Strategy and approach to testing in cloud projects

    A cloud is a platform that gives you access to a wide range of services, such as virtual servers, data warehouses, data bases, Big Data processing tools, AI and machine-learning solutions and more.

    The market offers a wide variety of available cloud solutions, but GCP, Azure and AWS are the three most popular. Cloud services are now employed by many different industries worldwide to ensure efficient, scalable and secure data storage and business operations. For instance, cloud computing is widely used in IT and tech, finance, healthcare, retail, media and entertainment, as well as industry, and the services are always tailored to the specific stage of business growth. The GCP cloud is offered by Google, Azure – by Microsoft, and AWS – by Amazon, and each provider offers unique features and tools that vary in functionalities and price.

    Strategy and approach to testing in projects based on cloud solutions

    What are the pros and cons of cloud solutions?

    Pros of cloud solutions:

    • Scalability: cloud computing ensures flexible scaling models that allow you to increase or reduce your resource use as a function of business needs, which helps you avoid the costs and problems related to having to maintain your own infrastructure. 
    • High availability: cloud computing ensures high availability and reliability thanks to multiplex (interconnected) data centres, which maintain the continuity of cloud solutions and minimise downtime due to a failure in any of the centres. 
    • Security: cloud computing guarantees a high level of security thanks to advanced data protection mechanisms (the use of interconnected data centres for higher performance, security and reliability in data storage and processing), such as: encryption, access control, virtual private networks and many more. 
    • Easy management: cloud computing offers easy-to-manage user interfaces and cloud resource management tools to help you quickly deploy your apps and scale them up and down as needed. 
    • Flexible pricing: when you use, cloud solutions you only pay for the resources you actually use, which means you spend less than you would if you had to maintain your own infrastructure. 
    • Innovation: cloud computing provides you with a range of advanced data processing tools, AI and machine learning solutions, and other technologies, which allows you to explore new opportunities and create innovative apps and solutions. 

    Good to know: according to a Flexera report published in 2021, 92% of companies now use some form of public cloud. In 2021, a Gartner survey showed that they spent 257.5 billion dollars on cloud solutions in 2020, a 6.3% increase over 2019. 

    Cons of cloud solutions:

    • Costs: cloud computing services may be expensive, especially when you have many users or need a lot of computing resources. The fees will depend on the processing power, RAM and network capacity that you actually use. These resources are necessary for complex computing, data processing, virtualisation, server launch and other tasks that use a lot of computing power. 
    • Dependence on providers: using cloud platforms can make you dependent on a single cloud solutions provider. You need to put trust in your providers, which may prove risky if they are unreliable or suddenly change their business model. 
    • Systems integration: integrating cloud platforms with other systems that are already in place in your company is not only time-consuming and cost-intensive, but also requires tech expertise, with may pose a significant challenge.  
    • Security: even though cloud computing is very secure overall, some security risks related to cloud data storage do exist. Your company will need to put in place a number of data processing safeguards and procedures. In accordance with the GDPR, organisations that use cloud services must meet specific personal data processing requirements. 
    • Internet access: reliance on cloud platforms requires uninterrupted Internet access, which may be difficult if your internet connection is weak or unstable. 
    • No control over infrastructure: if you use cloud solutions, your company will not be able to control the infrastructure, which may be problematic if you need to adjust it to your specific business needs. 

    Cloud app development

    In contrast to standard applications, which often need to be installed on an end device, cloud apps are usually designed as web applications, available from any device with Internet access. In order to deliver a cloud app, developers often rely on dedicated cloud solutions for app hosting and delivery. 

    Cloud apps are developed using a wide range of development, deployment and management tools. Some of them are listed below: 

    • Containerisation tools, which isolate your apps in a container so that they can be easily transferred between different environments and launched on different platforms without any code modifications. 
    • Container orchestration tools, which allow you to manage and coordinate groups of interconnected containers. Examples include: Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Apache Mesos
    • Monitoring and analytics tools, which allow you to track cloud app and infrastructure performance, monitor parameters, detect errors and analyse data. Examples include Grafana, Prometheus, ELK Stack. 

    All these solutions give access to different cloud tools and services to help developers create apps that are flexible, scalable and easy to use. 

    Cloud testing strategy and approach

    Your strategy and approach to testing in a standard application project will depend on its purpose and the technology you use. Depending on project standards and specifications, the app testing process will include the following steps: 

    • Test planning – defining testing scope, purpose, scenarios and acceptance criteria.  
    • Test monitoring and supervision – tracking testing progress and identifying issues. 
    • Test design – creating test cases and scenarios. 
    • Test execution – performing tests and making app corrections. 
    • Test result analysis – analysing test results and making the necessary corrections. 
    • Reporting – drafting test and test result reports. 

    Cloud testing requires additional tools (e.g. those mentioned in the “Cloud app development” section) and strategies to achieve results comparable to those for standard applications. Here are some aspects to keep in mind: 

    • Test environment – ensuring the appropriate cloud testing environment, which must be compatible with the app and accessible to testers. 
    • Test data management – ensuring correct test data management that guarantees privacy and security. 
    • Performance testing – including performance tests to gauge app performance in real-world conditions. 
    • Integration with cloud tools – using cloud tools for test management, performance monitoring and test result analysis. 

    All these aspects need to be considered when planning and performing cloud app tests, but the testing as such follows the steps of the standard testing process. 

    Cloud consulting

    For many companies, migrating some or all of their infrastructure, systems, apps, etc. to the cloud may be a leap into the unknown. Dedicated cloud solution consulting services may help drive their success in many areas, especially in terms of:  


    • IT Audits – evaluating the current situation. In order to understand and describe existing problems and challenges, consultants can carry out an IT audit (e.g. of the IT architecture, app code quality, IT system architecture, app performance, equipment use, the software development process, design teams etc.). This is an important step in the evaluation of your needs and cloud migration options. etc.). This is an important step in the evaluation of your needs and cloud migration options. 
    • Planning and design: consultants can help you understand which cloud solutions will work best for you and what benefits they will bring. They can help you design a dedicated cloud environment to match your business requirements. 
    • Cloud migration: consultants can assist you in your cloud migration process, which is usually a rather complex project. They can help you design and deploy an appropriate migration strategy, verify compliance with business regulations and requirements, and assist you with its actual implementation. 
    • Cost optimisation: consultants can help you optimise your cloud use spending by optimising the use of resources and minimising maintenance costs. 

    Available support: 

    • Security: consultants can help you ensure cloud app and data security by defining and implementing relevant procedures and safeguard policies. 
    • Monitoring and management: consultants may help you monitor and manage your cloud environment so as to facilitate problem and error detection and ensure a prompt response to any glitches and failures. 
    • Business performance: cloud solutions offer many tools and functionalities that may help you boost your business performance. Consultants can assist you in harnessing them in the service of better business results. 

    To test or not to test?

    Even though cloud testing has many upsides, such as lower costs, greater flexibility, higher speed, and better cooperation opportunities, it is also not free of its own challenges. Experienced consultants will help you pick appropriate testing tools and methods, and then design and perform the actual tests in the cloud. This will give you the confidence that your cloud testing strategy is secure, effective and well-tailored to your business requirements. Cloud testing consulting services are an important investment in your business success, with significant long-term payoffs.