Here’s the news.. Mu has in many ways transformed itself into a Cloud company. This may seem surprising since the shift has happened at many levels and not always in a synchronized or premeditated manner. But the shift has already happened and it is both profound and exciting at the same time. Here’s why…
Unlike many testing companies in our space who are still building faster hardware accelerated bit-blasters and mainly innovating on hardware, we are innovating the application software and that has meant a heavy use of cloud technologies and innovation around web apps. Cloud based technologies are changing the way we do things in many fundamental ways.
And this makes us more nimble, more innovative and be more responsive to customer requests.
The most obvious connection is blitz.io for testing cloud apps. However our embrace of ‘Cloud’ is deeper and more intimate than that. Today, Cloud technology powers:
1. how we build ready-to-go tests for our operator and vendor user base
2. how we build testing execution solutions for them, and
3. how our mainstream users consume our testing solutions
- all fundamental aspects of what we do. Let’s break that down into the constituent pieces and take a closer look -
How we build our library of tests -
A critical part of our solution is a library of the latest app tests we provide to our users. Our application test development team creates tests that replicate the behavior of real applications on the internet. Examples are Netflix, Skype, QQIM etc. (in case you’re wondering what this is, all the twenty somethings in China are IM’ing using QQ). They build these tests using a combination of local and cloud based technologies. Their test and development infrastructure uses github (a great cloud app focused on social coding, highly recommended). Also, since many of these apps are geo-specific (i.e. Skype in Asia is actually different in behavior compared to Skype in the US, QQ is popular only in Asia etc.) the test team uses cloud hosted servers to create these tests in remote geographies.
How our testing solution is built -
We host this test content on a web app called Mu TestCloud that is built using Ruby on Rails and hosted on Heroku. Our Cloud app running somewhere on Heroku talks to one or more instances of CouchDB also running on the cloud on some Amazon VM. We chose CouchDB for many great reasons. This web app (Mu TestCloud) is tightly integrated with our Studio 6 product that executes tests inside a customer lab. Studio 6 itself is built such that it can be moved either into a local VM running inside a customer’s lab or somewhere on the Cloud. It too is built using Cloud friendly technologies like Ruby on Rails and CouchDB.
How our users interact with the solution -
Our users now directly get the latest tests from ‘the Cloud’ and run tests against targets inside their lab. As a result our mainstream, well-grounded (i.e. non-cloudy) users - test engineers working within labs at Juniper, ATT, and Cisco – are leveraging the power of Cloud technology through our products. When a user runs a search query on the store through their Studio 6 instance, that triggers heroku to issue a request to a cloud app called websolr. When they then click on a test the request goes from heroku somewhere in Virginia to a CouchDB instance on a separate Amazon VM somewhere in the same area. These cloud based apps are working together to make the test engineer happier.
As a result of all this, we have transitioned what was a traditional appliance based ‘brick and mortar’ approach into one that is in a fundamental way leveraging ‘The Cloud’. And this makes us more nimble, more innovative and more responsive to customer requests. This Cloud thing is here to stay…and anyone who wonders if there is money in it needs to think again.