Thursday 18 April 2013

Automated testing in the cloud


Modern enterprise organization usually maintains at least one web application or Intranet system.  Critical issue for organization is to ensure that critical business functions will be available to customers, suppliers, regulators, and other entities that must have access to those functions.
Maintaining business continuity requires system test execution, in particular functional tests, performance tests, stress tests and continuously monitoring of services. The traditional approach to testing emerges a number of problems and the need to incur the necessary costs. Requires the ongoing commitment and maintain the validation team, infrastructure, tools and licenses to plan and execute testing and reporting, as in any organization meets the requirements of a limited budget, tight deadlines to provide tested solutions. If you also count the cost of a single test, the number of tests needed for a full test cycle, the need for regression testing, poor reusability and the lack of testing in a distributed environment with multiple locations then we find that is not possible to carry out some tests using traditional methods. Human resources and infrastructure costs are too high. Maintaining system continuity requires performing continuous actions for testing team, in particular functional tests, performance tests, stress tests and continuously monitoring of services.


Testing platform is the solution for all these problems. Let's imagine that you have a team of hundreds or even thousand validation engineers. Then imagine that your team executes for all day and the night, during several weeks, a lot of testing scenarios using various operating systems, browsers from distributed localization. Cognitum provides flexible automated cloud testing platform based on Microsoft Azure. Platform shifts testing of applications into virtual infrastructure and simulates real world user traffic from different location, operating systems, browsers and test cases.  Scalability of infrastructure gives possibility to employee hundreds or even thousand virtual computers on demand. Flexibility manages number and configurations of those virtual machines. Distributed testing environment allows simulating users, maintaining business continuity and executing almost all testing types as a cost-effective solution. The solution is scalable according to the needs of the company, to the maximum capability of infrastructure, database or Azure cost plan.

Customer’s issue

Blue chip company from energy sector which has a number of internal systems, websites and web portal for their customers. The company must deliver continuous operation of internal systems for proper operation of the accounting department, electric grid monitoring, HR system and the client department. In addition, continuous monitoring is required website, because informs about company, prices and urgent messages about failures, and network maintenance. In other site, the company has system for individual and business customers, which allows them to log on anywhere and control over their bills and payments.
In case of internal systems testing services we are using virtual network (based on Microsoft Azure), which allows secure access to the local network. Connecting via VPN gateway provides corporate data security, which is very important for any organization. Thus, our test platform has access to a live system and data in a production environment which cause solution more reliable and effective.
In case of websites and web applications, testing platform can simulate a massive user’s traffic, examine continuous system availability, and perform regression testing after each update.
Moreover, the company require duplicate production environment for testing purposes. Applications and system are moved and launched as a testing environment in the cloud. For security reasons, sensitive data are anonymized and reproduced by a statistical model of production data. In this environment, the testing can be performed using traditional methods, but using a testing platform in the cloud, both methods can be combined together. Test platform running in the cloud carries previously designed test scenarios. Execution of the test scenarios is managed by the special tool called Test Manager. In this way, the test scenarios can perform testing on duplicated applications in a virtual environment. It completely frees the company from having a physical test infrastructure.


The implemented solution has brought a new quality to the issue of testing web and enterprise infrastructure. Based on test platform in the cloud, the organization has reduced employment of validation team and the total cost of system’s maintenance.

Cognitum cooperates with Microsoft under prestigious Azure Circle program, where technology partners are invited with experience in Windows Azure. It provides IT solutions in the area of Cloud and BigData for customers both in Poland and abroad.