Why is Performance Testing Required in DevOps Processes?
August 12, 2021

Ajay Kumar Mudunuri
Cigniti Technologies

In the traditional process of software development, designers pass on their designs to developers who do all the coding as per the client or business requirements. Thereafter, testers get into the picture to conduct functional and non-functional testing and release the code to the operations team. Any issues raised in any part of the lifecycle are passed to the developers before the cycle repeats itself. Needless to say, this process takes an unusually long time and is an anachronism in today's fast-paced software development cycle.

DevOps takes a drastic departure from the status quo by combining processes, tools, and practices to accelerate the application's time to market while upholding its quality. DevOps helps remove barriers that prevent organizations from developing, testing, delivering, and updating applications or systems quickly. Its focus on continuous integration and delivery reduces the SDLC to a minimum.


Creating a DevOps Culture

The objective of DevOps implementation is to create an automated pipeline to deploy and update software applications. Since it requires the seamless collaboration and performance of all departments and stakeholders to achieve a common goal, it needs to take everyone on board. However, collaboration among departments is not limited to merely sharing tools or processes, but making a cultural shift.

To derive maximum benefit from a DevOps approach, a continuous testing strategy should be implemented throughout the SDLC. Although functional testing entails checking the code for errors and providing quick feedback to developers when needed, there is a need to ensure better performance of applications to deliver superior user experiences. This calls for implementing DevOps performance testing.

Reasons for Doing Performance Testing in DevOps Continuous Testing

Even as faster time to market for software applications has become important, the performance of such applications is the ultimate key to success. It answers the question of how to ensure the code released will perform as per the business requirements. With the DevOps methodology, various teams combine processes, tools, and practices to deliver change seamlessly and without any performance risk. In simple terms, continuous delivery needs continuous performance. The other reasons why DevOps performance testing is critical to the success of the application are:

■ Since many enterprises are migrating their applications to public cloud platforms such as Azure, Google Cloud, or AWS, any changes to the moving parts of such platforms, namely, virtual machines, load balancers, and others, may impact the performance of applications. Thus, it is important to monitor the performance of such applications, especially when they are hosted in a cloud environment.

■ Many applications implement A/B testing or other experiments to increase conversions. So, when business teams launch such experiments without involving the IT team, they can influence the applications' performance adversely.

Benefits of Doing Continuous Testing in DevOps for the CI/CD Process

The CI/CD process in DevOps needs to be monitored for performance to achieve the following benefits:

■ DevOps continuous testing captures key performance metrics of applications, database queries, or APIs, leading to the identification of any inherent performance issues.

■ The quick feedback given to developers about any performance-related issues can ensure the removal of bottlenecks in the code at the early stage of the SDLC. The cost of fixing bugs during the early stages of development is cheaper than doing the same during production.

■ When performance test metrics are checked against baselines, they can help identify latency issues, performance degradations, and other errors.

■ Continuous testing for performance helps cloud-based applications to measure stability and on-site performance on a regular basis.

A key factor influencing the success of software applications in the market, especially in the e-commerce and BFSI domains, is scalability. What happens if the application cannot handle an increase in user traffic and shows performance issues such as latency or downtime? For any existing continuous testing framework, DevOps performance testing should be integrated to ensure the application performs as expected before moving a build to the next stage.

Conclusion

For the overall customer experience, the performance of a web or mobile application in terms of latency, stability, and others should be ensured. This calls for integrating performance testing into the DevOps-driven CI/CD automated pipeline. In the rapid DevOps driven software delivery process, automated performance testing can help save time, keep the development process on track, and deliver high quality. Incorporating performance testing into a DevOps-driven workflow can create a centralized environment where every stakeholder knows his or her job at hand.

Ajay Kumar Mudunuri is Manager, Marketing, at Cigniti Technologies
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