Load testing is obviously a perfect fit for the Amazon Cloud - need 1,000 computers for a big test? Just spin them up, use them, and tear them down. To deliver that same capability, CapCal once had over 10,000 people around the world running our agent for $0.30 per hour of testing. A small Linux instance on Amazon EC2 costs $0.12, almost 1/3 the cost! We didn't pay for bandwidth, though, and that was the main attraction. But they weren't as secure and reliable as the Amazon agents, and that makes all the difference!
Load testing is also called stress testing, performance testing, volume testing, scalability testing and so forth, all of which refer more to the objective than the means. But what about other kinds of testing, like functional and regression testing? Do they have a Home in the Cloud as well?
Of course they do! Actually anything but unit testing and manual testing can be done on the cloud and should if you read the post below this one. Running functional and regression tests takes time, and time can be squeezed out of the cycle if you can throw more computers at it. Generally people do unit testing, then functional and regression testing, and then performance testing. But the ugly truth is that performance testing either a) doesn't get done at all or b) gets done at a point where it's too late to make changes.
Why is that? We'll be answering that question and showing some examples of a different approach in the next few posts so y'all come back now!