What is Automation Scalability? Things You Should Know

May 3, 2024Priyanka
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Scalability is the ability to handle a growing amount of load. Scalability is the most popular word in cloud computing. Scalability includes adding resources when there is a growing load and removing resources when they are not in use or when demand is reduced. Automation scalability refers to handling these varying resource requirements dynamically without manual intervention. 

Automation scalability helps an organization in many ways. Most of the modern cloud providers already provide these features. When it comes to automation testing infrastructure, scalability is key. There may be a requirement to run the test automation on different platforms and different browsers on demand or based on requirement so automation scalability in automation testing infrastructure helps to reduce the cost.

Automation Scalability

Automation scalability is the ability to increase or decrease a resource on growing or shrinking the demand. In short, scalability refers to automatically adjusting the resource as per the demand.

Why is automation scalability so crucial for your company?

Consider an example, you have an end-of-season sale coming Friday and you are expecting a large number of hits to the website, and you have added resources before a week to cater to the expected demand. However, due to unforeseen conditions, you did not get the expected hits. All of your added resources are wasted. Imagine if these things can be done automatically only when the system sees an increasing trend. One of the advantages of automation scalability is resources are added dynamically and it will prevent resource wastage. It is also environmentally friendly. 

Let’s consider one more scenario, your server is configured to serve the normal demand, one day you see a sudden surge in requests to the website and your server is not ready to handle the large number of requests, and the server crashes. There was a big opportunity for business and you lost them. In this place, if there was automation scalability configured, the crash wouldn’t have happened and parallelly you would have made a big profit.

The above scenarios help you to understand how crucial automation scalability is for any business to reduce costs, increase profit, and keep the brand reputation. You are also contributing to an environment-friendly initiative by using only the required number of resources.

Managing Scalability with Automation

Irrespective of what domain you are doing the business, the web traffic fluctuates. The business may grow. It might be difficult to create a system to meet all future requirements however the best option is to make the system ready for the future. The right solution is through automation.

Nowadays all cloud vendors are providing options to implement scalability automation. This automation can also be done on-premise cloud environments.  As the environment scales you must have a specific set of tools to monitor them, such as alerting tools, auto-remediation tools, etc. These tools help you to monitor your scalability configuration and help you to take action immediately.

Scalability in Process Automation

Process automation is to perform repetitive and complex tasks automatically without human intervention. It can help to save time, cost, and resources. When it comes to process automation infrastructure it may be difficult to gather the future requirements in advance, but if your process automation architecture is implemented considering the scalability in mind, it can reduce any future risks and make future changes adoption easily. So it is important to build a scalable automation architecture by following the best practices.

Tips to Make Your Automation Processes Scalable 

While designing the process automation architecture you should consider the scalability automation. Below are some of the best tips you can follow to make your automation process scalable.

Choose the right tools

The tool you choose should be simple, budget-friendly, and should have less complexity. Based on your requirements you may opt for low-code tools, platforms, and code-based tools. But ensure that the tool supports scalability, and meets all other requirements that you need. Importantly you should consider the learning curve, security, and integration options.

Design with scalability in mind

The design process is important, as the design decides the future of your automation framework. Design your system as open as possible. It should be scalable, extendable, and reliable. Never hard code any values. Use configurations, paths, variables, and structured files as much as possible.

Test and debug thoroughly

Before you deploy your automation process ensure, it works as expected and handles the required number of loads. In case the load exceeds, it should handle those corner cases gracefully. Use all different types of inputs or scenarios and analyze the outputs. Never forget to integrate logging and monitoring. Lack of logging and monitoring makes your system untraceable when the error occurs and it will be difficult to debug and find the solutions.

 Implement version control and backup

Version control helps to track the code and configuration level changes. It protects you from any unexpected changes. Even if it happens you can easily revert to the previous state. So your process runs smoother. Similarly, the backup helps to keep your data safe. Accidental damage of data may incur huge losses to the organization and in turn, it can harm the reputation. The data backup can completely reduce those risks.

Review and optimize regularly

Finally, managing and maintaining your automation system or process helps you keep up-to-date with the latest technologies or libraries. You might have to optimize and make minor adjustments regularly to avoid instability of the system. Patiently listen to all the feedback and act on them positively and regularly. 

Automation Scalability and Test automation

Scalability is not limited to process automation. Scalability applies everywhere. As discussed earlier, if you are implementing scalability at your organization level you should consider every tool that supports scalability. Most of us think of test automation as a tool for automating test cases, we never think of the infrastructure required for test automation. Considering the test automation infrastructure, the resources you use may vary through the day, month, or year. For example, during the release cycle, you may use more resources than the usual days. If you are setting up infrastructure considering the demand for the release cycle, you may waste a lot of money and resources. Similarly, if your infrastructure doesn’t support the release cycle demands, then you may not be able to release faster and test thoroughly. The best solution for such a problem is to have infrastructure that can adapt to the testing demand automatically. In short, have a scalable automation testing infrastructure.

Scalable test automation infrastructure is not an easy task unless you use cloud-based vendors, many test automation tools don’t even provide the infrastructure support you might have to set up them. Setting up scalable infrastructure requires deep-level knowledge and is time-consuming. 

Furthermore, you may need to integrate your test automation framework with cloud vendors like AWS and Azure or cloud test providers like Suacelabs, Browserstack, etc. In this case, you are investing in multiple tools – not only automation tools but also infrastructure tools. This may also impact your test automation return on investment(ROI). 

The good news is that there are many testing tools, which are cloud-based tools that also provide scalable infrastructure and are budget-friendly. One of the good examples of such a tool is Testsigma.

Why Testsigma for Scaling Test Automation?

Testsigma is a cloud-based test automation tool and it can support scalability in many ways. If you don’t wish to go for a cloud-based version, Testsigma can support on-premise infrastructure as well. However, the cloud-based version has a lot more advantages than the on-premise version.

Testsigma can help you in scalable test automation by adjusting the automation testing infrastructure automatically based on the demand. Interestingly, if you already have an existing license with cloud-based testing vendors such as BrowserStack, Lamdatest, or Saucelabs you can integrate Testsigma with those vendors and you can reduce the infrastructure costs.

Testsigma has cloud-based testing infrastructure that can scale based on your needs. If you are using the pay-as-you-go pricing, these scalable features become budget-friendly. For example, if you have a requirement to execute the regression tests every day at 9 am, imagine your regression runs for an hour and it uses a lot more resources than any other suite. In such scenarios, you can schedule the execution by following the below steps.

Step 1: Choose the Test Plans

Test plans are available under the Test Development menu

Step 2: Create a plan

Choose the schedule option by entering the values like Name, date, time and frequency.

During these planned hours, Testsigma automatically triggers the test and allocates the testing resources for you. Interestingly, you don’t have to reserve these resources. Testsigma can scale the resources based on demand. You will be charged based on the hours you spent on execution and the type of resources you have used.

Above is one example of how Testsigma can support scalability, In the same way you choose the ad-hoc runs with any number of browsers, on any platform whether it be desktop, mobile, or mobile native app, a feature of scalability remains the same. 

Having cloud-based tools like Testsigma can make a considerable positive difference in your ROI. Additionally, it will reduce the infrastructure maintenance overhead as it is completely maintained by the Testsigma team. Though you need to make some configurations, those configurations are nothing but some clicks on the user interface.

Evaluation Checklist: Scalable Test Automation

Scalable Test Automation is the future of test automation, so you should choose the right tool by following the evaluation checklist. This helps to compete with current and future trends in the market.

Below are checklist for the Scalable Test automation

  • The tool should support cross-platform and multiple browser execution based on your requirements. It should also support parallel execution to reduce the execution time
  • Reporting should be accurate and reliable. The report should not contain just a pass or fail. It should contain additional information like network logs, browser logs, and other logs which can help in debugging.
  • It should support CI/CD integration such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, CircleCI, Gitlab, etc. to make automation testing part of your build pipeline
  • The future demand and requirements can never be predicated, so the tool should be built for scalability to adopt any future needs and requirements.
  • The framework should never compromise with the security feature. Any security flaws will be P1 incident and they can directly impact your organization’s reputation
  • It should be easy to use, preferably no-code tools, which don’t require any programming language knowledge.
  • The infrastructure should be available to use at any time, which means availability should be high
  • The tool should provide good support, it may be dedicated or have community support. Enterprise-grade support is mostly expected. Additionally, there should be good documentation.
  • Stability is another evaluation criterion which means that their output should be stable and reliable. There should not be any flaky tests or false failures.
  • Monitoring and alerting can help you to catch the bottlenecks and traces efficiently and it is good to have features.

Automation Scalability is a broad term that applies to almost every possible scenario where the infrastructure is involved. Scalability is everywhere including application functionality, handling the traffic, providing developer experience, process automation, and automation functional testing. 

Scalability helps to adjust the resources based on the current demand. Scalability can help to reduce the cost and preserve the brand’s reputation. 

When it comes to automation testing there are only a few tools that support scalability. Testsigma is one such tool that is built with automation scalability in mind. Interestingly, all these configurations can be done without any coding and cloud knowledge. Choosing the right tool for test automation is key to automation testing success.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Selenium be used for test automation scalability?

Selenium is a tool, it doesn’t provide any testing infrastructure support. However, some of the features like Selenium Grid, parallel execution, cross-browser execution, and cross-platform support can be used with cloud-based systems to achieve scalability. It is a known fact that setting up scalable infrastructure is the most complex and time-consuming task. Often it may not be budget-friendly. Instead, you can choose the cloud-based testing tool Testsigma, and that helps to reduce the infrastructure setup and maintenance burdens. Testers can focus on their core tasks which is automating the use cases.

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