Most companies still follow the traditional way of doing performance testing in the QA phase or when the bottleneck problems occur in production. They completely ignore testing in the development phase. This causes low-quality code and inefficient utilization of resources. With DevOps gaining popularity for development efficiency, companies need to integrate performance testing with DevOps practices. Load testing within DevOps practices enables developers and testers to work together and bring out the best in your website and applications. This also benefits the complete development life cycle by detecting and resolving performance problems at the early stages for efficient resource utilization.
What is DevOps?
DevOps, coined from two terms “Development” and “Operations,” adopts an agile and lean process to develop and ship products and features rapidly. It allows efficient collaboration between development and operations teams with a system-oriented approach for technology delivery. Be it website, application, or system software, DevOps enables reduced time to market, focusing on rapid delivery and shorten software development life cycle.
There is an important point to note here – while agile is deeply related to culture and centered around which tools are available to use, DevOps starts with the efficient collaboration of cross-functional teams and then focuses on what DevOps practices to incorporate.
Organizations adopt different DevOps practices according to their goals and resources. However, one sole focus of all these practices remains the same – Rapid Delivery. Following are some fundamental capabilities that are common to all DevOps practices:
DevOps incorporates collaboration between all stakeholders for any website, application, or software delivery. Cross-functional teams such as development, testing, operations, product management, and CXOs work together to support software development and deployment life cycle.
DevOps focuses on the toolchain to automate most of the software development and deployment. These tools can be open-sourced, developed in-house, or third-party tools. The idea is to shorten the cycle with the efficient use of technology for rapid delivery.
Continuous Integration (CI)
It is a development process that allows multiple developers to integrate their code into a shared repository multiple times a day. It allows other developers to use the code developed by another developer as soon as it gets into the repository. With CI, integration issues and conflicts are exposed at the early stage and can be resolved easily as opposed to if discovered in the last stages of the software development life cycle.
In DevOps, testing is not just the responsibility of QA but the developers too. Quality and performance are all stakeholders’ responsibilities. Developers focus on early detection of issues with CI and automation testing to build quality code and provide test data to QA. This is one of the most important and mostly ignored practices that can cause severe problems in terms of both time, money, and resources. Most organizations don’t realize the importance of continuous testing until they get burned.
Continuous Delivery (CD)
It is a practice that allows deployment of small and frequent changes such as updates, enhancements, patch, hotfix, etc. to the production server. Deployment to production using the CD process is faster, safe, and predictable. It also ensures that all the code going to the production is risk-free and stable to avoid any hiccup.
As DevOps is centered around rapid delivery, it avoids rigorous pre-release testing at the cost of delivery speed. This means there are more chances of overlooking a bug that can get into production. Due to this, DevOps requires continuous monitoring to detect and fix bugs in real-time. A variety of performance monitoring solutions are used to ensure the availability and accessibility of the website, application, or software.
Benefits of DevOps
DevOps has become every organization’s favorite due to its remarkable benefits in a very short span of time. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits it provides.
DevOps practices allow high performing developers to deploy features, changes, fixes, or updates multiple times a day.
CI/CD in DevOps allows early detection of issues, conflicts, and bugs to resolve them quickly, resulting in better code quality. With better code, there are fewer complications to manage when the codebase increases.
From a business point of view, DevOps allows faster shipping of features, fixes, and updates to support business growth and reduced time to market.
With every stakeholders’ involvement in DevOps, efficient and improved collaboration between the cross-functional teams is achieved to boost overall productivity.
DevOps significantly reduce the time investment in fixes and maintenance as opposed to waterfall development practices. It allows all teams to focus more on innovation and improvements.
Load Testing in DevOps
As we have talked before, continuous testing is vital to DevOps practices, but it is either ignored or doesn’t include performance testing. The consequences of skipping performance testing in DevOps can be so bad that they can entirely compromise DevOps’ benefits. Let’s take an example. You are developing an e-commerce application with DevOps practices, and your business team expects a certain number of users to come on the website when launched. Now, if you skip load testing in DevOps, you might have a bug-free website, but it might not be able to handle the expected traffic. This will cause you to go through the entire development life cycle, wasting time, money, and resources. This can be easily avoided if you integrate performance testing or load testing within your DevOps practices.
Integrating Load Testing within CD Pipeline
CD acts as an extension of CI. It makes sure that every code that is tested in the CI repository meets the testing criteria and can be released on-demand. Once you know your code is bug-free and ready to release, it is beneficial to check the performance on various criteria with the most realistic scenarios. Follow these best practices to ensure that your production release doesn’t have performance issues.
- Test your build against expected load and peak traffic time.
- Perform browser-based load testing with real browsers and devices.
- Load test from multiple geo-locations.
- Load test third-party APIs to optimize bottlenecks.
- Script critical user paths for Load test such as authentication, checkout, payment transactions, security settings, etc.
- Load test important pages that are frequently visited and load-time sensitive.
Automate Load Testing with LoadView and Jenkins
Load testing in the CD pipeline can be automated to achieve the following DevOps automation benefits:
- Easy and flexible regression testing.
- Test cases are reusable and significantly reduce testing time.
- Hundreds of tests can be run in a short period.
- Testing on multiple platforms becomes easy.
- Early bug detection and shorter MTTR (mean time to resolution)
- Easy to cover complex test cases.
- 24/7 test runs.
LoadView is a cloud-based load and stress testing solution that offers an easy way to create test cases and run them on real browsers and devices across geo-locations. This makes the most realistic test environment that actual users face.
Jenkins is one of the most preferred tools for automation in the CD pipeline. LoadView has a plugin for Jenkins, which can be set up in minutes to automate Load testing in the CD pipeline. Read more on how you can set up Jenkins with the LoadView plugin to perform load testing for your web pages and applications.
Conclusion: Load Testing within DevOps Practices
DevOps practices are a next generation agile process for rapid IT service delivery. One of the most important aspects of deployment is to do performance testing to avoid availability and accessibility problems for websites or applications. Integrating load testing with DevOps practices in the CD pipeline have huge benefits for delivering better performance and user experience. This can be achieved by automating load testing in the CD pipeline using Jenkins with the LoadView plugin.
Start load testing your websites, web-apps, and APIs with the LoadView free trial.