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Guide to Service Virtualization - Tools, Use Cases & More
Guide to Service Virtualization - Tools, Use Cases & More

Time Lag is every software team’s nightmare, and Service Virtualization is a savior! Team productivity usually hampers when there are too many dependencies among the team regardless of adapting to Agile methodologies.

Service Virtualization mends these productivity gaps by syncing tasks across multiple teams and speeding up the dependent task completion rate.

What is Service Virtualization

Let us assume a scenario to understand service virtualization better. Let us say a testing team is waiting for a code release that is pending with a developer team. Whereas the developer team is waiting for API related information from another team.

In short, the tester cannot do any work until API information is available to the developer.

A solution to the above deadlock would be to opt for service virtualization. It usually offers a realistic virtual environment by mimicking any unavailable service and components. It can also help with realistic API simulation. In this discussed scenario, once the API simulation is done, the virtual API component would be available to the development team, which would decrease the teams’ dependency time.

Hence, it will help dependent teams by simulating dependent components even before they are developed or is unavailable due to some reasons.

Benefits of Service Virtualization

As per a Gartner survey conducted among 500+ organizations, the highlighted benefits of are:

  • Increase in test rates
  • Reduction in test cycles by nearly 50%
  • Reduction in system defects by 40%

In a complex testing environment, virtualization can help with:

  • Better collaboration and reuse.
  • Flexible virtual service creation.
  • Thorough testing of business logic.
  • Continuous testing.
  • Strong component integration.
  • Reduced time and project cost.

How Does it Work?

Service virtualization is implemented based on project type. For example, in a DevOps environment its implementation is as follows:

  • Listener captures traffic, fetche the data from log files, sample data between the test and dependent application.
  • The solution performs correlation and evaluation of the above-captured data and creates a virtual service.
  • Finally, the virtual services with all characteristics of an unavailable service get deployed.

How is a Service Virtualization different from Stub?

Stubs are usually fake software that imitates specific real-life software behavioral responses, and they are used for testing. Stubs are content-specific.

In short, stubs help with class level simulation. Whereas service virtualization covers a large network spectrum simulation.

Service Virtualization is more than just software imitation.

Steps Before Choosing Service Virtualization

If you are interested to opt for service virtualization and wondering about the prerequisites, there are no such hard and fast prerequisites. However, following common prerequisites can make your journey smoother.


  • Discussing with the dev team about technical feasibility:

    It is beneficial to sit and discuss feasibility with the dev team as they handle the technicalities of the project.

  • Identify a relevant service virtualization tool:

    It is recommended to define objectives, brainstorm options, perform an evaluation, and then select a relevant tool.

  • Decide between commercial or open-source tool:

    Do not feel overwhelmed and select the right tool as per your budget, project transparency, project feasibility and training costs.

  • Proof of concept (POC):

    POC helps with understanding the feasibility of Service Virtualization implementation. 

Popular Service Virtualization Use Cases

Across the entire technology landscape, Service Virtualization has a wide variety of use cases. It can be used right from training an environment, data management to performance testing and so on.

Use cases:

Training environment:

Usually, a training environment would have:

  • Restricted access to the stored information
  • Tight backend access
  • Lack of data set availability


Service Virtualization simplifies testing environment by mirroring production and backend services. It carries all mirroring activities without any additional hardware spend.

Performance Testing:

Sometimes maintaining a live performance environment can become a challenging task because of several external dependencies and response time lag.


Service virtualization allows performance testing by mimicking external absent dependencies and reducing response time to a manageable level.

Management of test data:

Mostly in a distributed system, there comes a need for test data creation and synchronization. The whole test data creation and synchronization process might consume a lot of time and effort.


Service virtualization helps Quality Assurance and development team to automate test data response with an ease of data capture, and virtualized data set.

Third-party application integration:

There may be a possibility of third-party application unavailability, which might lead to a production environment halt.


Service virtualization can mimic accurate behavior of third-party systems . That helps with proper system synchronization and system behavior, even without third-party services.

Containing a test environment:

Sharing test environment variables can raise several issues. Some issues may include test environment redundancy, dependency, and inconsistencies. These inconsistencies can become detrimental to the software development life cycle.


In case of any test environment modification, the service virtualization changes its environment to reflect the modification accurately.

10 Best Service Virtualization Tools in 2022

Service Virtualization tools help software projects avoid inconsistencies like incoherent testing or development workflows, often this workflow incoherence is due to some team dependency issues. Service Virtualization tools imitate any unavailable, internal, and external software dependencies in real-time.


This tool provides comprehensive development and testing environment. It can easily and efficiently synthesize real software components and test dependencies.

Parasoft Features:

  • Provides an end-to-end test environment with live and stabilized system behaviors
  • Helps with detecting performance issues, managing complex environments
  • Supports multiple deployment options, integrated API testing
  • Helps with efficient test data management

Traffic Parrot

It is an easy-to-use API mocking tool designed for both developers and testers. It assists with faster testing and provides insightful backend APIs and third-party systems simulation.

Traffic Parrot Features:

  • Easy to use with a simple web interface
  • It supports templating and scripting for dynamic response generation
  • It is flexible and easily configured using Maven or Gradle plugin
  • This tool is compatible with Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift and so on
  • It also supports and records HTTP(S), JMS, IBM MQ, and file transfer for replay


UP9 is a test automation tool for microservices, Kubernetes, cloud-native and provides extensive test coverage.

UP9 Features:

  • It helps with automating test-cases covering all services and service endpoints
  • It provides a thorough root-cause analysis
  • It helps with continuous monitoring of API contracts, business-logic, and service architecture
  • It helps with CI-ready test-code generation & maintenance as per service traffic
  • Its automatic API testing helps reduce the test workloads
  • It helps with detecting software regression


WireMock is an HTTP based API simulator (or a mock server).

WireMock Features:

  • Provides hosted mock API services through MockLab
  • It has a powerful API URL request matching capability
  • Mocking an unavailable API helps with faster software testing and delivery rates

SmartBear ReadyAPI

This tool is known for API mocking. The tool assists you with maximum flexibility to configure a system's behavior.

ReadyAPI Features:

  • It produces data on the fly.
  • It provides flexible virtual service share and deployable options.
  • It allows easy to use virtual service creation.
  • It assists with flexible deployment.


This service virtualization tool is part of Broadcom’s suite of Products. The tool imitates missing costly software components of an SDLC. It enhances project speed, shortens downtime, and enhances parallel working between the teams.

CA LISA Features:

  • Helps with the easy creation of virtual services via XML request/response pair
  • It can be easily integrated with test automation and CI tool
  • Reduces software and lab infrastructure demands
  • Supports shift-left testing
  • Supports multiple protocols across front end, middleware, and backend technologies

Micro Focus

This tool can duplicate data and the application environment.

Micro Focus Features:

  • Assists with API and virtual service simulations
  • Helps with early testing in an SDLC process
  • Provides a simplified studio for easy simulation
  • Supports multiple technologies
  • Easily integrate with various tools and has a low total cost of ownership

IBM Rational Test

It produces realistic testing data with automated performance and integration testing support.

IBM rational test Features:

  • Provides detailed test coverage
  • It can virtualize applications, services, and software
  • Produces re-sharable virtualized environments
  • Supports wide technology ranges


It is an open-source tool with multi-protocol test execution capabilities.

Mountebank Features:

  • It is a cross-platform tool
  • Supports SMTP, HTTP, TCP, HTTPS testing, API based mock testing
  • Provides easy handling of a virtual service environment

Hoverfly Cloud

This tool helps with enhancing software integration, automation, and performance.

Hoverfly cloud Features:

  • Easily supports the most popular cloud providers – Azure, AWS, GCP
  • Test setup comes with virtualization services
  • It is a lightweight, easily accessible, and extendable service virtualization tool
  • It supports various platforms
  • Generates insightful reports

Our Take on Service Virtualization

It is easy to scale up your digital business using service virtualization. A Forrester report suggests that service virtualization provides the following business benefits:

  • Approximately saving 2,400 hours of software release time
  • Approximately saving $6 million in an SDLC project
  • Provides ROI of nearly 292%

In case you are not sure about choosing the right service virtualization strategy, please feel free to connect with our experts –[email protected] We will start with rapid assessments and come up with a customized enablement plan.