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Environment for QA
My group is finally settling on an envrionment for our web setup which is basically going to have data centers, some geographically remote. We're also outsourcing our main infrastructure and using Dynamo in-house for an application middle tier. We are going to have massive personalization with the Dynamo setup and we need to support wireless. I fought against this because of the QA issues especially in relation to performance testing. But my managers think I'm crazy. So what are the benefits to the QA process as a whole by going this route and does this setup really benefit? So what I mean is outsourcing with Dynamo in-house and having data centers a real harm to QA? Sorry for the rambling. Bad day.
Re: Environment for QA
I am not entirely sure how to frame this since I am not sure exactly from what angle you are looking at this. I get that you are asking about it from QA, but, from that perspective, any environment can be more or less difficult for QA depending upon its configuration or its location. What you describe is not all that atypical.
You mention a "middle tier" so I assume you are doing a standard three-tier? In that case you gain many benefits especially when you consider your other statements, such as the data centers. Some features you get:
1.) N+1 architecture for redundancy
2.) Multi-home internet connectivity for maximized uptime
3.) State-of-the-art storage technologies for quick data access
4.) In-depth security for data and systems integrity (if configured right)
5.) Top-line technologies from highly innovative companies
6.) The architecture expands easily both horizontally and vertically
7.) The architecture is easily replicated at remote data centers
Of course data centers are not much of a problem in performance testing because it is usually the same setup, just replicated in one geographical region. Outsourcing can be problematic depending on who you go with and what access you have to the boxes. (Also find out how many other sites are being hosted along with yours on the same general setup, i.e., if there is clustering or farms.)
Coupling this with the Dynamo that you mentioned (another alternative is to go with an Application Service Provider) is that you great personalization (such as segmentation, rules engines, targeted content delivery, tracking, etc.) But, beyond that, and coupled with your data centers and the 3-tier setup you get near linear scalability, session and request failover, load balancing, etc. These are all things that a performance effort within QA could check for farily easily. The personalization aspects would be best testing in a functional capacity.
I know I did not answer your question here but I am not sure exactly what you were looking for. Are there some challenges for QA in this? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No. Is this a good business plan (from what we have heard of it)? In my opinion, yes.