Virtualization Strategy for Browser Based Testing

I have been ramping up my knowledge and startegies for browser based testing on virtual machines (VM) and thought I would capture some of the best practices I have so far.

  • Start a new VM at start of test and destroy it at end of test.
  • Keep VM images small. Only have the bare minimum of software needed to run your test included in the VM image. Get rid of any default software that won’t be used.
  • Compress the VM image.
  • Image storage
    • SANS – storage area network. They are expensive ,but the best options for IO intensive scenarios such as this.
    • Use solid state drives – this is the next best option, but expensive. You’re able to have more efficient access from one drive when compared to rotating head drives.
    • Image per drive on rotating head drive – this is the least expensive option, but also the least efficient. Since IO is slow on these drives you could spread your images across multiple drives to improve parallel VM startup.

That’s where I am so far. Still need to get experience with various implementations of each practice. Should be fun.

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