Imagine a situation: you planned a large-scale advertising campaign, prepared everything to the smallest detail. As a result, you got an increase in traffic several times, and your site could not withstand the loads. Work is stopped, customers lose loyalty, the company suffers financial losses due to failures and downtime, your reputation suffers. Today we are going to talk about load testing: why perform it and when you need it.
What is load testingLoad testing is usually conducted to understand the behavior of the system under a specific expected load. This load can be the expected concurrent number of users on the application performing a specific number of transactions within the set duration. This test will give out the response times of all the important business critical transactions (Wikipedia).
In other words, your site will be checked for compliance with the following requirements: performance, stability, scalability, stress resistance, and fault tolerance. To do this we isolate load sources, compile a testing model, develop scripts to simulate the load, and monitor your server operation to find differences in metrics.
What is included in load testing
- Determination of the maximum system performance on the available equipment (maximum and optimal number of users)
- Identification of weaknesses in the application code and database queries that need to be optimized to increase the number of users processed.
- Checking the stability of the system - are there any memory leaks on the server and is the work stable for a long time, which is especially important for 24/7 systems.
- Exploring scalability to figure out how to add another server or RAM to the system to increase the number of users.
- Stress tolerance test: whether the system will be able to restore its performance even after load surges, for example, during the inflow of customers on Black Friday.
What do you get from load testingAt the end of the load testing, you will receive a comprehensive report containing information about the maximum system performance, performance monitoring results such as response time, system resources, as well as practical recommendations for optimizing system performance prioritized by the degree of impact on the final performance.
Following these recommendations, you will be able to:
✔ Ensure stable operation of applications during periods of regular and peak loads
✔ Minimize risks when implementing new system releases
✔ Be confident in the fault tolerance of the system
✔ Effectively plan your IT budget
✔ Find threats hidden in poor performance
7 cases when load testing is a must
- You are planning to release an online store or marketplace with a large number of users.
- You want to understand the capabilities of the existing system and find out the maximum allowable load.
- You are expecting a season of high sales or preparing to launch a large-scale advertising campaign that will cause a significant increase in the load on the system.
- You plan to launch new services that will increase the current load.
- You are planning to change the architecture or make significant changes to the functionality of a highly loaded system.
- You doubt that software updates might reduce performance.
- You are about to synchronize multiple systems.