Service Virtualization: It’s Not That Kind of Virtualization
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If you’re used to thinking of virtualization as a way of getting 50 functional servers on one physical box, the term “service virtualization” is kind of confusing. It’s easier to understand what service virtualization is — and how useful it can be — if you think of it as service simulation. Briefly put, service virtualization is the simulation of a complex application, database or other computing service in a testing environment. Service virtualization should be used for testing when:
- You can’t test in the real-life system you’re building for, because it’s outside of your organization — for example, a payments service that doesn’t offer a testing environment.
- Your real-life system is so complex that you can’t practically test on it without disrupting normal business.
- You shouldn’t expose real data to a potentially non-secure testing environment — customer data and patient information, for example, are too sensitive to risk, and putting enough security on these databases will create too many impediments for developers and QA engineers.
- You need to test against another system that’s still under development and isn’t yet available to test against.