Everyone starts off with a simple grid setup which involves a hub and one or more nodes.
This traditional setup is a good start but the moment one starts to get serious with the selenium grid and decide to house their own selenium grid for their local executions, that is when issues start.
My experiences with the Selenium grid in the past couple of years has led me to get introduced some of the most prevalent problems with maintaining an in-house selenium grid.
- Nodes get unhooked randomly due to network glitches.
- Nodes introduce false failures due to memory leaks.
- Selenium Grid running out of capacity.
- Nodes require OS upgrades/patches etc.
- Needing to deal with auto upgrades by browsers (especially chrome and firefox)
Some of these issues I managed to fix by building a "Self Healing" Grid wherein the nodes automatically get restarted after they have serviced "n" tests. But that still didn’t solve many of these other problems.
That was when I felt, what if there was an on-demand selenium grid.
What if the Grid could do the following ?
- The Grid auto scales itself in terms of the nodes based on the current load.
- The Grid does not require a lot of infrastructure to support it.
- The Grid can plug itself into some of the cloud providers or leverage a solution such as Docker so that the nodes can be spun and shutdown at will.
That was how the idea of "Just Ask" an on-demand grid was born.
Just-Ask is an on-demand grid. It has no nodes attached to it.
It’s designed to spin off nodes on demand, run test against the newly spun off node and after test runs to completion, clean-up the node as well. The node can be backed by anything. It could be Docker (or) it could be a VM running on any of the popular clouds.
The session aspires to walk the audience through with my experiments with the selenium grid, my learnings on the selenium grid internals and how I used all of that knowledge to build my own On Demand Selenium Grid. What better avenue to share these learnings than a Selenium Conference.
The session will introduce the audience to the grid internals and their concepts such as
- What is a Selenium Remote Proxy ? What is it used for? What can you do with it?
- What is a Hub (or) Node level Servlet ? When would you need one ?
- All of this followed by a quick demo on "Just Ask", the on-demand grid that I have built and open sourced here: https://github.com/rationaleEmotions/just-ask