The Case for System Testing with Swift Hierarchical VM Fork

Junji Zhi, Sahil Suneja, Eyal de Lara

6th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud '14), Philadelphia, PA, June 2014



System testing is an essential part of software develop- ment. Unfortunately, comprehensive testing of large sys- tems is often resource intensive and time-consuming. In this paper, we explore the possibility of leveraging hier- archical virtual machine (VM) fork to optimize system testing in the cloud. Testing using VM fork has the po- tential to save system configuration effort, obviate the need to run redundant common steps, and reduce disk and memory requirements by sharing resources across test cases. A preliminary experiment that uses VM fork to run a subset of MySQL database test suite shows that the technique reduces VM run time to complete all test cases by 60%.