Why Software Testing Environment Should be on VirtualBox / Vmware

By angsuman, Gaea News Network
Sunday, January 13, 2013

Traditionally development & QA teams dedicate a machine for Software Testing, a clean-room environment, separate from development machines to ensure accurate testing in pristine setup. There are however several challenges to this and a surprisingly simple solution.


1. Each tester / QA Engineer and even many developers want their own test machine. While some organizations can afford it, for most it is an waste of resource. However the need is very logical. Each member (dev or QA) do not want to barge into anothers machine and cause unpredictable results with parallel workflow.

2. Test environment should be pristine for each set of tests and sometimes even for single tests. Typically the database is cleaned up and subversion directories erased. However for complex programs which modify registries or make other such invisible changes, it is not sufficient and will lead to inability to better test the system.

3. Machines, specially harddisk are prone to wear and tear and you need to be able to restore your setup in a jiffy in case of failure


Virtual machines provide a clean solution to all three problems above. You can keep a clean setup (master copy) and distribute clones of it to each developer and QA to use it as their individual (virtual) test machine. To recreate the setup, a fresh clone can be easily loaded. And all of these can be done via scripting (as well as through UI). You have any number of test machines are your command for all possible kind of testing by anyone in the team, no restrictions.

VirtualBox is a free Virtualization software which we use for the same purpose.

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