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Shifting extreme left during cloud migration - A case for involving QA teams from day one for cloud migration projects

Posted on behalf of Sheetal Swaroop Payyavula, Research Analyst, Infosys Validation Solutions

Due to the vast benefits being realized, many companies are moving to the cloud. But, a recent survey shows that only 27% of participants were extremely satisfied with their cloud migration experience.

The typical lifecycle of a cloud migration project can look like this.

During the initial analysis and estimation phases, many decisions and discussions are centered on Financial Assessment doing ROI analysis, Security and Compliance Assessment, and Technical Assessment. Decisions are made on type of Cloud - Public, Private, Hybrid; Cloud layer - PaaS, SaaS, IaaS; Selection of cloud vendor etc. Gaps are identified between the current traditional architecture and next-generation cloud architecture.  Every decision taken at this stage can introduce certain risks.

As examples: 1) Selecting one layer of cloud may cut off access to underlying layers, impeding certain types of testing. 2) Tests such as penetration testing may not even be allowed by the cloud vendor or permitted only in liaison with a third party service provider. 3) Companies deploy updates to their softwares/platforms/stacks frequently - sometimes several times a day. Lack of frequent and automated testing may pose risk in certain cloud deployments.

To mitigate these risks, it's imperative that test teams are involved from day one in a cloud migration project. As compared to traditional deployments, testing for cloud requires a lot of additional non-functional test dimensions like Elasticity, Security, Performance, Compatibility, API Integration, Live and Multi-tenancy testing. As there are a myriad of cloud configurations, test planning taking into account all of these dimensions or "a one plan fits all" will be wasteful if extensive and risky if not. There is a clear need to catalog all the risks involved for the project's specific cloud configuration and tailor the project's test strategy to mitigate them.

The Infosys Risk Based Cloud Testing Accelerator is one such tool that helps projects define a customized risk based test strategy by creating a thorough risk profile, and using it to determine the suitable test measures that could help mitigate their cloud related risks. It ensures Comprehensive Risk Assessment and Complete Test Dimensions coverage.

Here is a "shift extreme left" lifecycle of a cloud migration from QA perspective.

To summarize, for a successful cloud migration, shape an ideal risk based cloud test strategy by involving QA teams from day one. QA teams cannot be separate functions in cloud deployments. Test strategy should start during the first stage i.e. assessment stage. Automated tests and optimization should continue long after the successful cloud deployment thus making QA teams presence needed from extreme left to extreme right of a cloud deployment.

Do visit Infosys experts in booth #59 at STARWEST 2016 and engage in insightful conversations around cloud migration and testing. More info on our participation is here. Looking forward to meeting you.

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