Software and hardware achieve optimal performance as long as the resources are within specific capacity limits. When you have multiple programs open, for example, it's likely that your device runs much slower than when only one application is open at a time. Cloud architecture has similar constraints, which are defined by provider support and the amount of space that a business pays for. However, unlike software and hardware, the cloud can be easily scaled to better meet quality assurance team needs. With this platform, organizations can better plan to provision their staff with the necessary tools and resources to succeed.
The Need to Deploy Quickly and Often
As more QA teams take on agile testing methodologies, the pressure increases to release software faster and more often than ever before. The continuous integration, delivery and development ideologies of agile approaches have changed how QA teams expect to work and what they require of their tools. RightScale enterprise product manager Ronnie Regev noted that the cloud must enable staff to work more closely with developers to release new builds that will meet their time-to-market goals. If the platform is unable to support these requirements, teams won't be able to meet tight deadlines or foster agile success in the business.
Agile's continuous ideologies would place considerable strain on traditional development environments, especially when numerous projects are active at once. However, the cloud's scalability ensures that not only are these goals possible, but that they can be further supported with automation integration, enabling QA to establish predictable delivery expectations and improving overall quality.
Changing to Support Today's Needs
Provisioning is a constant issue that QA teams run into, especially when it comes to having resource support to ensure that tasks are completed. If something suddenly comes up, it would traditionally be very difficult to change the amount of provisioning available with such little notice. However, the cloud is fixing this to ensure that not only are organizations only paying for what they use, but that they also are able to leverage what they need at that moment.
GoGrid's Michael Sheehan likened cloud scaling to the "Transformers." They're able to scale up from a vehicle into a much larger robot when they need to fight, but when the challenge is mitigated, they turn back into their vehicle forms. Cloud scaling is similarly flexible to meet team needs. If there is an influx of projects, an enterprise test management solution in the cloud will be able to quickly adjust and then scale back down when the spike has subsided. Sheehan also suggested the use of an API for automation as an additional asset to scaling the cloud to fit user needs.
"An API is a powerful tool to enable automation within your cloud infrastructure," Sheehan stated. "It not only helps you save money by eliminating infrastructure resources when your capacity or demand doesn't require them, it can also ensure that your customers remain satisfied by ensuring that your infrastructure is performing based on demand."
Easy to Adjust as Required
The cloud has proven to be extremely flexible and customizable, and its scalability follows these same characteristics. With this platform, no additional hardware, time or setup is required for the QA teams to scale its resources effectively. In fact, as Rackspace 's Trey Hoehne noted, all that's needed is a few clicks to instantly add capacity. Teams can also set it to add resources automatically, ensuring that they will always have the assets they require.
"The time to receive the hardware and stand it up hinders agility and leaves you holding capacity you may only use occasionally," Hoehne stated. "Horizontal scale in the cloud is as easy as a few clicks in the control panel to add more nodes – no hardware, no time to setup."
Scaling in the Cloud
Software development strategies can change at a moment's notice, and it's imperative that a QA team's resources are able to follow suit. With the cloud, assets can be easily scaled at the click of a button, and revert back as needed. This capability will give QA team peace of mind that they will have the support they require to succeed while also ensuring that they are making the most efficient use of their available resources at all times.