So, what exactly are we talking about...?
The “cloud” buzzword is often bandied about, but we find that when describing the use of cloud platforms for performance testing, it’s sensible to re-visit the definition of cloud computing and establish some common ground.
According to the definition from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology:
“Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
The key things to remember here are that cloud platforms can provide flexibility and “on-demand” provisioning, but they're not necessarily simpler to use than physical platforms or cheaper. It all depends on whether you use them sensibly or not. Despite these potential pitfalls, the benefits of cloud computing usually outweigh the disadvantages.
Trust IV has clients who perform regular small tests for application tuning and infrequent “break” tests where we use large numbers of cloud servers as load generators or switch to using StormRunner. Cost savings are significant when taking this approach to testing.
Testing 'from' or 'in' the Cloud
When discussing cloud performance testing it is important to understand when you are testing “in the cloud”, “from the cloud” or simply testing a cloud-based application.
|From the Cloud|
|In the Cloud|
Regardless of whether you are looking to test in or from the cloud, the key to successful testing is to develop a strategy which exploits the benefits of the cloud platform and reduces the impact of any disadvantages:
- Repeat tests to obtain reliable result sets for comparison
- Avoid peak load times for cloud environments
- Re-validate tests in physical test environments if practical
- Use diagnostics software to drill down into application performance (...better application understanding is vital)
- Manage your costs, automate the provisioning and tear-down of virtual servers to reduce accidental platform over-spend
Contact Trust IV today to see how we can help.