In the last in our series of posts about testing on the cloud we’re looking into some of the operational challenges you might experience when implementing cloud testing.
Operational Challenges in cloud testing
Despite the clear benefits, there are still some areas where testing on the cloud has limitations which organisations need to be aware of. We explore these below, with pointers for how they could be overcome.
It is vital that Infrastructure requirements are rigorously set, because the very flexibility that the cloud offers for testing environments can actually become a risk if the requirements for those environments are inappropriate. Results will then be poor, and negative perceptions of the cloud as a test environment will result from what was really lack of attential to requirements around the infrastructure. Using a simple checklist will help reduce this risk to a minimum.
Most types of services and systems (including legacy systems) can be virtualised, however 5-10% of all systems cannot and, therefore, migrating a project to the cloud takes a lot of effort that can easily be overlooked. By using robust interfaces with these legacy systems, the risk posed by disjunction can be reduced. An example might be using a VPN connection between the cloud and the client’s own servers to create a connection between legacy and cloud systems.
The well-publicised scepticism around security in the cloud and the problem of controlling access to cloud servers are issues that all service providers are working hard to overcome. Fundamentally the nature of cloud computing means the data from one consumer is often stored alongside the data of another. To some extent the challenge of confidentiality is being met through encryption, which is often used to segregate data-at-rest. However this is not a cure-all, and a thorough evaluation of the encryption systems used should always be undertaken. In addition, backup is not ‘out-of-the-box’.
Evolving fast to meet a growing need
Given the benefits we explored earlier in this series, and the challenges highlighted above , there is a clear role for experienced service providers with testing expertise and multiple technical skills, such as Sogeti and the Capgemini Group, to help clients adopt the most appropriate and relevant Cloud Testing roadmap.
For example, we have already developed a number of services that will enable client organizations to leverage the advantages of Testing on the Cloud and avoid any pitfalls.
These services include the provision of a suitable owned or shared test infrastructure for a range of test environments and test levels, such as performance testing as indicated above. In addition, we offer SaaS or STaaS (Software Testing as a Service) with ‘pay as you go’ test tools.
For many enterprises, there is a significant cost and license commitment in using test management tools. However on the cloud, if a new project needs to use test tools for a short to medium term, these can be used (and paid for) when required and only then!
By utilizing Software in the Cloud, organizations can enjoy significant pricing benefits, not least because it becomes possible to more precisely judge the actual usage and pay according to use, rather than having annual fees.
We anticipate that clients will have a growing, on-going need for new specialist services that create real added-value through pay-as-you-go pricing models. So, if after reading through this series of blog posts, you have questions about the topic or feel that Sogeti could help you in testing on the cloud, please don’t hesitate to email us.