Zephyr Enterprise: Scalability Overview


Zephyr enables organizations to manage their test departments more efficiently while boosting productivity and visibility into the quality cycle. It provides end-to-end management of the testing lifecycle while focusing on resources, releases and sprints, requirements, test cases, test schedules, test execution, defects, documents, collaboration and all aspects of real-time reporting and metrics via live dashboards.

The Zephyr Platform

The Zephyr Test Management Platform has, at its core, the Zephyr server, which is either accessed from the cloud via SaaS or can be installed on-premise. The Zephyr server is not only the central storage for all of your testing assets and information - requirements, testcases, execution results, requirements traceability information, etc., but also tracks all updates and pushes this information in the form of comprehensive metrics in a real-time manner to anyone viewing metrics or Dashboards.

Access into the Zephyr server is done via front end Interfaces like Testing Desktops and Dashboards that are browser-based: there is no client software to install, maintain and upgrade. The user interface is a Rich Internet Application (RIA) and works with all popular browsers and operating systems.

Zephyr Platform

Scalable Architectural Considerations

Zephyr’s founding team has extensive experience not only in managing large QA projects but also in the design, development and testing of high-availability, highly scalable telecom platforms and systems. We’ve taken that expertise and experience to build Zephyr form the ground up as an Enterprise-ready platform using robust modern technologies and sound engineering practices to handle hundreds of concurrent users, hundreds of simultaneous projects and releases/sprints and large amounts of data (over 500,000 testcases, executions and requirements). This has been successfully put to the test by our large Enterprise customers.

Architectural Considerations

Dimensions of Scale

Support for increasing workloads and having optimum performance at those high loads have been extremely important considerations in Zephyr’s architecture. We strive to ensure that every user has a great user experience even as the number of concurrently logged in users increase, along with the load and the size of the database under optimum hardware conditions.

The platform has been built with best-of-breed technology components that have been battle tested. Key scalability considerations of its architecture include:

  1. Componentized multi-threaded architecture

  2. Efficient use of server resources - cpu, memory, network bandwidth

  3. Consistent persistence across all major components

  4. Effective resource utilization with background garbage collection processes

  5. Intelligent caching and retrieval of tree data

  6. Selective real--time data pushes with a pub-sub model

  7. Smaller payloads in client-server interactions to reduce network bandwidth usage

  8. Client-side processing on metrics and drill-downs

  9. Highly optimized API calls to JIRA

Based on customer feedback and continuous performance testing and tuning over 8 major releases have ensured that the platform scales on all fronts.

Case Studies

With over a thousand customers across multiple products, the Zephyr platform gets performance tested on a daily basis.

Across the top 10 enterprise customers:

  1. On average, 30+ projects get tested in Zephyr across 140+ releases/sprints

  2. Test assets average over 100,000 testcases and 115,000 test executions

  3. The largest customer has over 400 users and 300,000 test assets

  4. Largest database has over half a million test assets

Some examples of enterprise customers:

(Customer names have been withheld to protect and respect their privacy. At the appropriate time, we are happy to make referrals available.)

  1. Leader in the financial services technology sector

    This NASDAQ-listed customer with a $9B market cap has been using Zephyr for the last 3 years and has tested 117 releases for their 13 projects. The team is a globally distributed one with over 60 users based in Sunnyvale, CA and Chennai, India. Using an Agile methodology that ensures monthly releases coordinated across different projects, they have over 580,000 test assets in their database. This customer picked Zephyr over HP QC in its evaluation.

  2. Market leader in the click-n-mortar bookseller category

    This NYSE--listed customer with a $700M market cap tests its award-winning tablets and marketplace using Zephyr. With 60 releases under its belt in just 1.5 years, this team has close to half a million test assets in their database. Every week, 10,000 regression tests are run using Zephyr. This customer picked Zephyr over HP QC in its evaluation.

  3. Global leader in the ecommerce platform category

    This customer, listed on the NASDAQ with a $62 billion market cap, trusts its main ecommerce platform testing to Zephyr. With over 400 globally distributed active users, and a database with over 300,000 test assets, they test hundreds of customized rollouts for the top e-tailers in the industry and have been doing that for over 3 years. This customer replaced HP QC with Zephyr Enterprise.

  4. Market leader in education

    Providing K-12 assessments for 20+ states nationwide, this 3 year old Zephyr customer has 80 projects and close to 400 releases that have been tested. With globally distributed project teams and over 325,000 test assets, this customer picked Zephyr over HP QC and IBM Rational.

  5. Market leader in healthcare solutions

    With strict FDA guidelines in place, this 3 year old Zephyr customer has tested over 200 releases across 44 projects, generating 220,000 test assets. A 70-person global team ensures every release is tested with the highest quality as mandated. This customer picked Zephyr over HP QC and IBM Rational.