Virtualization transformation is proving to be a developer’s best friend. They are not just consolidating servers but also becoming a valuable tool for those writing or testing software. In this article, we will see how these tools are being used for software testing and quality assurance.
Imagine it is 2010 and you have to get the software tested to check if it is working correctly on all operating systems and browsers or not. At that time, you would have used the only available method, and that was to set up hundreds of computers with every possible combination of operating systems, browsers, and browser versions.
With the advancement in technology and software, this task has been simplified by leaps and bounds. One such technology that allows us to test software on a localized platform is virtualization. Today, computer virtualization is fueling many production environments, for instance, servers and desktop infrastructure. As a provisioning tool, virtualization is also used by a huge number of software developers.
Did you know? Kubernetes, an online virtualization tool, is being used by 40% of enterprises (as per the top web app development stats).
In this article, there are many more interesting stats and reasons supporting â€œHow virtualization is transforming software testing. So, keep reading.
But before we jump on the reasons, here is a brief about virtualization (in case you are a newbie).
What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is the technique of creating a virtual version of any operating system, storage, network, network resources, or desktop rather than actually installing the version. We can visualize it as a completely different system inside your computer.
You can hire software developers who can help you develop a system of your required memory, operating system, browser, and other specifications of your hardware system. Virtualizing an operating system allows a single piece of hardware to run multiple operating systems on your hardware. All this is done at the same time, keeping the hardware unaware of the fact that the operating system being run is virtual.
Other benefits of virtualization involve better resource distribution, cost savings on hardware, and enhanced cybersecurity support. The benefits of virtualization run deep but as long as the virtual testing environment is able to mimic the real-world conditions accurately and is backed by reliable security.
This has led software development companies to turn towards third parties to test their software based on virtualization. But why use third-party virtualization when you can create your personalized software? Software development companies in India are actively taking up virtualization software development projects.
Now, you must be wondering what happens when you virtualize software testing.
Let us discuss this too.
How does virtualization help testers in Software Testing?
Whenever a tester encounters a testing project, he creates a plan of action and acts accordingly. This plan includes creating a test environment, testing the application, and then reporting the results. This process is time taking.
While performing software testing, a tester needs to test the software or application on all the possible combinations of memory, operating system, browser, and browser version. Doing this with the actual hardware adds up to the cost of the company as well as more manual efforts are needed.
So, what does virtualization do?
Virtualization here provides a possible solution by giving the tester a pre-set environment where he/she can test the software on all possible configurations that too on a single hardware. The developer can easily customize the environment as per his or her requirements of configurations.
The most significant feature of virtualization is that it not only helps the tester to test in various environments but also protects the actual hardware from bugs and crashes. If the virtually created environment fails, it will not affect the real hardware and a new virtual environment will be created within a few minutes.
With this, we come to the central question of this article.
How is Virtualization Transforming Software Testing?
Virtualization, when appropriately applied, has resulted in a reduction of staff hours and an increase in the productivity of testers.
Here are specific prominent ways virtualization is transforming software testing.
Effect 1: Server Consolidation
Server consolidation of a 10:1 virtual-to-physical server can be established with virtualization. Or you can even run ten virtual servers on a single physical server. This adds more testers who can test the same software.
The server consolidation allows you to run the latest technology on the old physical systems by selecting the newest system configurations.
Effect 2: Disaster Recovery
By now, we are all well aware of the bugs and their effects on the system. Virtualization helps prevent any bug from entering your physical system if encountered while testing.
Some of these bugs can be very harmful to the system and can even crash the whole system making it difficult to track their entrance. These bugs can keep on smashing your system again and again.
If developed by the best software development company in India, virtualization testing software can provide you with significant relief in this context. For instance, if the tester is performing a test on a virtual environment and a potentially harmful bug is encountered, then it will crash the virtual desktop, and the physical will remain unaffected.
Effect 3: It Saves Your Time
One can save a lot of time by applying virtualization in software testing as it prevents you from installing a number of libraries on your desktop. Also, hours of re-installation of operating systems can be saved in case of a system crash by just copying the virtual image.
Effect 4: Highly Available
Using a virtual system makes your software all time available at any place for testing. The developer or the tester has to select the combination of configurations and test the software system.
Effect 5: Lesser Complexity In The Process
Being virtual in nature, the system removes all the complexities that could have followed in the physical system. This means the complexity of hardware and software devices and drivers to leaps and bounds has been eliminated by virtualization. Thus, reducing the hardware requirements to a great extent.
Effect 6: Data Is Safe
Virtualization will become the standard in the software industry as it addresses two core challenges: security and specificity. This is because virtual machines are less vulnerable than physical hardware, making them more secure for testing sensitive software that would otherwise fall into the hands of hackers.
It also helps in securing your data as in case the server fails, the application stays up, and the data can be quickly recovered.
Effect 7: Supports Containers
The best part about virtualization is that it supports containers. Dockers and Kubernetes are two such containerization solutions that are extensively used by developers. They allow developers to recreate only a part of the operating system instead of the whole thing. With better security features and greater flexibility, testing proceeds efficiently.
FunFact: The expected growth in the container market in 2024 is about $2.7 Billion, which is 3.5 times the $762 million container market in 2016.
Virtualization can be perceived under the overall aura of IT enterprises as it is proving to be a helping hand for software testers. One factor that needs to be taken care of here is that the tester must be realistic about when virtualization is appropriate and when not. For instance, it is not ideal for testing scenarios where software draws heavily on the physical system’s resources.
Another thing that requires our attention is that you might encounter specific problems like unsupportive drives, out-of-memory, or low performance. But these problems occur when we do not accurately implement the technology.
Virtualization transformation requires proper implementation in our projects then only we can make full use of it. If you want to develop your virtualization containers, get in touch with the best software development companies in India. Only an expert can help you come up with an expert solution. Cheers!