How to Secure a Safe Cloud Migration With Test Automation

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

The pandemic has sped up the need for businesses, big and small, to migrate to the cloud. This pressure means that businesses are open to high-risk situations like server failure, system downtime, or database errors.

A move like migrating from on-premise to the cloud requires careful planning - this is where a testing strategy can bring a cost-effective, secure, and agile migration.

To dampen the workload, Quality Assurance (QA) teams are using test automation to make sure the core task of moving data has been done properly.

What to expect in this post:

What is cloud migration testing?

The challenges of testing your cloud migration strategy

How codeless automated testing can secure a safe migration at speed

What is cloud migration testing?

When migrating to the cloud, enormous amounts of data are being moved from one system to another.

If you're moving from a legacy system to a modern application, business definitions have probably changed. For this reason, boring tasks like making sure data fields are populated, or that a receiving system has been plugged together correctly are crucial.

The smallest mistake, if left undiscovered, can cause major breakdowns down the line. That’s why testing is so important. It makes sure that everything has moved to the right location, and that it works as it should.

Different types of cloud migrations

There are different types of cloud migrations, all varying in difficulty. The size of a company and the systems in use will affect the time it takes to migrate.

Below are the four types of cloud migration:

  • Re-host - rehosting is perhaps the easier migration type as it requires the migration of a workload as it is to the cloud. This would be common for applications already built on the web.
  • Re-platform - Requires the change in an Operating System or Database and so applications have to be reinstalled to work on a cloud platform.
  • Re-factor - Requires the remediation of code, and is common in legacy applications.
  • Re-architect - Needs changes to the architecture of an application to make use of cloud-native functions and microservices. This is also common in legacy applications.

When you’re moving system, like with the latter three, a migration is different than if you were re-hosting. Re-hosting is more simple because the data can be “lifted and shifted”.

When you’re moving from one system to another and the context changes, things get more complicated. Business definitions change. Functional validation makes sure that when the data is moved, everything works as expected.

The types of tests you might perform include the following:

  • Does a mandatory field accept NULL values?
  • Is the length of the field correct?
  • Are fields duplicated across tables causing errors?
  • Has the data been stored in tables with the right business requirements?
  • Has the data been updated across the relevant areas?
  • Are transactions performing as they should and with the correct results in the new system?

The challenges of testing your cloud migration strategy

When migrating to another system, business definitions change. Teams need a strategy in place to ensure the data works as it should.

Example: migrating customer data from on-premise to the cloud

To demonstrate the challenges that migration teams encounter when testing their strategy, we’re using the example of migrating customer data from one system to another.

  • Identifying changing business definitions - Let’s say in the old system, customers are defined with six mandatory fields. In the new system, there are seven mandatory fields, the seventh being a zip code. The problem is, 20% of the data on customers doesn’t include a zip code. The team needs a strategy for adding this missing information en-masse, and the approach has to be tested.
  • Data validation can take months - With the strategy in place, several “dry-run” tests will take place to validate that the new zip codes are popping up as they should and that they are correct. This process of QA and compliance are time-consuming and slows down the migration process.

While this is an oversimplified example, the point remains. When an enterprise moves its data to the cloud, a lot is at risk.

The consequences can be severe. In 2019, Facebook was down for 14 hours. It cost them around $90 million.

How codeless automated testing can secure a safe migration at speed


“cloud migration is not the goal. It’s about quality assurance and continuity.” - LINKIT

Cloud migration is a high risk, high cost, and resource-intensive process that, with the introduction of codeless automation, can bring quality assurance and the continuity of services.

  • Business-critical processes won’t be interrupted - Ensure that each word, number, and character will be moved to the right destination.
  • Data won’t be lost, and neither will the company’s reputation - Ensure that your legacy database is updated on an ongoing basis.
  • Ensure that data and content arrives at the correct destination post-migration - Mistakes will be found and fixed quickly so that any risks to productivity are minimized.
  • Enable testers to do more work in less time - Reduce the total cost of cloud migration by eliminating the need to hire more testers to do more manual work with an easy-to-use, scalable solution (no coding skills required!).
  • Offer intuitive, visual reporting of automated test runs - stick to an agile roadmap while proving that test automation has a positive return on investment.

Learn more about why automation is an essential part of your cloud migration strategy in our partner webinar with LINKIT.

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