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Performance Testing in Cloud Environment: All You Need to Know

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With a virtually infinite pool of resources, cloud helps scale applications as desired for computing, storage, and networking to change the way they are deployed, monitored, and used by the end-users. You would agree that performance is the utmost factor in testing a web application as it directly impacts the end-user experience. And, it is vital to measure the performance of the applications in the cloud. It is a well-known fact that software testing is a critical part of the development process. So far, so great, but companies are now increasingly turning to test using cloud infrastructure. Why?

Performance testing in the cloud is different from that of traditional applications. It aims to measure the parameters such as system throughput & latency with changing number of parallel users accessing your application. This is across different load profiles and various other performance metrics. Allow me to explain with the following discussion. We will start with a look at some of the benefits of cloud performance testing:

  1. Scalability: A critical benefit of cloud performance testing is that it empowers employees with mobility which, in turn, means that cloud computing testing does not need to focus on investments in software as well as hardware.
  2. Ease of use: Despite the multitude of cloud computing subsets and forms, the fact remains that cloud performance testing is easy to configure, set up, and use.
  3. Reduced costs: When companies use the cloud as a platform for testing, they observe a lowered demand for not only installation setup but also a reduced need for focus on hardware maintenance.

Let us discuss cloud performance testing further, starting with a quick list of the different forms of such testing:

  1. Entire cloud
  2. Within a cloud
  3. Across clouds

There are different types of cloud performance testing as well and some of the most important types of those tests have been listed below.

  1. Stress test: Stress testing seeks to help testers pre-emptively identify any roadblocks and performance issues to enable the team to proactively take corrective action.
  2. Infrastructure test: This test involves isolating every component or layer of the application and then testing it to see if the app can deliver the expected or required performance. One of the key goals of such testing is to determine bugs and issues that could impede the system’s collective performance.
  3. Load test: Testers make use of a load test when they are trying to see if the system’s performance is streamlined and optimized when the system is simultaneously used by several users.
  4. Capacity test: The capacity test is what testing teams use to, first, determine and, then, establish the maximum load-bearing capacity or the most amount of traffic a given cloud computing solution can manage.

Let us wrap up this discussion with a quick look at some of the tools you can use for such testing:

  1. Jmeter: Jmeter, a Java-based testing app, helps testers analyze the app’s functional performance and can also be used to mimic heavy loads to gauge the server’s strength.
  2. Wireshark: A rather popular offering on this list, Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer that helps deal with issues such as latency issues, malicious activity, dropped packets, etc.
  3. SOASTA: Even though it is not only quick but also scalable, the SOASTA testing solution manages to be quite affordable. It allows testers to gauge the app’s load-bearing capacity and is simple and convenient to use.
  4. LoadStorm: A load testing solution, it enables low-cost testing of not only web apps but mobile apps as well.

Like for any other software, software performance testing for cloud-based offerings is quite an important aspect of the entire development process. Of course, to achieve the full range of benefits such testing has to offer, one must carefully strategize and execute their performance testing in cloud-based environments.