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How Cloud Testing Reduces DevOps Infrastructure Costs and Enables Testing at Scale

Cloud testing reduces DevOps infrastructure overheads by saving time spent, eliminating fixed costs and servicing CI/CD needs for modern applications.

March 29, 2022
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Cloud testing reduces DevOps infrastructure overheads by saving time spent, eliminating fixed costs and servicing CI/CD needs for modern applications.
The Importance of Test Management in Your Test Automation Strategy

If you are a modern software development company, you are likely using the DevOps model in your team to develop, test and deliver your applications. DevOps helps create a more Agile, efficient, and organized production workflow through a shared culture and collaborative processes. Successful DevOps implementation automates large parts of the deployment and development pipeline for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). 

Today, most applications are delivered over the web. Pace and scale, without overlooking quality, are critical. Many DevOps teams are leveraging cloud testing environments to help speed up delivery, streamline deployment and improve quality.

Here is how cloud testing reduces DevOps infrastructure costs and enables testing at scale:

1. Cloud testing saves time spent by skilled resources

Using the DevOps model inherently means cross-functional collaboration, but this often leads to highly skilled DevOps engineers spending time on tasks outside of their core activities.

DevOps engineers end up performing a variety of time-consuming tasks, such as:

  • Adding tests for frequent browser updates from all the browsers in the market across devices (mobile, desktop). 
  • Scripting configurations for automatic reconfigurations of test servers for permutations and combinations of browser version, OS version and platform. 
  • Maintaining testing infrastructure, including handling software updates, library updates, OS updates, and hardware upgrades or replacements. 

Large-scale automated testing needs constant maintenance of the infrastructure. DevOps engineers are in-demand skilled resources. Their time should be spent on test automation strategies and testing optimization, rather than cumbersome maintenance work that can be eliminated with the right tool. 

Moving testing infrastructure to the cloud would free up time spent by DevOps engineers on maintenance, cross-browser testing and configuration scripting. 

2. Cloud testing moves infrastructure costs from Capex to Opex

There was a time when an application had to work on just one or two desktop browsers. Now, it has to work on at least 8 browsers and 5 different platforms. Cross-browser and cross-platform testing is that arduous task of each test having to be repeated on each combination of browser and platform. For responsive UIs, it should also be run at multiple screen resolutions. For a test suite of 1,000 tests, you might easily need to complete 100,000 runs to cover the full test matrix.

With the quality expectations of software applications today, it is necessary to test hundreds of combinations of browsers, devices, operating systems and platforms. It can’t be compromised. And the more combinations you need to test, the more testing servers you need. Expensive servers. With office space, furniture and utility bills proportionate to those expensive servers. 

Moving testing infrastructure to the cloud can shift expensive, upfront capital expenses (CapEx) costs to a pay-as-you-go model with operational expenses that can be scaled up and down based on project needs. It also eliminates the costs associated with upkeep and maintenance.

3. Cloud testing reduces infrastructure complexity 

The process of setting up and running the testing environment is complex. In an open-source ecosystem, testing teams typically use one go-to platform for functional testing, say Selenium or Cypress, and another tool for visual testing. Then they provision an external test environment like Selenium Grid or use 3rd party managed cloud services with Selenium wrappers that can integrate all these components. You would need resources to manage integrations between multiple moving pieces, keep an eye on security posture, and constantly manage every subscription to make sure the cumulative expense doesn’t exceed your budget.

Third party cloud providers typically supply pre-configured virtual images for every OS. However, the number of instances would not support large-scale automation or higher complexity. They are also expensive, with monthly fees going up to thousands of dollars for only a few dedicated instances. If your application needs to scale to increase test coverage and release more features, the pricing from these providers is prohibitive. 

Moreover, some of the current providers are weak and slow, so they focus their offerings on local execution. This unfortunately requires heavy setup work. These solutions also don’t offer detailed analysis and reporting.

Selenium Grid was designed to coordinate multiple instances of Selenium running on a number of different servers. However, it isn’t optimized to take advantage of things like distributed storage, dynamic scaling, and automatic failover. It isn’t ideal for DevOps teams who need more agile provisioning solutions and seamless integration. 

Cloud-first testing infrastructure would integrate all the components of the testing ecosystem in the cloud. This means that scale would not depend on individual providers or subscription models. It would be one end-to-end solution that can be managed through one. 

Functionize Test Cloud is an all-in-one solution for test infrastructure.

The Functionize Test Cloud is a cloud-first test infrastructure solution that helps DevOps teams reduce complexity and save costs. We don’t move infrastructure to the cloud – our solution is built in the cloud and helps scale testing with no limits.

The Functionize Test Cloud equips teams to perform functional, end-to-end, and visual testing, all within a single, intelligent platform, eliminating the need for teams to build and maintain their own testing infrastructure. It auto-provisions virtual machines to run up to tens of thousands of tests in parallel.

Teams can create and schedule orchestrations for both parallel and sequential execution and run tests across browsers (including mobile) and geographies (for localization), and with different groupings and environments. With the scale enabled by a cloud-first environment, you can see how the test runs live in the real world instead of on your local machine.

Using the Functionize Test Cloud means no infrastructure overhead, no need to set up and maintain a Selenium grid and no need to procure expensive 3rd party providers. No need to burden DevOps engineers with setup or maintenance. 

And the best part? The entire end-to-end solution costs less than the cumulative costs of complex multi-platform environments stitched together by 3rd party providers. 

Today’s DevOps teams need to optimize their time and resources to support rapid delivery. Without cloud-first testing infrastructure, DevOps resources are unbalanced and will not only slow your releases down, but also ring up expenses that are untenable. Book a demo today to find out more about how you can save your DevOps infrastructure costs!