How To

The Ins and Outs of Cloud Performance Testing

June 20, 2023 | min

Cloud performance testing conceptualized as a magnifying glass used to examine information on a computer screen

With every modern-day company's increasing online presence, many businesses use their infrastructure to provide applications or services to clients worldwide. As more organizations adopt cloud technology as part of their infrastructure, ensuring that workloads running in private and public clouds perform optimally becomes increasingly necessary. 

The process of cloud performance testing is a critical factor in businesses' ability to ensure that their clients succeed when using their services.

Key Takeaways:

  • Proper performance testing in cloud environments facilitates simplicity, scalability, availability, and agility for applications.
  • IT performance testing processes can target entire clouds or focus on specific aspects of individual clouds, measuring the capability and reliability of the applications within.
  • The key to effective performance testing is configuring a robust development environment compatible with the organization’s existing cloud infrastructure.

IT leaders can tackle the process of performance testing in a new or expanding cloud environment by further exploring the ins and outs of the practice.

What is cloud performance testing?

Performance testing measures the stability, reliability and responsiveness of an application or workload. Cloud performance testing, refers to performance evaluations in a public or hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Cloud computing remedies the issue of growing complexity in the field of data storage and application deployment. Many factors go into running workloads in the cloud, such as managing hybrid cloud performance through resource allocation, network configurations and application scaling. Performance testing is vital in protecting the end user from issues or downtime resulting from complications anywhere in the cloud computing pipeline. 

Research by Trilio indicates that 43% of organizations experience data loss due to outages and that over 30% of outages result in revenue loss. It is possible to mitigate such adverse outcomes through performance testing.

Before the advent of cloud computing, in-house performance testing entailed hiring or training IT specialists for the labor-intensive process of maintaining and evaluating physical hardware systems. Companies adopting a cloud computing approach can instead conduct cloud performance testing by measuring specific metrics and loading profiles with a simple interface.  

What are the benefits of cloud performance testing?

The benefit of simplicity is a fundamental aspect of performance testing, particularly in the cloud. This simplicity empowers internal teams and clients to focus on their personal goals and successes.

Cloud platforms are inherently scalable to meet an enterprise’s growing and evolving needs. Flexible performance testing solutions that use any device to analyze an infrastructure’s current and future performance requirements can further facilitate a seamless expansion into deploying additional applications and services.

Cloud performance testing also enables cost-cutting measures by increasing the visibility of an entire network’s resource requirements. Even as visibility makes it possible to diversify the variety of client requests the organization can handle, it also allows for reducing expenses on excessive hardware and unnecessary installations.

The focus for any enterprise shifting to a cloud-native development methodology should ultimately be fast, latency-free performance. Proper testing practices are essential to accelerate app performance in the cloud

What are the cloud performance testing processes?

Performance testing practices fall under either functional testing or non-functional testing. Functional tests are typically manual procedures that verify a software application's features for customer use. Non-functional tests tend to be passive or automatic processes that report on the availability or reliability of an application. 

Furthermore, it is possible to design cloud performance testing processes that target different aspects of the cloud environment. Tests can measure the performance of an entire cloud, specific elements within a cloud, or multiple clouds within a broader network.

The testing processes that organizations should conduct in their cloud environments are:

  • Load tests: Measurements of performance during periods of heavy use by many users
  • Stress tests: Identification of bottlenecks and other issues that arise during extreme conditions
  • Latency tests: Measurement of the time required to move data packets between points in the network
  • Browser tests: Validation of the compatibility between applications in the cloud and browsers used by consumers
  • Targeted infrastructure tests: Measurement of each layer or component of an application in an isolated setting to identify compatibility issues with the overall system
  • Failover tests: Measurement of an application’s ability to acquire additional resources or move to a backup system during failure conditions without affecting the user experience
  • Capacity tests: Measurement of the maximum amount of traffic an application can handle before performance suffers
  • Soak tests: Measurement of the effect of extended heavy traffic periods on an application

Effective implementation of these established cloud performance testing processes requires an organization’s IT team to outline specific performance criteria and set a usable testing environment for appropriate configurations.

What cloud performance testing solutions are available?

Performance testing is an essential process for enterprises offering consumer applications and services. For an organization looking to migrate workloads to the cloud or strengthen an existing cloud presence, this means moving to a reliable cloud platform compatible with a simple yet powerful testing environment.

Developers creating cloud-native applications need a platform that facilitates productivity and agility, even as the company prioritizes lowering costs through streamlined solutions. The proper testing environment should fulfill all of these requirements.

The Dev/Test platform from Nutanix provides an agile development and testing environment. It prioritizes speed, helps lower costs, and offers client-centric performance businesses need when choosing a third-party platform and building a cloud performance testing strategy.

Consumers using hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) can learn more about HCI benchmarking solutions and how cloud application development can take place across multiple platforms.

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