As your business grows, data storage becomes one of the biggest challenges that you will likely face at some point. Among the myriad of big data challenges, the most notable are shortage of server capacity, sharing issues, security and file backup.
Hybrid file sharing simply means sharing any file over a hybrid cloud environment, which could be a combination of different cloud platforms such as on-site services, private cloud services and public cloud services. Hybrid file sharing takes place over the cloud to make sure that files and data are kept in a shared place so that people with appropriate permissions can easily access and save files. The cloud-based storage system has provided a valuable solution to the industry to help resolve storage-related issues.
Depending upon data permissions, usage and handling requirements, companies can choose the best platform for file sharing processes, which can be either on-site services or cloud services (private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud).
Why are Cloud Services Better than On-Site Storage?
Cloud based storage has created significant popularity in the market and is very different from on-site software. In Cloud computing, it is usually more efficient and cost effective to coordinate with a third party for services instead of hosting the environment internally. Companies prefer to buy the storage space on an as-needed basis. The greatest benefit from cloud storage infrastructure is that it provides the provision to scale up and scale down the services based on business requirements so you only pay for what you need.
However, few companies still follow the conventional approach for data storage, which is an on-site platform.
This is a legacy approach where a company has its own server and firewall to serve its business needs. This is both reliable and secure as the licensed software resides within the organization itself. In addition, it comes with some level of accountability such as in-house hardware setup requirements, integrations, support, cost transparency and compliance capabilities.
When you choose cloud services over on-site, you can save set-up costs and time without compromising quality, security, and safety.
Types of Cloud Services
The different types of cloud services include public cloud services, private cloud services and hybrid cloud services. In the public cloud, the shared network is utilized which is hosted by a service provider. Multiple users share the public cloud at the same time. For private cloud, dedicated hardware and networks are provided to share and maintain the data. Hybrid cloud services are a combination of public and private cloud services.
The typical cloud computing stack is based on three approach models, including SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. SaaS (software as a service) is on the top of the stack and lets the user interact with the application hosted on the cloud. PaaS (platform as a service) exists in the middle and enables the deployment or creation of the application. IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) is on the bottom of the stack, controlling the infrastructure and hardware to empower the cloud services. With all of these models, how does QA perform testing on hybrid file sharing platforms with both on-site and cloud infrastructure?
Cloud testing focuses on three basic components as below:
- Application Testing: This includes testing the application and end-to-end workflows thoroughly. For example, recommended testing includes ensuring accurate information is going over the cloud in addition to ensuring accurate responses are coming from the cloud after sharing/saving/uploading/downloading.
- Network Testing: Internet bandwidth and transfer protocols testing are involved in it. For Example, the application responds as expected on different bandwidth networks (WiFi, High-speed connectivity and low speed). In case the network is lost in-between, the data is not lost - it either stays at a cloud or reaches the user.
- Infrastructure Testing: This includes thorough testing of storage plans, security protocols, data backup process, and recovery plans at cloud end or application end following regular compliance.
In terms of testing, a wide coverage of testing scenarios need to be performed to ensure that everything is performing appropriately over the cloud. The basic testing types are ‘Latency’ and ‘Performance’ testing although other testing types also play a significant role. Below are some of the recommended testing types to execute on a hybrid file sharing platform:
- Performance testing: Performed on your cloud/server, this creates the virtual users, environment, and traffic to analyze the performance and the response times. Ideal testing is performed under the highest load levels on simulators and tests cloud performance in times of heavy traffic.
- Latency testing: This measures for specific action and respective responses.
- Functional testing: This is the process of workflow verification that takes place over the cloud/server.
- Security testing: This involves thoroughly testing data access points, data encryption and other security settings like Firewalls and Anti-Virus to ensure there are no risks or compliance concerns.
Today, many leading companies are offering cloud storage infrastructures like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM, Rackspace, Advaltis and Microsoft Azure. For the best results, companies should consider the following when it comes to Cloud Storage Infrastructure. A few of them are as follows:
- Collaboration should be easier for your users and data should be appropriate for them.
- Data synchronizing should be easier and fast for users, including deleting, uploading, downloading, etc.
- The user’s respective data/information should be visible to the user’s signed-in account via the cloud/application.
- If a user triggers any action such as uploading or downloading data - two actions should be aligned. The first action is completed in the back end and then the next action can take place.
Briefly, Cloud infrastructure is offering extremely beneficial solutions to multiple high-tech and software companies across the world. These companies are utilizing capabilities such as database, storage, networks, systems and servers over the cloud to enhance their growing data requirements and are reaping the benefits of greater efficiency, improved ability to scale and measurable cost savings.