cloud migration testing

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Your cloud migration testing workflow must ensure that the applications you’re shifting are working as expected – in terms of functionality, performance, and user experience.  
  1. Using the right combination of Test Automation (TA) tools and manual testing, apps must also be tested for integration/connection issues and possible security risks.  
  1. Based on the type and complexity of applications being moved, it is a good idea to do a phased migration, rather than an “all at once” approach.  

According to Gartner, “More than half of enterprise IT spending in key market segments will shift to the cloud by 2025.” This includes everything from application development and data analytics to AI/ML operations, automation, and digital transformation.  

In fact, at Merit, we believe this estimation may be on the lower side. Moving applications and data workloads to the cloud has become the main solution in a number of scenarios, thanks to lower costs and easier ongoing maintenance. Of course, cloud infrastructure service providers like AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), etc. have made it all the more easier to make the move by providing a robust set of services – designed for scalability, flexibility, and customisation.  

In this blog, our focus is on the role of getting the right testing process in place, so the migration is successful.  

The Need for Cloud Migration Testing 

Any software application has to be tested on an ongoing basis. This is because, despite the best of efforts, bugs and errors can be hidden in the software, causing issues with performance or functionality. Sometimes, the flaws are not all that apparent but there may be a security or integration issue in certain edge cases.  

When an application is being moved to the cloud, the underlying infrastructure is getting shifted. Therefore, a robust application testing framework is critical. Apps working well on the on-prem system may not perform as expected post-migration. Therefore, it is critical for IT teams to have a well-documented cloud migration plan in place. This plan must include a formal section that documents the testing strategy, complete with how test cases will be generated; the choice of test automation tools; which aspects need manual testing; and so on.  

Going Beyond Functional and Performance Testing  

Before starting the test process, it is important to establish metrics to measure different parameters. This will help us design better test cases, and use the right combination of test automation tools and manual testing.  

This approach of metrics-driven testing will help us understand issues with greater clarity and plan resource allocation accordingly.  

A Merit expert adds, “From a performance testing point of view, it is a good idea to track application load time, speed of report generation, response time, memory utilisation, throughput, and latency. From a user perspective, it is critical to check the application performance during peak demand and non-peak hours.”  

Sometimes, cloud infrastructure vendors release updates that may affect the performance of the application. Therefore, establishing testing metrics will not only help with ensuring application performance during the migration but post-migration as well.  

Additionally, testing of cloud-based applications is not a one-time process. IT teams are today adopting a DevSecOps framework to ensure there is continuous development and testing, complete with taking care of security risks as well.  

One of the biggest advantages of migrating to the cloud is access to highly elastic infrastructure, which can be scaled up or down depending on user numbers. However, even if the current user numbers a manageable, the testing strategy must include a plan to make sure the application works as expected when user numbers are way higher.  

Any cloud migration process must include the following:  

  1. Functional Testing: To make sure the entire application is working as expected, across all individual modules or microservices, and as a whole.  
  1. Performance Testing: Testing the application’s capability to perform under real-world conditions such as large capacity loads, data volumes, and CPU and memory usage. 
  1. Integration Testing: Verifying connections of the app with other services and apps that it shares data through secure APIs. 
  1. UI Testing: Ensuring the app interface is optimised for different environments based on the need.  
  1. Security Testing: Ensuring the app is secure and one step ahead of attackers is essential not just for compliance and governance, but also from a stability and reliability perspective.  

5 Key Best Practices to Remember  

To ensure the effectiveness of cloud migration as well as testing, it is important to implement industry-wide best practices. These include: 

Best Practice #1: Both Qualitative and Quantitative Testing 

The first step to making sure you have a foolproof testing process is to document key aspects to track. This should include both qualitative factors and quantitative metrics – covering all aspects of the test process from performance and functionality to security and UI/UX.  

Best Practice #2: Leave No Stone Unturned from a Security Perspective  

When migrating an app to a new environment, some of the security features may have been reduced or turned off. Forgetting to turn them on can put the application data at risk. Therefore, security risks should be addressed at every step of the migration and testing processes. A checklist can ensure that the turning off and turning on are performed without any glitches or delays. 

Best Practice #3: Collaboration across Stakeholders  

During the migration process, there must be collaboration among various teams or stakeholders including the infrastructure team, software developers, test engineers, IT security team, etc. A project or program manager is responsible for bringing together all of these stakeholders, and the application’s product management team must spearhead the entire process.  

Best Practice #4: Robust UAT Process in the test environment 

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a critical step during migration. Make sure the entire migration to the cloud is done in the testing environment before moving it to production. The app experience for users must not get affected during the process of migration, and the legacy product must be available until the migration process is complete.  

Best Practice #5: Cost Estimation  

Cloud service providers charge based on usage. Therefore, there may be hidden costs that will be revealed only at the end of the billing cycle. Though cloud migration testing is not about cost management, periodic testing will reveal the cost trends for usage patterns, data transfers, and key dependencies. This will help us plan for the financial aspects of the move, ensuring ROI targets are met and there are no surprises from a billing perspective.  

Merit’s Expertise in Cloud Migration and Testing  

Merit works with a broad range of clients and industry sectors, designing and building bespoke applications and data platforms combining software engineering, AI/ML, and data analytics. 

We migrate legacy systems with re-architecture and by refactoring them to contemporary technologies on modern cloud ecosystems. Our software engineers build resilient and scalable solutions with cloud services ranging from simple internal software systems to large-scale enterprise applications. 

Our agile approach drives every stage of the customer journey; from planning to design development and implementation, delivering impactful and cost-effective digital and data transformations. 

We take care of the entire lifecycle, complete with a robust workflow for cloud migration testing using cutting-edge technologies for test automation and manual testing with a team of software testing experts.  

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