June 2009 Monthly Meeting Summary

Topic: Automated Testing Strategies Using Cloud Computing - presentation by David Hodge, Lucid Technics

Topic description:
Cloud Computing is gaining momentum from startups to the Government. There is a lot of hype but understanding how to leverage cloud computing can improve your testing and reduce overall costs for your project or company. This presentation will provide an introduction to Cloud Computing and how we can leverage it to automate testing.
David Hodge is a Partner and Software Architect at Lucid Technics www.lucidtechnics.com focusing on enterprise software development using the JVM. Co-creator of the open source code generator Hannibal. Mr. Hodge is a Certified Scrum Master and helps software development teams become more agile.

Took place on: Wed. June 3 2009 6:30 PM

Attendance: 15

Meeting Notes:
There was initial discussion of what Cloud Computing is, who provides it, and how does it work. Much of the discussion centered on Amazon's cloud computing services. There was also much discussion of possible uses in testing and test automation.


Presentation Summary provided by speaker:

* There is a lot of hype surrounding Cloud Computing and thus confusion of what it really means - see Gartner Hype Cycle
* NIST has come up with a working definition for cloud computing, stating it has the following characteristics:
      -On Demand self-service
      -Ubiquitous network access
      -Location independent resource pooling
      -Rapid elasticity
      -Measured service
* Cloud Computing can turn your infrastructure into a utility that is easier to manage and less costly
* There are several Cloud Computing providers such as Microsoft, VMWare, Sun, and Amazon
* Private Clouds exist internally within an organization and Public Clouds are accessible anywhere
* Testing Environments are usually an afterthought on projects and face challenges:
      -Difficult to provision servers
      -ROI uncertain
      -If created in shared environment can interfere with development environments
* Cloud Computing can help automate processes remember the DRY principle
* Testing Strategies for Cloud Computing
      -Create a library of testing environments and save them for reuse (Production, Test, Staging, Smoke Tests, etc)
      -Create snapshots of data for different environments or testing scenarios
      -Use library and data snapshots to create isolated test environment per project, team, or tester
      -Use Cloud Computing to create experimental environments to test new software, configurations, etc.
* Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2), Elastic Block Storage (EBS), and Simple Storage Service (S3) give you the building blocks for creating Automated Test Environments

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Copyright 2009 Northern Virginia Test Automation Interest Group
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