Automation testing, also known as test automation, is an evolving trend in the software industry. It helps to increase the effectiveness of software testing by enhancing execution speeds and coverage. It has replaced manual testing that takes a lot of time to execute.
Test automation does more than testing software. It analyzes the data entered into the system quickly and displays the results. It goes further to compare the expected and actual results before generating a detailed report. All this happens quicker than with manual testing, making it a preferred testing method.
A practice that’s also growing today is the use of virtual machines for automated testing. Quality Assurance (QA) teams use this method to reduce automatic testing costs. This article explains the reasons why your QA testing team should implement virtual machines for automation testing.
Read below to find out more.
VIRTUAL TESTING LAB ON SINGLE SERVER
Cloud services have evolved and made automated testing easier than it has ever been. You can now create an army of virtual machines easily. It only takes the execution of a script or a push of a button to get the virtual machines running and testing your software.
With virtual machine automation, you only need a single server, and you can create multiple virtual machines on it. A virtual testing lab is ideal for a team that wants to test desktop applications. That applies if you run software in the healthcare and enterprise management industries.
It is vital to ensure that applications used in such environments are compatible with various configurations. Testing these applications depends on backend configurations. Manual testing isn’t a good approach here, so a physical machine isn’t ideal.
The price of creating a virtual lab is reasonable, with several options to consider. You can either buy machines with the best specs to help you run tests efficiently. You can also rent readily configured virtual testing machines from Google’s Compute Engine or a test automation platform at an affordable price.
One thing that software testers think about all the time is security. The best thing about virtual machines is that they never cross the software boundaries put in place. That helps to keep you safe from threats such as viruses and other malware.
Using a physical computer for test automation can expose you to so many risks. A virus infecting a computer can quickly spread to other files and affect the entire OS. But then, a virtual machine is an isolated network, meaning a virus can spread in the network, but the actual OS won’t be at risk.
The main reason why your team should use virtual machines is because of how they enable better resource utilization. It is easy to roll virtual machine configurations backward, enhancing their security. That makes it highly secure if your team can follow all the laid down procedures.
Setting up a test environment on a virtual machine is extremely easy. Its isolation with your regular network makes it a more secure option than automated testing on a physical computer.
CI/CD PIPELINE COMPATIBLE
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI and CD) are two of the most popular trends in software development today. They present software developers with new approaches in building, testing, and delivery of products. Any company looking to release higher quality software has to exploit these two trends.
There are various ways to integrate CI and CD into automated software testing. The primary reason why developers love to use these processes is that they help save time. They can reduce the time used in automation testing from several hours to a few minutes, making them perfect.
Virtual machines are compatible with CI/CD pipelines. A collaboration between VM and CI/CD can help your software automation testing become more efficient. Besides, it can help you use fewer resources than you would have used with manual testing or automated testing without these tools and processes.
You only need to configure them to leverage container environments for the best results. In the end, your team will build, test, and release products in no time.
RUNNING TESTS IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT
Test environments are platforms explicitly built for test execution. It would be best if you combined the right software and hardware tools to create a perfect environment. As a rule of thumb, automated software tests should run in controlled environments for developers to get the best results.
A controlled environment has all the prerequisites that you need to execute tests. That includes an operating system, user PCs, storage, memory, etc. All these features that such environments provide are suitable for testing specific software and will give your team the desired results.
Virtual machines offer software developers the best of controlled environments to run their tests. The fact that they are separated and isolated makes them a perfect place to conduct automated tests. That will make it easy for your team to execute tests more efficiently and with less risk.
SCALING UP AND DOWN
Building applications on the cloud may require scaling up or down. Developers building these applications sometimes scale up and down depending on various factors. Achieving this without test automation can be tricky at times, making it vital to be creative.
The best way to scale up and down is to infuse virtual machines into your test automation. You can shift from one virtual machine size to another and consequently scale your cloud applications. The method you use to scale up or down will differ depending on the virtual machines you’re using for test automation.
FASTER RELEASE CYCLES AND TIME TO MARKET
Time is a crucial factor for software developers. As a team, you want to build, test, and deliver software as fast as possible, and that’s why you need to conduct your automated tests using virtual machines. As mentioned earlier, you can use as many virtual machines as possible with a single server.
Virtual machines significantly cut down the time you could have spent test automation. For instance, you can run over 1000 virtual machines parallel, saving you tons of hours. Your team needs to consider virtual machines as a way of increasing the software they deliver monthly.
As a company, you not only save some valuable time but also cut costs. Automation software testing running for long can be costly in the long run. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in virtual machines as they will help you achieve results faster while reducing costs.
Your release cycles also reduce, making it easy to achieve more within a short time. Every software developer out there wants to shorten these cycles, making it vital to infuse virtual machines in your strategy. It can help you increase your team’s efficiency.
VIRTUALIZATION OVER CLOUD
Virtual machines are becoming more popular each day. Big brands like Microsoft and Amazon are already using this technology in different business aspects. Virtualization over the cloud is a more efficient option that software developers can consider to increase efficiency.
There are different teams in your business that can use virtual machines. As mentioned earlier, you can do so much on the web, especially when it comes to testing automation. The best thing about virtualization over the cloud is that it will work for you in the short and long term.
It will also support you in understanding the feasibility of automation testing in an existing project. You can also use it in instances where you’re experiencing a low frequency in running automation tests. Another reason is that it allows working from different geo-locations.
A team that wants these benefits should consider using virtual machines in automated testing. That will, in turn, allow them to virtualize over the cloud and become more efficient.
LOW OPERATIONAL AND MAINTENANCE COST
As mentioned earlier, one of the best ways for businesses to reduce costs is automating their software testing. But there’s no need to stop there. You can reduce the costs further by using a virtual machine. It will reduce the amount of time it takes to execute an automated test.
The costs reduce because virtual machines reduce the need to update software and hardware drivers regularly. It is also because these machines enhance resource utilization. The overall operational and maintenance costs reduce significantly in the end.
It is vital to analyze testing requirements before you think about using virtualization. Once you start using virtualization and complementing it with the right tools, your testing becomes more efficient. As a software developer also, you increase your revenue.
Various virtual machines exist in the market today. You are free to choose the software you want, install it, and prepare it to conduct tests. As mentioned earlier, the best thing about virtual labs is that they allow you to test more than one web application, giving you reliable results in the end.
Those are some of the reasons why your software development team should consider virtual machines. Automated testing has evolved, and many people are considering virtualization. Your team will increase its productivity if it starts using virtual machines today.
Author: Dan Martin
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