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Software Testing >> Performance & Load Testing

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michellem
Junior Member


Reged: 12/30/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Belfast
Benefits of a separate testing environment
      #45745 - 04/06/05 01:40 AM

I am putting together a cost proposal for a separate testing environment.

Can anyone tell me what benefits the company can expect (cost, resource etc) after the environment has been implemented?

Many thanks


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QAChi
Junior Member


Reged: 04/04/05
Posts: 5
Re: Benefits of a separate testing environment
      #45746 - 04/06/05 05:25 AM

When you say separate, do you mean a preproduction environment or test and dev partition or what?

The main benefit is that it is always bad and regrettable practice to test in production especially if there is sensitive data that will be transformed or removed by your testing effort.

Perhaps say a bit more about what it is you actually want to achieve, your product and particular environment/project.


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Daniel_S
Moderator


Reged: 10/09/01
Posts: 879
Loc: Bucharest, ROMANIA
Re: Benefits of a separate testing environment
      #45747 - 04/06/05 05:40 AM

Michelle,

One advantage will be the you could test the application when you want, you have no risk of changing production data, you have control over the test environment being able to simulate what conditions you want, which would be not possible in production environment,... no mentioning that all the standards or best practices I know REQUIRE a separate test environment.


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SoCalGal
Member


Reged: 08/05/02
Posts: 373
Loc: Huntington Beach, Ca. USA
Re: Benefits of a separate testing environment
      #45748 - 04/06/05 10:14 AM

Another concern is that if you share your test environment with development, you don't know the impact their activities may have on your testing. Imagine that you are conducting a performance test and your development team is building and testing code changes. Or someone is doing a database unload/reload... What will that do to your response times? Or the stability of the system?

You need control over the environment. You will typically have little to no control over development or production.

I have a hard time putting this into actual cost savings. But to summarize a few points made in this thread:

- Testing in production adds the risk of modifying and/or corrupting live production data. What would be the cost of recovering from this?
- If your testing requires exclusive access to an environment, you end up having to conduct your testing after hours, which adds complexity and time problem resolution. Resources you may need (i.e. Developer, DBA, System Admin, etc...) may not be available or willing to help out at 2:00am. Or you have to kick users/developers off the system so you can test, which could impact their projects and deadlines. What is the additional cost of supporting after hours testing (don't forget the pizza budget!)?
- Testing against production is also typically constrained to off hours. Again, the same support issue. Will you have to bring in additional staff? Pay overtime??
- If you are testing against Production and you melt something down, what is the cost of having your Production system down? Or your development system (cost for downtime on development is probably less, but may not be trivial)?
- Sharing an environment with development is also difficult because by nature development is always changing. You need a stable consistently environment where you control the changes (be they code or configuration or something else). What is the cost impact of your scripter spending an entire day trying to figure out a scripting problem only to find out it is not a script problem, but an application change?

Just a clarification (and opinion - you know what they say about opinions... [Razz] ) - I'm not saying that it is bad to test after hours. This is part of what we do and often necessary, but if all your testing is constrained to after-hours, then you will need access to the infrastructure folks to support you. Most of these folks have a "day job", and while they are accommodating about helping out on critical after-hours tests from time to time, unless you have support onsite 24x7, this gets difficult for teams to support on a frequent basis.

Laura's typing exercise for the day complete. [Cool]


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nathan.white
Member


Reged: 05/27/03
Posts: 222
Loc: St Louis, MO
Re: Benefits of a separate testing environment
      #45749 - 04/06/05 01:06 PM

If you are constrained to after hours testing, you also need to consider any external interfaces that may need to be simulated. For example, we rely heavily on stock ticker for several of our applications. If these are tested outside of market hours, we have to simulate this feed.

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SoCalGal
Member


Reged: 08/05/02
Posts: 373
Loc: Huntington Beach, Ca. USA
Re: Benefits of a separate testing environment
      #45750 - 04/06/05 07:58 PM

Good point, Nathan!

Also, watch out for jobs that will kick off automatically, like backups, batch jobs and FTP processes that can impact performance. Often times, these types of jobs can only be delayed so far. There have been many times that our after-hours test window was limited to 3-4 hours per night.


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