Definition

cloud testing

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Guide to cloud application testing
Contributor(s): Kim Hefner

Cloud testing is the process of testing the performance, scalability and reliability of Web applications in a cloud computing environment.

Compared to a traditional on-premises testing environment, cloud-based testing offers users pay-per-use pricing, flexibility and reduced time to market. Built-in collaboration tools allow geographically dispersed development teams to work in the cloud testing environment 24/7. Testers can also scale application workloads to thousands or millions of concurrent users to find performance issues before the application goes live.

But like any other technology, there are drawbacks. A lack of standards around integrating public cloud resources with on-premises resources, concerns over security in the cloud, hard-to-understand service-level agreements and limited configurations/bandwidth offered by cloud providers can all contribute to delays and cost issues.

This was last updated in November 2014

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One additional drawback that should be mentioned is that testers should make sure they are very aware of just how long they keep an environment up and running. IT's easy to spawn environments that don't get shut down, or they get forgotten after awhile. Problem is, the provider doesn't forget and they are metering every moment that machine is running. In short, get into the habit of making sure you shut down machines as soon as you are finished using them. Yes, it will take a few minutes to spawn a new machine again, but it costs a lot less than leaving a machine(s) running indefinitely.
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