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Performance & Resilience Testing for Improved Sustainability Post Digital Transformation

February 15, 2024Arun
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Performance & Resilience Testing for Improved Sustainability Post Digital Transformation
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Last few years, I have been reading and writing a lot on sustainability with performance and resilience testing. I already published 6+ articles and presented in couple of international conferences on this intense topic. 

Organizations are now getting matured after digital transformations and already aware of the facts that performance and resilience testing assists in sustainability in below 2 ways:

  • First, by making the application or websites faster (if application is faster, then it uses less data to serve the request and eventually it will generate less carbon to the environment)
  • Second, by optimizing the server resources (if server resources are optimized, then it consumes less energy which is better from sustainability perspective) 

Organizations are also leveraging the benefits of cloud computing for cost savings as well as for sustainability. As a next step, organizations are now thinking about how they can uplift their performance testing process for better sustainability and less cost (in addition with ensuring enhanced end-user experience and confirming consistency). 

In this blog, I will talk about my personal perspective on the matured performance and resilience testing for improved sustainability post-digital transformation along with continuous FinOps activities.

While Digital Transformation:

In my earlier LinkedIn blog, I talked about organizations need to be very serious when conducting full-blown performance and resilience test executions for minimizing carbon footprint (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/organizations-need-very-serious-when-conducting-full-blown-dutta).

Performance testing absolutely assists in reducing carbon footprint, however executing too many full-blown performance or resilience tests create higher carbon footprint. We all know automated testing is having better sustainability and performance testing is always automated. So, it is having less carbon footprint from that angle. 

Then again, performance and resilience testing (load, stress, capacity planning, endurance, volume or game day testing or different kinds of resilience testing) is having a huge workload as it is driven by thousands of users if not millions. For the Internet of Things, there are millions of devices. This huge workload creates a higher carbon footprint.

So, while organizations are in the process of digital transformations and migrating towards cloud, full blown performance testing was necessary to ensure the as-is performance or improved performance for their end-users. Even organizations must think about the ongoing cloud cost (already talked about this in detail in EuroSTAR Huddle back in 2020 https://huddle.eurostarsoftwaretesting.com/applications-dont-run-fast-in-cloud-without-continuous-performance-testing/).

Continuous performance testing and monitoring is absolutely required for happy end-users, for cost savings and for sustainability. Even, continuous performance testing is beneficial for cloud cost savings (FinOps). Organizations are already leveraging different techniques, processes, or methodologies to make the improved application performance which assists in less carbon footprint. 

Adopting optimized resource driven high-availability concepts, application containerization or different web performance optimization practices both on client side and server side etc. are carried out to ensure reduced carbon footprint. 

Cloud is using green and clean energy. Organizations are also ensuring green energy for their data centres. Organizations can also think about sustainable capacity planning for reduced carbon footprint, published in Quality Matters magazine (https://www.quality-matters.org/index.php?page=qm-issues-archive&issue=15). 

Post Digital Transformation:

We all know the main objective of performance and resilience testing services is to efficiently use all the system resources and that directly impacts energy efficiency. While with digital transformations, organizations are fully focused on ensuring optimum performance for end-users and optimum utilizations (thus by both saving cost and ensuring sustainability). 

Post digital transformations, organizations will be more interested in less carbon footprint for all their SDLC activities along with cost savings without compromising the quality attributes. As performance and resilience testing is having huge workload, it becomes priority for organizations to look closely on performance testing activities to reduce carbon footprint.

First, unnecessary, or unplanned performance and resiliency test execution should be strictly avoided. Second, conducting full-blown performance and resilience testing in very low scalable environment or hardware/software configuration mismatch with the live environment should be strictly escaped. Both activities assist not only in reducing carbon footprint but also save a lot of effort and costs. 

Third, Organizations should not conduct full blown performance testing frequently rather impact-based performance testing should be conducted. Once in a while, full blown performance testing will be good enough post-digital transformations until added huge workload.

 Impact based performance testing will be having less workload and component level, resulting in less carbon emission. By identifying and resolving issues at the early component level will not only be cost-effective but also reduce energy consumption for debugging and fixing defects.

Fourth, time duration of performance testing or steady state duration should be reduced to have less carbon footprint (30 mins from 1 Hour or 2 hour). Long duration endurance testing should not be conducted frequently. Even for those conducted endurance test, execution window should not be more than 4 hours from 8 or 16 or 24 hours. Endurance testing workload should be average load instead of peak load.

Fifth, when performance test duration and user workload is reduced, huge amount of performance test data preparation activities simply will not be required. That will also minimize huge carbon footprint. 

Sixth, when user workload is reduced, corresponding load generator or injector machine counts will also be reduced. Goal should be achieving more users with few resources. This again lowers the carbon emission.  We should try to use cloud load generators, if possible, for better sustainability. Even efficient management of performance test environment (Pre-prod/Stage/Performance) and performance test lab environment (Controllers/Load Generators) are absolutely required for better sustainability.

Overall, impact-based, low volume, short duration, specific goal-oriented performance, and resiliency testing will be very helpful. 

Seventh, conducting the performance and resilience testing at off-hours will lead to less carbon footprint. Even green testing techniques like optimizing the performance test scenarios will assist in reducing carbon footprint.

Eighth, on-premise organizations can use the existing hardware for a longer duration (extending the hardware lifespan for hardware efficiency) to reduce less carbon footprint and have less e-waste. Even try to evaluate the power consumption of background applications on mobile, devices and servers and, if possible, minimize it for better sustainability.

Ninth, organizations should also continuously look to reduce the amount of data transfer and distance that they cover (like using Content Delivery Work).

Tenth, using the emulator instead of real devices will be having less carbon footprint. In case of real devices, device lifecycles must be increased. For example, a device which is replaced in 3 years – try to extend it to 5 years. However, proper support from device organizations is also required so that device is effective in this changing technological world. Optimized device battery usage should be another way of sustainability.

In a nutshell, all the above reduce the costs and provide better sustainability. which every organization should be interested in, post digital transformation.

Conclusion:

Post digital transformation, organizations should be conducting performance testing in test early, test only when required instead of test always or test often fashion. Continuous impact-based low volume, shorter-duration performance testing rather than always on, full volume, longer duration performance testing should be priority for better sustainability.

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