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Rebecca Clinard

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Top Stories by Rebecca Clinard

The ability to conduct effective performance testing has become a highly desired skillset within the IT industry. Unfortunately, these highly sought-after skills are consistently in short supply. "Front-end testers" can work with a tool to create a realistic load and although this is an important skillset, creating the load is just the beginning of any performance project. Understanding the load patterns and tuning the environment makes the unique talents of a "performance engineer" worth their weight in gold. Performance engineers require skills in data analysis such as resource usage patterns, modeling, capacity planning, and tuning in order to detect, isolate, and alleviate saturation points within a deployment. Performance testing generates concurrency conditions and exposes resource competition at a server level. When the competition results in a resource (such ... (more)

Reach Higher Scalability from Your Web Applications

When the performance of a web application starts to degrade, often IT managers jump to the conclusion that more hardware is required. This increased infrastructure can be expensive and may not even solve the underlying problem. Let's talk about tuning as a solution to higher scalability. It's been debated as to whether tuning is a science or an art but we can all agree on the goal: alleviate bottlenecks so that the web application can scale to a higher workload. Tuning is more efficient and cost effective than adding more hardware to your deployment. However, you need to have t... (more)

How to Test Application Throughput: Keep It Real

Often we see the workload to a web application measured by throughput. It's a way of quantifying the volume of requests/responses in relation to time. Transactions per second or TPS is the most common ratio used. A performance test plan usually contains certain throughput goals. The "GO or NO GO" decision for rolling out a new release or architectural change relies heavily upon a web application handling a certain TPS. Management wants a "Pass" stamp, but it's your job to make sure that the achieved TPS is indeed realistic - not an illusion of phony numbers. My advice is to "keep... (more)

GUI Versus Script: Is This Old Load Testing Debate Now Over?

The first step in performance or load testing a web application is to create a realistic test script. This script, representing a specific type of end user, contains steps that are fully automated transactions flows. Often, complex behaviors need to be emulated as part of these flows. To incorporate the needed behavior or to handle complex scenarios, testers need to customize these load scripts. The question is whether you utilize a tool that takes a GUI driven approach for script customization/manipulation, or whether you choose a tool which requires the use of a programming lan... (more)

Load Testing in Clustered Environments

Load and performance testing web applications will allow you to determine whether or not your deployment will require a clustered environment. When the test results show that the current throughput is restricted by the capacity of the server but target workloads are not yet met, this is a situation where you can achieve higher scalability by implementing clusters to your environment. Clustering achieves higher scalability by introducing more servers or nodes to expand the capacity of the environment. Obviously, the benefits of adding hardware include higher capacity, reliability,... (more)