Assuming you haven’t spent the last couple of years living under a rock, you’re bound to have been bombarded with all sorts of propaganda about “The Cloud." “The Cloud”, according to the marketing types, is the greatest thing since the invention of bread, surely able to solve all of our needs, whether technology-related or not. While the hype for the cloud might be frequently and frustratingly overstated and confusingly applied in odd places (can someone please explain to me the Microsoft Cloud commercial where the woman goes “to the cloud!!” so she can generate a family photo? What does this have to do with the cloud? Isn’t this just Photoshop?), I’d like to discuss one place where the cloud adds a great deal of value: Load and Performance testing.

In this post, I’m going to talk about the benefits of using the cloud as part of your load and performance testing practices, as well as point out some common approaches in choosing a cloud solution.

For those of you that have ever heard me present on load testing, you are well aware of how fixated I am on the need for load testing that truly emulates the real world behavior of your end users. And for those that haven’t, understand that, in my opinion, if you are not doing accurate and realistic load testing, you might as well stop now. Inaccurate load testing, in my view, is often worse than doing no testing at all. I’ve seen far too many organizations perform inaccurate testing, that is testing that falls short of mirroring what their end users are really doing, and use results of this testing to lull themselves into a false sense of security. Then they go live with their web application, which in turn experiences end user behavior which wasn’t fully tested for, and are surprised when their web application falls down.

In my mind, The Cloud immediately brings two distinct advantages to our load and performance procedures that help us better model this realistic behavior.

Read on to find out how to craft a Cloud Testing strategy that will ensure that your use of the cloud brings more than hype and disappointment!