Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Dean Madison, Peter Silva, Jnan Dash, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Java IoT, @DevOpsSummit

@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Performance Testers: Prepare for the Internet of Things | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Ponder the future of performance testing for IoT applications

The Internet has obviously had a huge impact on society to the point where it's hard to remember what life was like before it was around. But here's a thought: we're in for an even bigger transformation.

It's called the Internet of Things, and it's coming quickly. ABI Research predicts there will be 40.9 billion active wireless connected devices by the year 2020. Likewise, IHS Automotive forecasts 152 million cars will be connected to the Internet by the same year. Within the next decade, we are going to see everything from power plants to transportation systems to factories to the appliances in our homes connected together for data collection, analytics, command-and-control, and all sorts of other applications.

What is all this going to mean for performance testing? It's almost impossible to know for sure as so much of this story remains unwritten. However, there are industries where IoT is already happening. Let's take a look at a few of these and ponder the future of performance testing for IoT applications.

Key Performance Areas in IoT
We are still in the early stages of IoT, so not a lot is known about the behavioral and performance characteristics of large-scale IoT systems. However, there are a few things we do know.

When it comes to IoT, it's a pretty safe bet that performance engineers will want to pay particular attention to the following areas:

Dealing with massive data spikes. IoT has the capability of driving traffic spikes that will put Black Friday to shame. For example, an entire building coming online in the morning could deliver a huge amount of data in a short timeframe. Now, think of what would happen when an entire city turns the lights on between 8:30 and 9.

Mission-critical applications and the importance of high performance all the time. If you're running transportation systems on IoT, you've got to know that data is flowing unimpeded, all the time. While we're used to our mobile browsers spinning for half a minute waiting for data to load, that's not going to fly in the Internet of Things.

Security of sensitive information (not just social security numbers). Consider what a competitor could learn from all the data that describes exactly how a proprietary manufacturing plant is operating. Or worse - if a hacker is able to access the control path of a nuclear power plant. Security is paramount in IoT.

The importance of simulation. You can't test in production very easily when dealing with physical systems. Stuff just needs to work. That means you have to invest a lot in simulation, and have realistic scenarios to drive them.

The fact about IoT is that while it hasn't invaded every aspect of our lives yet, it's also not a complete unknown. There are a lot of industries that are already dipping toes or entire feet in the IoT waters. We thought it might be interesting to walk through a few of them.

Healthcare
Thanks largely to technology, the health industry will have some of the most important advancements for the future of our society. Healthcare is intensely personal, and performance testing is a matter of safety and security. When we talk about disease monitoring and measuring the vital signs for the elderly, we're talking about people's lives.

Some particularly interesting achievements and ideas in healthcare that relate to IoT are as follows:

  • Medical Refrigerator Tech: New monitoring tools are available that keep live metrics about controlling the conditions inside medical freezers that store vaccines, medicines and other organic elements.
  • Disease Management: Remote patient-monitoring technology gathers data about pulmonary problems, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Dental Hygiene: A toothbrush can track your brushing habits and even connect to your dentist's office to report how you're doing.
  • Physical Activity Management For The Elderly: Body sensors connect to networks and measure vital signs in an unobtrusive manner or via wearables.

There is a lot we can leverage from existing processes in health industry. Virtual simulation allows you to simulate the actual conditions of the product. Meanwhile, considering bandwidth limiting is important. Patients move around, so you will need to emulate connectivity for specified locations. Finally, don't forget testing in production. It gets tough when a production environment is so fragile and literally, cannot go down.

Environmental Infrastructure
Another hot area that is seeing a lot of innovation as far as IoT goes is city management and the environmental sector. Take water management, for example. We can now monitor real time water usage, its status, and cleanliness over IP networks, which drastically reduces maintenance costs. A multitude of examples occur in agriculture. For example, we are able to control micro-climates in modern greenhouses for better vegetable and fruit production with IoT technology.

When we refer to water supply management and metropolitan management in IoT, security can be a challenge. You cannot leave products vulnerable by missing data encryption, allowing for unauthorized access, or supporting only minimal password requirements. A common tactic may be security through obscurity, like being secretive about how updates to the product are implemented. Be careful about this as a strategy. If your security is breached (maybe by an insider), it could be very hard to recover.

With environmental factors involved, performance testers must realize how their unique device reacts to the various elements. Tough hardware conditions and challenges will require frequent software performance testing. In this industry, we don't want to wait for a headline news story to highlight your product's security breach or find out about product-related shortcomings. If you have questions about performance testing for application security, here's a handy checklist you may find interesting.

Travel And Tourism
We have begun to see an influx of IoT applications in the travel and tourism industry as well. Of course, proximity and live event information is gaining popularity at hot theme parks. You'll also find city applications that monitor crowds and shoppers.

What are the major implications on performance testing for tourism products? Their nature tends to be based upon movement. Sensor technology involves connectivity. In many cases networks can be intermittent or unreliable. As a consumer of a tourism-based application or device, it is important to know that your data will be saved and stored correctly, even if you unexpectedly lose a connection. It also important that it is delivered correctly when your connection is restored. Therefore, it is imperative for product testers of this industry to monitor networks.

In these situations, latency is always significantly higher and you'll see more packet loss. Focus on response times for the client and on server capacity. Keep in mind that there are many networks with different characteristics (private and public), which means there will be more interference with other networks in range. You'll need to perform network speed tests, reviewing the time it takes to fetch DNS information and to connect to the server. The user experience is key in this industry.

In General, Know Your Device
Depending on your point of view, it's either going to be amazing or amazingly scary. But one thing's for sure - it's happening. This year, the activity around the Internet of Things (or IoT as it's often abbreviated) has increased dramatically. You hear about it in the news, corporations are building strategies around it, and enthusiasts are beginning to get together and play around with it, reminiscent of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the Homebrew Computer Club.

One thing to remember - in IoT, it's all about the device. This is what feeds data into the system, and it's how things are controlled. Users will likely manage IoT applications through mobile devices as well.

Now's a great time to get familiar with IoT and keep track of the exciting things happening in this space. IoT is going to drive huge demand for performance testing, so get in front of the trend, sharpen those skills, and you'll be in for an exciting decade!

Photo Credit: Brendan C

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.