If you are fortunate enough to be using cloud based resources, it is cost effective to configure Production Like Environments for load testing. The combination of Infrastructure as Code and the Pay as You Go price model in the cloud makes this possible.
Let’s assume that your cloud based production infrastructure is distributed world-wide and has a cost of $70,000 per month. It is not feasible to replicate this infrastructure in other environments full time at this cost.
The above example equates to about $100 per hour. We do not need load test environments full time. We only need them a fraction of that time. Since is it easy to create infrastructure, we can delete it when we do not need it, and thus we do not pay for it. If we run our load test each night for two hours, the cost of a load test on an environment like production is $200 per day.
So, there is really no reason these days to skimp on lower environments.