Performance Testing: Controlled Testing Environment vs. Production-Like Environment Pros and Cons

performance testing

Performance testing is a necessary step that each piece of software eventually has to go through. That being said, for such a test to offer the results that you are looking for, you need to pass it through the right testing space. Otherwise, while your results may end up mathematically correct, they may not land where you intend them to. In this article, you will learn more about different environments to conduct your tests.

Understanding Controlled Testing Environments

Controlled testing environments are simulated testing spaces where the behavior of a code is closely observed. The testing team will conduct the lifecycle of the test here, keeping it separate from the development environment.

For this to work in a controlled manner, it needs to be kept independent and isolated from other corporate networks. Stress testing usually only takes place on the testing server, taking away potential problems to the corporate network.

The Advantages

There are several advantages to using performance testing services that rely on a controlled testing space. The main one is that you can create new components for a piece of software while your old build is tested separately. This prevents the production from halting, saving time if you have a bigger project on your hands.

The Drawbacks

While keeping the test environment separate can offer you more control over the conditions, you can also get limited realism. When using this method, you may not be able to replicate the production dynamics that often occur in the real-life medium. Cost and maintenance may also increase, and you can also lose a lot of time transferring the codes from one place to the other. That being said, automation testing services may potentially solve this issue.

Using Production-Like Environments

Production-like environments are simulations of where your latest products may be pushed to the intended user. Think of it like the final form of the product. Every automation testing stage is presumably done at this point, with every potential bug handled. Here, the intended user can experience, see, and interact with the product.

The Advantages

The main advantage of this environment for performance testing is that it offers real-world-like conditions. You can get a representation of how the system will react in different scenarios, offering you coverage that you could not get from a separate scenario. It is also the least expensive and time-consuming method, as you won’t have to maintain separate test environments.

The Drawbacks

While this environment can give you an accurate representation of the way the product behaves in real life, it can also affect user impact. If an issue or a bug arises during the production stage, the end user may not be happy about it, leading to service disruption. You also have limited control of the environment, which can make it more difficult to isolate the issue.

The Bottom Line

Both controlled testing and production-like environments have their benefits, along with disadvantages. It is up to you to choose the one that works best for your needs. Consider everything from your budget to the time and resources that you have and go for the one that brings the most advantages.