Infrastructure Testing Approach - Part I

Updated: Nov 7

Modern business applications heavily depend on reliable infrastructures. When the organization grows, the IT infrastructure needs to be improved. During such times, the organizations are forced to change their data centers. Hence, the data centers become huge to support organizational needs. However, such changes involve certain risks; for instance, changes in components expose massive risks for our IT services. In such scenarios, testing an application alone will not identify problems in the system architecture. To counter such issues, the organization can take the Infrastructure testing method. Infrastructure testing helps close this gap and point out problem spots in the hardware, network, and software layers.

What is Infrastructure testing?

Infrastructure testing is part of a test project that helps identify and analyze various risks involved in setting up the target infrastructure for an organization. The projects that usually involve risk are hardware migration, lifecycle management projects, and newly built system deliveries.

Infrastructure testing helps ensure that the company's IT infrastructure is well designed and placed by the company's requirements. It makes sure that the company's IT infrastructure is well set to handle a large amount of data and make sure that all the risks are analyzed in well advanced, thereby enhancing the data's security.

Scope

Herein, we will discuss the scope of the infrastructure testing and the steps taken by a testing manager to understand the risks involved in setting up a new infrastructure. The following steps are taken during the infrastructure test:

  • Check the new hardware stack

  • Check the installed software

  • Check network connectivity (firewall rules working)

  • Check if the new machines are compliant with security standards

  • Check response times

  • Check system resource utilization

  • Check virtualization resources usage

  • Check availability

  • Automated problem detection and alerting

  • Resilience tests

Any organization must make sure that the hardware infrastructure is capable of handling the whole organizational data. If the hardware infrastructure is good, it will be able to handle software infrastructure, which will help the organization provide better service to its clients, thereby achieving an overall better user experience.

The Infrastructure-testing project comprises various layers such as the hardware layer, network layer, software layer, and user experience layer. The organization needs to test every layer and ensure that the infrastructure is not having any problems or bottlenecks in any of the layers. Hereinbelow mentioned Figure 1 depicts the pyramid of layers that are part of the organization's infrastructure.


Infrastructure Testing activities

Various infrastructure testing activities are conducted over different layers. These activities are undertaken to ensure that each layer can perform at its best possible condition without causing any risk concerns.

Hardware/Virtualization Layer Testing

Concerning hardware layer testing, the following attributes of the hardware devices are tested:

  • The Capacity of the hardware devices

  • Interfaces available

Network Layer Testing

Concerning the network layer, the following parameters are to be considered and tested:

  • Firewall Rules

  • Available Load Balancers

Software Layer Testing

For the software layer, the following parameters need to consider and check:

  • Software Patches available and used

  • Libraries used

  • OS type and version

  • Security Testing for vulnerable components

User Experience Testing

To user experience, the following parameters are considered as part of testing:

  • Response times for various queries

  • Resource Availability

  • Reliability

  • 24 x 7 test request execution capability

  • Automated problem reporting

  • Health overview dashboards

Infrastructure-as-Code

Before starting with Infrastructure testing, the stakeholders should think about continuous configuration automation (SCM Tools) to automate the setup for Operating System and Software. The possibility of errors is minimized, thereby reducing Testing and Trouble Shooting overhead for newly provided infrastructure.

Automated Configuration Management is desired for infrastructure provisioning to minimize manual mistakes and speed up ready-to-use infrastructure. Responsible Teams for given service layers should evaluate the State of the Art Tools like below in Figure 2:

We will be sharing Part-II of this blog very soon, giving you much more information on Infrastructure testing and how effective and efficient it can be for your organization. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about Infrastructure testing or Performetriks, please contact us here.

Performetriks is a performance and security testing service provider. We strive to educate and collaborate with like-minded businesses to make a difference. Let's collaborate.
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