Continuïteit testen


Continuity testing

For a functional tester, such as myself, continuity testing is a really tough area to get into. The very basic attributes to verify are; how do I keep the system for as long as possible, and if things go wrong, how do I become operational again as quickly and as complete as possible. The first part deals with redundancy and failover, the second part is backup and restore.

Staying operational for as long as possible

The main part of continuity testing is simulating a certain use of the system (for instance via a load testing tool) and then suddenly limit some of the network components or completely bring it down. System administrators will tell you that there are numerous scenario’s to do this. This goes for both failover and for the controlled restore of the system.

Resuming as quickly and as complete as possible

Without backup, you literally lose everything, especially if your workstations are virtual and therefore have no actual data on them. I know very few software systems where such a scenario is acceptable. The first test is then to see whether you can make a backup at all. The challenge for a tester is to simulate a data set that represents the actual data set, both in size and in structure. On top of this  you will need to verify whether the required backup frequency is possible. If you want an hourly backup and the backup process takes two hours, your system administrators will need to come up with something creative (such as ‘delta backups’) and you will need to include it in your testing.

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