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What businesses need to know about LOAD TESTING and why they should go for it

Load Testing

With the upsurge in the adoption of technology in various business environments and organizations increasing reliance on software applications for core operational transactions, the need for fast, reliable and stable performing applications has become an absolute necessity.

The possible drawbacks on an organization’s business due to performance issues are revenue loss, poor end-user satisfaction, high maintenance cost and increased cost to scale up.

There is an increasing demand from customers for fast and reliable applications not only to meet their growing business needs, but also to gain a competitive edge in the market.

Load testing is the discipline concerned with designing and executing non-functional tests to know the current performance of an application vis-à-vis the speed, scalability, stability, and other performance parameters.

Load testing is apt for software solution providers as a diagnostic tool to locate bottlenecks and performance issues within an application.

In Load testing we endeavor to question ourselves the following and address the same by evolving an effective testing methodology.

  • Whether the application meets the defined response time requirements of my customers?
  • Will my users experience acceptable response times even during peak hours?
  • What system capacity is required to handle expected load?
  • Where are the bottlenecks in my multi-user environment?
  • How can we detect defects that only occur under real-load conditions?
  • How can we optimize the multi-user application before it goes live?

What is Load Testing?

Load Testing is a testing process that determines how software applications affect the user experience when they are used simultaneously by many users. With Load testing, we will be evaluating the system behavior/degradation with various loads and/or configurations to ensure:

a) that the system meets the performance requirements as defined,
b) determine the capacity of existing systems and
c) create benchmarks for future systems.

Why is Load Testing important?

Load testing is important because sometimes popular sites often suffer from outages when they draw unforeseen traffic on their pages. To avoid such outages, via the various tools we use, we ensure glitch free usage of an application.

What is the process involved in Load Testing?

To ensure that the load testing is conducted in a systematic, well documented with timelines, the following process is adopted:

  • Evaluate requirements and identify scenarios
  • Develop load test scripts by emulating end user actions
  • Automate and Execute the test scripts with different volume of data and concurrent users
  • Monitor the tests with automation
  • Analyze results and verify across the SLAs
  • Craft load test report

What is performance benchmarking and baselining?

  • Benchmarking:
    A set standard that helps to determine the quality of the performance of the product. We establish high-quality metrics of an application to meet various business standards.
  • Baselining:
    To compare the performance of a new application with a known standard of system performance. We ensure that the application doesn’t degrade with any new updates over time.

Performance testing helps assess your application through the speed, effectiveness, scalability and reliability.

What are some important metrics captured during load testing?

There are curated metrics that are captured while performing load testing. These metrics are captured by analyzing products.

  • Response time
  • Transactions per second
  • Hits per second
  • Throughput
  • CPU utilization
  • Memory usage
  • Network load

What are the popular testing tools used in performance testing?

  • Jmeter:
    An open-source tool to test load and measure performance by simulating heavy loads. Mainly used for testing web applications.
  • LoadRunner:
    An automated load testing tool which can create virtual users and scale up the capacity of the virtual users, identify processes having trouble and diagnose a problem to find out the root cause.
  • Neoload:
    It is a proprietary automating tool used for performance testing on web and mobile applications.
  • Silk Performer:
    Load and Performance testing tool for Java and .Net applications.
  • Rational Performance Tester:
    An automated testing tool for performance testing from IBM.

When is the right time to get load testing done?

When the application is relatively stable and before rolling it out to production would be the right time to get load testing done for your application. Also, load testing should be done at an early stage to assure performance consistency across user loads, to ensure speed and scalability with current infrastructure and for continuous stable performance.

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