Today, organizations are shifting from the traditional full-blown performance testing to shift-left and shift-right performance testing, in accelerated Agile/DevOps methodologies. In this article, I will discuss why both are important for ensuring better end-user performance 💡
Shift-left & shift-right with continuous monitoring
As organizations are leveraging DevOps methodologies, both shift-left and shift-right performance testing are conducted continuously for improved performance. Shift-left can be thought of as performance testing in dev (development) and shift-right performance testing can be thought of as performance testing in ops (production).
Shift-left performance testing started at the early stages of the SDLC- software development life cycle. It is a cost-effective solution as performance issues can be identified and resolved early.
Organizations conduct that method using automated component performance testing. That type of testing must be integrated with continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.
Component performance testing is executed as a bottom-up approach 🔝 First, component-level performance testing and then a group of components performance testing as the bottom (of bottom-up approach). It is executed for a shorter duration with low volume and in parallel, to meet the accelerated pipeline process as shift-left concepts.
Continuous performance monitoring in a performance environment is also very vital, as conducting performance testing for each and every component in fast-paced delivery cycles is simply impossible.
However, shift-right performance testing is conducted directly in a live environment with more controlled performance test execution as and when necessary. Proactive continuous monitoring in production environment (both real user monitoring and synthetic monitoring) plays an essential role to identify the potential performance issues, and resolve them quickly before it actually impacts its end-users.
Traditional full-blown performance testing is still significant
Though it seemed that traditional full-blown performance testing is not required for DevOps performance testing as we are conducting both shift-left and shift-right, it adds its own values.
It reduces the overall performance risk, both from end-to-end integrated perspective and end-user or user interfaces (UI) standpoint ahead of deployment. Traditional full-blown performance testing ensures different aspects (speed, scalability, stability, spike, volume, availability, performance resilience) of performance testing. This in turn assists in capacity planning or prepare for the worst conditions to ensure improved end-user performance.
Traditional full-blown performance testing helps to know how the application will behave in production in advance. It gives huge confidence to the application owners and stakeholders before the application goes live.
It can be thought of even as an integrated approach of component performance testing as a bottom-up approach, from an end-to-end perspective for its end-users.
It is always better to conduct full- blown performance testing as continuous integrated regression performance testing before any release. If not possible, it must be conducted before any big or major releases, first-time releases, server upgrades, or migrations for example.
And again, to get the full benefits of performance testing and pinpoint the potential performance issues, traditional full-blown performance testing must be executed with continuous end-to-end monitoring. In a nutshell, we can certainly say that it is still as important as an integrated approach.
There is no doubt that traditional full-blown performance testing is still significant in today’s accelerated release cycles. Conducting this type of testing together with shift-left and shift-right performance testing, plus continuous end-to-end monitoring, ensures improved end-user performance ✨