Why Performance Testing Is Important for an Application Moving to the Cloud?

12.05.2020 1,769 2

Cloud computing is the term everyone is talking about these days. To enable the digital transformation and provide competitive differentiation to products and services in the current global market business leaders increasingly rely on the cloud. An application can be scaled as desired in the cloud as it virtually offers a pool of resources for computing, storage and network. While migrating an application to the cloud, engineers need to ensure the data flow and functional flow remains unchanged. Quality Engineers need to check if the application remains stable, secure and fully functional in the new environment. At the same time it is also important to measure the performance of the application migrating to the cloud, as it directly impacts the end user experience.

To ensure successful transition assessment and validation of the migration plan is important. Below are the validation objectives:

  • Understand whether the application has to be migrated from physical servers or it is native on the cloud;
  • Size of the application to be migrated. For large application the validation plan should be aligned with the migration plan;
  • Criticality and complexity of the application.

What is the Cloud?

The cloud is a pay-per-use kind of model that can be scaled as required. Resources are virtually assigned and reassigned as per the customer needs with high degree of locational independence. Some of the important metrics for cloud implementation are storage, bandwidth and number of users accessing it at any given point of time. Elasticity is one of the major factors that defines the ability of the cloud offering to deal with varying loads by increasing and decreasing the number of users in a live cloud set up. Three variations of the cloud- Public, Private and Hybrid are available. Based on the application requirement, organizations choose the cloud.

Why is Performance Testing Important when Migrating to the Cloud?

The reason behind performing cloud migration differs from one company to another. It could be the desire to upgrade the infrastructure, improve performance and scalability, etc. Typically two performance constraints: bandwidth and latency are impacted when the application and data are migrated to the cloud. Web traffic begins to vary significantly and bandwidth utilization increases during and after the migration.

During this migration journey, performance problems do occur depending on the size of the application and the data. When the application is migrated or in the process of migration some level of administrative control is taken up by the cloud’s provider. Though the performance SLA’s are offered by the cloud providers, the IT team is still responsible for the performance of the application or the service. Even when running on the appropriate infrastructures the reality is that the application cannot scale up correctly. This makes the performance testing of the application really important as it might be prone to server break down, website crashes, database errors etc. which will affect time, resources and customers’ goodwill.

Below are the types of performance tests that should be conducted during a migration effort:

Load test: When multiple users use the application at same time from multiple geographical locations, load testing ascertains whether the system performs optimally or not. Load testing provides information like performance metrics, average load which is useful to fine tune the performance of the application.

Latency test: Measures the time taken to move the data between two points within the cloud network. The latency test is a subset of the response time.

Stress test: Stability, reliability and responsiveness of the application are validated under an extremely high load for the cloud.
Targeted infrastructure test: Each component or layer of the application is separated and tested for the ability to deliver the required performance.

Browser testing: Determines the compatibility of a browser with the overall system.

Failover test: When a system faces heavy traffic it determines the ability to call in additional resources to ensure the end user experience is not affected.

Now that you have been successfully migrated to the cloud by following various performance tests during and after the migration, it is important to ensure that the functional workflows and data flows are intact. Another important aspect is the smooth migration where the backend process functions are not disturbed.

In summary, organizations are moving towards the cloud in recent times as it is a smarter way to get faster and better services at lower prices. Performance testing is important during the migration for hassle-free applications post the effort, as the elasticity and scalability of the application are measured. Validation checklists must be deployed for the applications migrating to the cloud to make them “Cloud Ready” for production usage.

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