Cloud-based testing applications use shared resources that are allocated dynamically to create flexible environments that simulate user scenarios and real-world traffic. Easy access to the cloud environment helps organizations approach software testing as an easily scalable, on-demand service. It frees up resources to be used in other areas of your project while providing high-quality results. However, the cloud is not without its drawbacks. Though cloud-based testing offers advantages, there are also counterpoints to consider before adopting it as a part of your QA approach.
Let's first consider a few strong points of cloud-based software testing:
- The testing environment is dynamic and readily available. The on-demand nature of cloud-based testing is a big draw for organizations who need fast turnaround time and don't mind self service. Most cloud testing applications work using a subscription model, so any user with a browser can register and start testing immediately.
- The services are secure and affordable. Testing can be performed in either public, private or hybrid clouds. The public cloud is the most cost-effective choice, and an acceptable level of security is maintained. For a mix of cost-effectiveness and top-tier security, many organizations opt for testing in the hybrid cloud. Learn more about how to protect yourself from common security shortfalls in QA.
- You can scale as needed. The elastic scalability of cloud-based testing allows you to ramp up and ramp down as your needs change or your project goals shift.
- It allows for simple disaster recovery. In the cloud, recovery of any assets is quick and easy, not laborious or complex.
- Cost-effective on the whole. Working via the cloud lowers costs associated with server maintenance and engineer labor.
Now, let's look at a few of the drawbacks:
- Bandwidth issues. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your cloud-based testing tool you'll need to have a suitable (i.e. large) amount of bandwidth. Because the cloud's resources are shared by many other organizations, demand will always fluctuate.
- Redundant tests. Cloud servers are not backed up, meaning that there is no monitoring of redundant test plans. Consequently, you may be charged for re-tests of your code, application, or website.
- Loss of autonomy and security. When you become a subscriber to a cloud-based testing application, you hand over your data and information to an outside party. Though in most cases your data will remain safe and confidential, it is a point to be wary of.
- Spotty feature coverage. Is your application rich in features? Do you add new functionality constantly? Your testing service may not necessarily be equipped to test each new feature you release, resulting in inadequate test coverage. See the benefit of working with QA testing experts.
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