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@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Creating Complete Dev/Test Environments in the Cloud

Dev/Test Cloud and Service Virtualization: Parts of a Complete Breakfast

You can't truly accelerate the SDLC without a dependable continuous testing process. Evolving from automated to continuous testing requires on-demand access to a complete, realistic test environment. Yet, such access can be extremely difficult to achieve with today's increasingly complex and interdependent applications. Consider these recent research findings from voke:

  • On average, organizations require access to 33 systems for dev/test, but have unrestricted access to only 18

  • Only 4% of participants report immediate, on-demand access to dev/test lab environments

  • The majority of participants wait days or weeks to gain access to lab environments

  • These constraints frequently slow or stop the progress of development (44%) and testing (68%)

Attempting to increase test environment access by building out staged test environments with conventional infrastructure can be extraordinarily expensive. One way to cost-effectively eliminate these constraints is to combine service virtualization with cloud-based virtual dev/test labs to deliver complete, production-like simulated test environments:

  • All the systems that your organization can logistically image in the cloud are copied into an elastic cloud-based dev/test lab.

  • Those beyond the team's scope or control (e.g., third-party applications, SAP, mainframes, not-yet-implemented services, etc.) are simulated into the environment via service virtualization.


Dev/Test Cloud and Service Virtualization: Parts of a Complete Breakfast
Jason English of Skytap (Parasoft's business partner) recently wrote a great piece explaining how service virtualization not only complements dev/test clouds, but is often better than the real thing. Here's an excerpt from the complete Development and Test Cloud with Service Virtualization: Parts of a Complete Breakfast article:

devtestservicevirtualization"Take any system that you need to have ready for testing, but is not readily available. It could be a heavy mainframe that is too bulky to image as a VM, or a third party service you don’t have the access permission to copy. It would be much easier if you could realistically simulate just the behavior and data you need to run tests with those components.

Enter Service Virtualization (or SV), which gives us a lightweight way to eliminate these constraints by replacing them with Virtual Services. This new technology is rapidly becoming a standard practice in large enterprises, with several major vendors offering solutions in the space. SV is proven to “cut the wires” of dependencies in dev/test environments.

That’s great for traditional on-premise environments, but it is especially useful in cloud dev/test scenarios, where speed is of the essence. Cloud infrastructure has come a long way in the last few years as well – offering increased capacity and performance at decreasing cost. But there will always be some components that just don’t make sense to port directly to cloud.

In many cases, you don’t need, or even want the real thing in your dev/test cloud. Production systems may respond and perform unpredictably. If you are developing an application that will talk to production systems, you will likely need to suss out all the boundary conditions in your battery of tests. For instance, what if the mainframe responds in 30 seconds instead of 3 seconds, or .3 seconds? What if my partner’s service returns my form request with an unknown error, or a bunch of SQL hack statements?

It takes too much work and coordination to try and make every other team’s system respond exactly as you want. But you can easily make a virtual service do what you want. Better to focus on the aspects of development testing, integration and performance testing that are in the scope of your requirements, and automate the rest."

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Technical Writer at Parasoft, authors technical articles, documentation, white papers, case studies, and other marketing communications—currently specializing in service virtualization, API testing, DevOps, and continuous testing. She has also co-authored and ghostwritten several books on software development and testing for Wiley and Wiley-IEEE Press. Dunlop holds a BA from UCLA and an MA from Washington State University.

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