficient testing across different geographies and time zones.
Reduced Costs of Testing
Cloud-based load testing is cost-effective, unlike traditional on-premises load testing which requires significant upfront investments in hardware, licenses, and maintenance. The pay-as-you-go model of cloud-based load testing ensures that organizations only pay for the resources they consume during the testing phase, making it suitable for both small and large-scale projects.
Cloud testing enables simulations of real-world-like testing scenarios and user behaviors. Organizations can also leverage the cloud’s global distribution channels to simulate cases based on geography, facilitating a new, specific aspect to test. An overall test coverage helps testers identify any prevalent performance issues like network latency, application load time, content delivery, etc.
Seamless Test Execution
When you move your testing infrastructure to the cloud, you are investing in a time-effective, easy-to-use, real-time, and automated environment. In other words, utilizing the cloud integrates your testing capabilities seamlessly with intuitive web interfaces/ APIs offering holistic and effective test execution.
What Does Cloud-based Load Testing Primarily Test?
The primary aim of cloud-based performance testing is to assess three crucial aspects of an application’s performance – speed, scalability, and stability.
- Speed: This objective determines how rapidly the application responds.
- Scalability: This objective is to establish the maximum user load that the application can sustain without experiencing any issues.
- Stability: This objective verifies that the application remains stable even under varying loads.
Determining these specific KPIs helps realize the end goals of performance testing quicker (identifying potential performance bottlenecks and eliminating them, rather than identifying glitches or bugs).
Cloud-based Load Testing: Best Practices
- The Right Load Testing Tools: The first step to ensure a successful cloud-based load testing strategy is paying necessary attention to how you choose your testing tools. Consider factors affecting your results such as bandwidth simulation, upload/download speeds, compatibility with multiple fiber connections, etc., before choosing a load testing tool.
- Simulate Realistic Test Scenarios: Test coverage is the biggest perk of cloud-based testing cycles. Ensure that you build a testing strategy that doesn’t just rely on sending high loads through the systems but simulates scenarios that capture realistic challenges web applications face while interacting with a variety of users. Usage of different load profiles enables a wide range of scenarios that can take place – peak loads, gradually rising loads, sustained loads, etc.
- Test Within and Outside the Firewall: If your applications serve several functionalities, it is inevitable to encounter a variety of performance issues. This makes it difficult to pinpoint a specific element causing disruption to your systems. Hence, it becomes imperative that your testing strategy comprises plans for testing elements both inside and outside the firewall to locate these roadblocks.
- User Experience is also a Priority: It often happens that testers focus on how the application works – if the servers are working right – while overlooking the end-user element crucial to the success of any product. Ensure that you prioritize user experience as one of the major elements for comprehensive results.
- Test Often: Agile Methodology has gained momentum in recent years as one of the most effective development and administration strategies. Adoption of this methodology preaches the need for testing as much as possible to ensure that even the slightest change in the system cannot go undetected and cause potential performance issues. So, test your systems, ideally, on a regular basis throughout the development and deployment cycles.
The paradigm shift in consumption, especially of digital resources, primarily affects how technology is consumed today. Wide adoption of digital technologies (especially the Cloud) has enabled accelerated software production and delivery cycles. This calls for even quicker testing cycles so that no gaps remain between development and deployment.
When it comes to the most popular B2C/B2B digital offering – web applications – it becomes highly imperative that end-user experience is prioritized to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Hence, performance testing remains a priority for web application developers. Traditionally, manual testing was used to test these applications for a variety of loads and intended performance. However, cloud capabilities have enhanced this process, as well. While manual testing might prove time-consuming and expensive for these testing cycles, cloud-based performance testing presents a respite from this approach by offering cost-effectiveness, scalability, and accelerated time-to-market.
Yogesh Patni is a seasoned marketing manager at ImpactQA and navigating the dynamic landscapes. With a solid educational background and several years of hands-on experience, Yogesh has become an integral part of one of the leading testing companies. At ImpactQA, we provide a wide range of testing services including test automation, cloud-based load testing, performance testing, and many more.