July 30, 2018

Serverless Testing in Production

The still-maturing ecosystem of serverless means that there is not a range of tools available for specific aspects of application deployment within this infrastructure style. But also, the nature of serverless as an events-driven architecture — where cloud providers or others are responsible for autoscaling and managing the resources necessary for compute — means that in many cases, it is difficult to usefully test for how things will occur in a production environment.

Charity Majors, co-founder and CEO of platform-agnostic DevOps monitoring tool Honeycomb.io, says that this inability to test in development is not unique to serverless. Given the nature of building and deploying distributed applications at scale, there is no possible way to test for every eventuality. While she agrees that the “I don’t test, but when I do, I test in production” meme may be worthy of an eye-roll, she does believe in the concept of “testing in production.”

“When I say ‘test in production,’ I don’t mean not to do best practices first,” explained Majors. “What I mean is, there are unknown unknowns that should be tested by building our systems to be resilient. Some categories of bug can only be noticed when applications at scale. ..."

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