What Is Test Infrastructure: With [Examples]

OVERVIEW

Test infrastructure refers to the hardware, software, and other resources necessary to support software application testing. This can include things like test environments, test tools and equipment, test data, and other resources that are needed to plan, design, execute and evaluate tests.

It is an integral part of the testing process by providing the resources and support required for testing activities. It is typically designed and set up before testing, and it is commonly managed by a dedicated team or individual.

It covers testing exercises and processes to ensure the fastest test execution, providing a shorter release cycle and faster time to market.

Test Infrastructure Components

What is Test infrastructure?

Infrastructure refers to the set of components to operate and manage organization or enterprise software services and environments.

When it comes to Test infrastructure, it relates to the actions, occurrences, functions, and procedures that support and enable manual and automated testing. Test infrastructure provides stability, dependability, and testing continuity for better planning and implementation. It gives the foundation for testers to write their test cases and an execution platform to execute them.

Test infrastructure is designed by keeping the following in mind:

  • Different test tools are coordinated to function as a unit.
  • The library of previous test cases may be utilized again for various test projects, reducing the need for further development work.
  • Regression testing may use the test suite automation approach since it is timed to perfection.

Why is Test infrastructure needed?

Test infrastructure is a set of tools and processes that help testers conduct tests efficiently. Without it, the testing process can be time-consuming and inefficient; without test infrastructure, it may not even be possible to complete all testing tasks.

Test infrastructure can be expensive; organizations need to know exactly what they want from their test environment so they don't waste money on unnecessary tools they'll never use.

At the same time, organizations need to ensure they have everything they need before testing begins so they don't run into any snags or delays. Doing so will ensure that testing starts on time and proceeds smoothly without hiccups or delays

Test infrastructure can help in the following ways:

  • It provides a controlled environment that allows for precise and reproducible test case execution.
  • It increases standardization, repeatability, and consistency of tests performed.
  • It provides the platform for automation of tests to reduce human intervention during test execution.
  • It offers flexibility in scheduling and executing tests at any time with no manual intervention required.

Benefits of Test infrastructure

The planned and thorough approach to test infrastructure has several upsides for both organizations and software products.

Here are a few advantages of having a Test infrastructure:

  • Reduced failures in production.
  • Accelerated test execution and early detection of bugs.
  • Help in reducing annual operating and business costs.
  • Verify that the software operates in an expected and organized manner.
  • Improvement in service quality.
  • Ensures the availability of stable environments.
  • Reduction in risk-related costs.
  • It provides an improved client experience.
  • Improve the infrastructure quality while preventing any production defects.
  • Decrease downtime.

When should you perform infrastructure testing?

You must carry out infrastructure testing immediately whenever an infrastructure-related update is introduced.

  • The updated system with any new patches.
  • Every new system upgrades with the introduction of new features.
  • Any update in the operating system
  • An update in the database structure and version.
  • When servers have their RAM upgraded.
  • Security upgrades
  • Software upgrades.
  • Setting up new tools.

This form of testing might occasionally become more crucial when dealing with database or data center relocation. More attention is required when there are numerous, quick application updates and infrastructure migrations.

Who should perform infrastructure testing?

Different teams can perform infrastructure testing. A few of them are as follows:.

  • Infrastructure team: This team works closely with the QA team, therefore, has good knowledge about infrastructure testing. They can also create test cases.
  • System administrator team: They are responsible for testing network-level infrastructure and ensuring the application works as expected after a network change.
  • Infrastructure maintenance team: They are involved in test planning and maintaining infrastructure environments.
  • Quality assurance team: This team runs regression and integration tests and performs testing on various configurations for different infrastructures.
  • Project managers: They handle the project and contribute to test planning, designing, and documentation for infrastructure testing. They are in sync with all the teams responsible for infrastructure testing.

Components of Test infrastructure

The testing activities, events, tasks, and procedures supporting manual and automated software testing make up the Test infrastructure. The more stable, continuous, and reliable the automated testing process is, the better the infrastructure is.

The Test infrastructure includes the following:

  • System under test: The system is an infrastructure's initial part. The system's subsystem under test must be stable for the test to be worthwhile
  • Test plan: A test plan is a detailed blueprint that contains test strategy, objectives, test schedules, estimations, and other relevant resources.
  • Test libraries: It’s best to compile the libraries of reusable test stages for standard utilities to use as the building blocks of test cases.
  • Test environment: To conduct the testing process, the necessary resources, like the network configuration and test platform, must be available. For instance, configuring the test environment to run the test scripts requires configuration management tools, servers, clients, routers and switches, and hubs
  • Tools: The creation of test scripts requires the use of several tools like automation testing tools, traffic creation and monitoring tools, supporting tools, etc.
  • Documentation: It is necessary to document the processes for automating test cases using test tools and test case libraries. A template for an automated test case is helpful to ensure uniformity across all the automated test cases created by test engineers
  • Administrator: The administrator handles the test case libraries, test platforms, test automation frameworks, and tools

Limitations of Test infrastructure

In this Test infrastructure tutorial, let us discuss some challenges organizations face when setting up test infrastructure

  • Remote environment: The test teams must rely on local support organizations to handle issues with equipment, hardware, and software resources, networking, etc., related to testing environments or resources. Sometimes, it delays, especially when an organization has units in different time zones
  • Lack of highly-skilled team: The lack of knowledge among the team is a major hurdle to setup Test infrastructure. A well-skilled team is needed to maintain information about all activities, such as schedules, plans, coverage, and status reports.
  • Insufficient knowledge about infrastructure testing: Most individuals are still unaware of the processes and implementation of Test infrastructure. Due to improper knowledge and understanding, implementation issues arise. In addition, numerous new issues develop that might jeopardize the stability of the process.
  • Identify test environment issues: Issues with the test environment frequently require investigation since it is difficult to fix them. You need to coordinate with the concerned teams to fix the issues
  • Manual efforts: In a few areas of infrastructure testing, manual efforts are needed. It causes delays in the process and is prone to human error.

Techniques for Test Infrastructure

There are several techniques through which you can carry out the testing of infrastructure. Here are a few of them:

Client/Server infrastructure

Servers consist of web servers, file servers, mail servers, proxy servers, virtual servers, and hardware-based physical servers. The client consists of OS, applications, user preferences, etc. Servers operate different services, and clients can use these services.

The primary goal is to test the performance of servers, PCs, operating systems, and hardware. Server/client components test executions ensure that infrastructure functions better in the production environment.

Additionally, it covers testing for application installation and uninstallation, browser compatibility, and interaction with various OS versions and user preferences.

Process:

  • Gather requirements from the stakeholders
  • Create a test strategy based on your knowledge of the required infrastructure.
  • Test cases cover functional testing, server/client infrastructure testing, upgrade scenarios, and operating system support.
  • The QA Team executes each scenario after the approval of test cases

Data migration testing

Data migration comprises transferring files across servers, files from one version to another, and transferring files to various configurations. The primary objective of this process is to test data migration on different servers, versions, and the latest builds. Testing for data migration ensures the application's responsiveness and latency.

Process:

  • Test the application before and after the migration
  • To ensure no modifications, test the servers before and after the data migration.
  • Verify that the application's performance has not changed following the data migration.
  • Test the application with several database versions
  • Verify that the new build works with every database version.
  • Test various server configuration options with multiple database versions
...

Cloud-based infrastructure testing

Most information and data are stored on virtual servers, which are maintained and managed by cloud computing service providers like AWS. The primary goal is to use cloud services for various application versions.

You can test the application's architecture on the cloud and access the performance and scalability of applications by simulating a real application on the cloud.

Process:

  • Test the application's load using various setups
  • Implementing the regression testing and the application should not impact load testing.
  • Run online browser compatibility testing to see if an application is compatible with browsers.
  • Testing the installed cloud application on the cloud
  • Check if the application performs as expected in various cloud environments.

Network level testing

The network is an essential component of the application's infrastructure. It helps clients, servers, and other networks communicate more easily. Networks comprise many parts, such as proxy servers and Internet access infrastructure.

The main goal is to manage and regulate network-level issues, including improper resource utilization, server outages, system configuration, operational infrastructure, and operating system updates.

Process:

  • Check the network layer for future upgrades in the application
  • Test any backup plans in case of a problem in the production environment.
  • Carry out the system testing, user acceptance testing, and security testing properly.
  • Create test cases and get test data ready
  • Make sure there is no server or network-level service disruption with any new release.
  • Check to see if the network is isolated
  • Test the effect on the application's performance on different networks, including VPN, Wi-Fi, LAN, etc.

Installation or uninstallation or deployment

While installation, testing the infrastructure ensures no problems occur when a new customer installs the application for the first time. The application is uninstalled to verify the application's exit process.

Process:

  • Check the installer packages necessary to install the application.
  • Build packages and test them against additional libraries.
  • Check the application's installation and uninstallation times.
  • Install the application on several OSes
  • Check how much disc space is needed.
  • Verify if all the files are deleted after the application uninstallation

Environment for testing infrastructure

A test environment comprises several hardware, application, tools, and methods. It’s vital to have a test environment for an accurate and effective test case execution.

The test environment also includes the office, where testers can use a reliable network, PC, and power supply to perform their task.

The primary goals are to check the software installation and application configuration settings and select the appropriate testing tools to enable test planning and execution. Additionally, it ensures the tests to execute continuously.

Process:

  • Create a test environment for the project's regular releases
  • For the latest releases, establish a test environment.
  • Build solutions for server and client environment issues.
  • Decides the test tools for the test execution, design, and planning
  • Choose tools for problem reporting and debugging.
  • Create a document outlining the test environment's configuration

Test-driven development

Writing test cases based on requirement documents and then implementing functionality in accordance with the tests is known as the test-driven development (TDD) approach.

The main objective is to know the infrastructure resources needed for the project and specify and arrange the production, operations, and security infrastructure.

Process:

  • Create a document for infrastructure requirements
  • Prepare a test plan that addresses the requirements for the application's infrastructure.
  • Create test cases for infrastructure tests.
  • Test on various combinations

How to perform infrastructure testing using LambdaTest?

Developers build software applications that require infrastructure testing before launching them to end-users. However, setting up an in-house device lab for Test infrastructure can be an expensive and ineffective approach

Therefore, cloud testing solutions are an ideal choice here. Cloud testing platforms like LambdaTest provide an infrastructure of 3000+ real browsers, devices, and operating systems for web testing and mobile app testing needs. You can test your web and mobile apps in real-world environments by harnessing LambdaTest real device cloud.

Subscribe to the LambdaTest YouTube Channel and stay up to date with the latest tutorials around End-to-end (E2E) testing, Cypress testing, and much more

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Ways to validate your testing infrastructure

In this Test infrastructure tutorial, let’s look at ways or techniques to validate your testing infrastructure.

  • Validate the component's versions: Verify the components' IP addresses and that they have the necessary services to access each node. Check the operating system, features, and both versions. For example, Java, Apache, etc
  • Verify initial configurations: A tester typically checks different configurations in a performance test to seek optimizations, aiming to enhance the outcomes and comparing the performance of various solutions.
    Therefore, it is essential to examine the initial configurations to confirm that the information provided in the findings is accurate. Examples include the maximum and minimum allocated memory in the case of JVM, the size of the connection pool in the database or the web server, etc
  • Validate network routes and connections: To confirm the network hops, perform a traceroute from each node to the node to which they connect. You can perform it using the load-generator machines
  • Validate ports: If you are using port 80 to access a Tomcat-powered web server, be sure that you have set the Tomcat to port 80.

Tools for infrastructure testing

Infrastructure testing tools deploy and configure multiple servers required for an application. They help solve complex infrastructure-related tasks and execute them on different servers.

Following are some of the tools for Test infrastructure.

In this Test infrastructure tutorial, let’s look at ways or techniques to validate your testing infrastructure.

  • Chef: It helps deploy applications and configure infrastructure and the network. The Chef works on a master-slave configuration, where the chef-server ( or primary server) is replaced by the backup server if there is a failure
  • Puppet: Puppet uses the concept of master-master architecture. If an active master encounters a failure, another master can replace it. It is built with Ruby language and supports embedded Ruby and DSL
  • Ansible: Ansible is a highly scalable tool that can manage many nodes. It is highly secured with SSH protocol. Ansible is built in Python and supports YAML command scripts. It runs with one active node; if there are any failures, it also has a secondary node

Summing up

Development pipelines cannot afford to slow down by sluggish and ineffective infrastructure testing tools in today's evolving digital landscape.

Teams and organizations must perform infrastructure testing, find speed-related issues, and fix them with necessary changes to keep up with a market that demands high-quality web products.

Since businesses spend a hefty amount on infrastructure, the software development lifecycle needs infrastructure testing. This form of testing might occasionally become more crucial when dealing with database or data relocation. And more attention is required when there are numerous, quick application updates and infrastructure migrations.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Test infrastructure responsible for?

The primary objective of Test infrastructure is to mitigate the risk of software and hardware failures. Whenever an application is upgraded or modified, it ensures that the new functionality of the infrastructure is working as expected.

What are the components of testing infrastructure?

Test infrastructure components include the system under test, test plan, test libraries, test environment, tools, documentation, and an administrator.

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