Testing in the Cloud

by | July 19, 2016

The world is moving to the cloud and it’s making sense for growing ecommerce sites to move off of their hardware and into the virtual space.  The cloud makes it possible to increase your infrastructure on demand, even automatically, to keep up with the demands put on your website.  Virtual space may be a breakthrough idea in growing the internet, but websites that run in the cloud don’t look any different to the end user than ones that run on dedicated hardware. This means you still have to test regularly to ensure your site is running properly and you still have to check site performance after code updates to uncover problems and put in fixes before you let that code loose on the public.

Synthetic monitoring is an ideal solution for testing the cloud. Imagine testing by creating scripts that emulate exactly what your end users are doing.  Run those scripts emulating thousands of users, varying scripts and traffic to fully exercise your website.  With the ease created by using known test scripts and traffic patterns you can confidently test your cloud deployment to ensure it’s tuned to match the traffic that your website has to handle.

Load and stress testing your website can give you valuable insights as to when to launch new virtual servers into your cloud deployment to ensure that your clientele is supported by enough server power to keep their experience fast and enjoyable.  Generate high volumes of traffic in your development environment so you can predict when to scale your production environment up or down.  You can also use load and stress testing to check your cloud provider’s auto-scaling and make sure you have enough power to meet your demand without breaking the bank.

You can use capacity testing to test your load balancing algorithms. Run scripts that create thousands of connections, randomly disconnecting and reconnecting, to check that the load is being distributed properly across your virtual server farm.  Test and tweak until your servers are utilized at peak efficiency.

Is your customer base localized, or is it global? Check your performance in multiple cloud Availability Zones using our geo-clusters to find out which one, or ones, you should utilize. Generate real user loads from outside your cloud provider for objective measurement of availability, latency, load balancing and true user experience.

You give up a lot of autonomy, and headaches, migrating to the cloud. You shouldn’t give up performance testing because someone else is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure. Use synthetic monitoring techniques to model your cloud deployment, to test it in production and to continue to improve delivery and response times for your users. They will repay your diligence with their loyalty.