Testing in the cloud: Considering the risks

Article by Matt Heusser .

Cloud computing promises a huge number of advantages for software developers. There’s the ability to rent servers, to scale those servers out, to create new capacity on-demand and possibly even to eliminate the need for a physical data center.

Sadly, eliminating the need for testing isn’t one of them.

Instead of a list of common failure points and things to test for, I’ll focus on high-level risks. As a tester or IT professional, you’ll want to begin a dialogue about elements which are within your role to address. Let’s break these down into the following four areas: functionality, scalability, security and other business risks for cloud computing.

Functional testing

Starting with what doesn’t change much, functional testing remains functional testing, regardless of where it’s executed.

All the traditional rules still hold. You’ll want to perform quick attacks, break down the software into its business logic, execute domain modeling, conduct scenario testing and so on.

What will be different is how you create the environment. Unless you have physical servers you are “porting” to the cloud, you will likely need some sort of test set-up code. This code should be nearly identical to the production code, perhaps with a different domain name, less built-in scalability, or different data.

In other words, someone will need to test the process of building an electric data center, upgrading software within that data center, possibly saving the data locally. Are you that person?
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