In a previous post, I wrote about Sauce Labs, and detailed how their Selenium-in-the-cloud service ("OnDemand") helped Web QA--particularly yours truly--quickly make sense out of a perceived performance regression, with really nice video support. It turns out that we keep having reasons to look to them for additional capacity and capabilities. And, thanks to a great working business relationship, they're helping us meet those needs.
The problem: as stated in our Q2 goals, our team has to "Plan for and support a high-quality launch of http://persona.org". The goal goes on, stating that we'll support desktop on a variety of browsers, as well as mobile.
Our list of supported, in-house browser and operating-system environments is here: Mac, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Until recently, we didn't have in-house Opera or Chrome support, so calling out to Sauce for those browsers has been really beneficial. (When we launch a new site, we definitely cover all major browsers, manually, but due to our Grid infrastructure, the need to run frequent tests, and the maintenance cost, we try to keep it to the essentials; other teams have different, more-stringent browser requirements, so it was necessary to add in both Chrome and Opera to our automation.)
The solution: It's often been said that companies should "focus on their core competencies" (I'll admit there are counter-points aplenty), and it's a view that I happen to subscribe to, especially given the demands on our team. To that end, instead of planning for, provisioning, and then maintaining the morass of browser environments on a plethora of operating systems, we increased our scope and frequency-of-use with Sauce Labs, covering what we reasonably could, in-house, at present, while immediately spinning up test coverage, and making our developers and supported Identity/Services QA team very, very happy.
The here and now: as of this moment, we've been able to bring up 42 test jobs against myfavoritebeer.org (dev/beta) and 123done.org (dev/beta), covering the most-critical paths of login and logout; we're closing in on new-user registration and changing passwords, too.
The future: as our testing needs increase, so, likely, will our usage of Sauce, and it'll be as easy as cloning a job in Jenkins and changing a single parameter, thanks to the built-in flexibility that Dave Hunt's pytest-mozwebqa plugin provides.
So, thanks again, Sauce; just another example of helping the Selenium  and Open Source communities, and, in particular, Mozilla!