DevOps practices are a way to accelerate delivery, with continuous development, continuous integration and continuous testing. With the build-deploy practices already automated in Agile practices, and with multiple tools now becoming available for automating the infrastructure. DevOps Test Lab automation holds the key to successful DevOps implementation.
DevOps Test Lab automation practice should be integrated as part of the complete Infrastructure automation of the DevOps practice. A clear plan as to what kind of Test Environments are necessary as part of the Continuous Testing cycles should be determined, and this is where the QA team plays an important role. The test environments should be an important part of the complete DevOps strategy, and the details of test environments should be updated as new environments get included as part of testing.
So why is Test Lab automation so important in DevOps? With the build-deploy cycles accelerated by automation and the testing itself being automated, it is imperative that the Test Infrastructure should also be repeatable and reliable, which can only be achieved by automating the creation of Test Infrastructure. Also, with limited time and resources on hand, having an automated way to create Test Infrastructure and testing, the test cycles can also be accelerated thus achieving Continuous Testing
Many tools and techniques have been created to handle the Infrastructure automation. The same tools can be used and extended to support the Test Infrastructure automation, which includes also deploying the automation tools and frameworks on to the Infrastructure.
Some complex strategies can also be created to handle parallel executions by spinning up the complete grid of test infrastructure running the tests, and destroying the infrastructure once the tests are executed. Tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible can handle the automation of infrastructure and application installation very well. Combining this with tools such as Vagrant, Docker etc will help you create the necessary test infrastructure.