|By Tim Hinds||
|March 8, 2014 04:00 PM EST||
The goal of a load test is to replicate the traffic & conditions your app experiences in production as realistically as possible
As a tester, you understand how important it is to create the most realistic load test possible to provide confidence that your web application won't fail in the field. But how do you know where your load should come from to produce realistic results?
In this article, we have outlined three options most organizations can choose from when determining where your load should come from.
- Generate load on dedicated infrastructure in the datacenter
- Generate load from a private cloud
- Generate load from distributed public cloud locations
There is a time and a place for all three of these options. In this post we will go over when you should do each test and why.
1. Generate load on dedicated infrastructure in the datacenter
When: Perform internal load generation for early stage performance tests and tests on internal IT apps that will be accessed by users behind your firewall.
Why: Load testing from dedicated infrastructure inside your own datacenter is the most common and typically the most accessible way to wring out performance issues in your applications. This type of testing should be performed as part of your regular testing process.
Essentially what happens is you define specific load and performance tests that push on the individual modules and user paths within the system, and make sure that no unintended bottlenecks were introduced during development. The kinds of issues you'll work out with this localized, constrained testing include:
- Inadequate transaction design
- Broken links
- Poor configuration
- Memory leaks
- Unoptimized code
- Sub-optimal session model
- Ineffective caching
- Database indexing, connection, and concurrency issues
While performing this type of load test on dedicated equipment is easy, there are a few issues with using this approach as your sole means of load testing - the first of which is that many companies simply do not have adequate dedicated infrastructure resources to realistically test application performance at scale. The capital expense involved with acquiring and managing network equipment, servers, and applications for the sole purpose of performance testing can be hard to justify - especially when you consider that this infrastructure may sit idle for a significant portion of its life.
Second, load testing from anywhere inside your own datacenter environment will test only application performance. It will not test the full capabilities of the datacenter (including network configurations, load balancing, or security systems) and therefore will not produce a realistic picture of the user experience.
Running load tests from your internal environment is an important part of improving application performance, but it is not sufficient. You should integrate tests like those outlined above as a frequent part of your build & integration process. As you near the end of a release cycle, you'll have confidence that the application's functionality performs well under periods of high traffic.
2. Generate load from within a private cloud
When: Perform tests from a private cloud when you need to ramp up your load generation infrastructure quickly for larger tests.
Why: To address some of the issues above, many organizations are running load tests from within their private clouds. Operating on this type of infrastructure has several benefits when compared with the first approach that has been outlined.
Functionally, this method of testing is best suited to the same types of performance tests that you would execute using dedicated hardware: database optimization, transaction design, and the rest. However, private clouds address some of the problems with running on dedicated hardware.
First, a private cloud can be significantly less expensive to operate, specifically because the cloud infrastructure can be leveraged across many different applications. When you are done with your load test, virtual machines can be reassigned to complete other tasks such as analytics, development, or other cloud-friendly business processes. This allows an IT organization to distribute infrastructure costs, thus lowering the overall expense.
Second, this approach lends itself very easily to more realistic scaling. You can grab more cycles and more disk space as needed, ultimately driving a more aggressive stress test of the application.
Chances are, however, since you are testing from within your own network and environment, you are still not stressing the complete datacenter. As a result, this type of load generation approach won't necessarily give you an accurate picture of what your users will experience in periods of high traffic.
3. Generate load from distributed public cloud locations
When: Perform this test for when your app will be accessed primarily from users outside your firewall from distributed locations.
Why: By running your load tests from outside the datacenter in a public cloud or even a remote private cloud environment, you will get a good picture of how your datacenter infrastructure handles high traffic. This third type of load will test a part of the application's delivery that no amount of testing from your own datacenter can duplicate. This includes:
- Load balancers
- Networking equipment configuration
- Data center connectivity and bandwidth
- Web firewalls and security systems
- In-network caching and content distribution
- Network architecture
- DNS, web latency, network congestion
It's important to focus your testing so it puts the load in the right place. For example, load testing firewall or load-balancing infrastructure. You may even choose to load test multiple applications that exist within the same data center at the same time to see if it chokes up for any reason when the load is applied.
Another major point that many testers don't often consider is the fact users are accessing your app from many different regions across different service providers. To get a realistic picture of the actual user experience, it is important to see what their experience looks like from their access points anywhere in the world. This will give you a better understanding of what happens to your web application when users from different parts of the world are flooding your website with traffic.
Prevent a Disaster, Don't Cause One
The ultimate goal of a load test is to replicate the traffic and conditions your app experiences in production as realistically as possible to give you confidence that your site will not fail at peak times with actual live users. By looking at the three major options of where your load should come from, it will give you a better idea of how your app will perform under stress.
No matter what, each of these tests will catch something different in your application. And we all should know by now, if you catch a bug earlier in the process you won't have to pull out the big bucks to fix a major disaster down the road. Prevent a disaster, don't cause one.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
Oct. 24, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,569
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
Oct. 24, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 766
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Oct. 24, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,336
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Oct. 24, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 959
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
Oct. 24, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,462
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 24, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 748
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 24, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 868
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Oct. 24, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,973
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Oct. 23, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 11,348
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
Oct. 23, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,909
Effectively SMBs and government programs must address compounded regulatory compliance requirements. The most recent are Controlled Unclassified Information and the EU’s GDPR have Board Level implications. Managing sensitive data protection will likely result in acquisition criteria, demonstration requests and new requirements. Developers, as part of the pre-planning process and the associated supply chain, could benefit from updating their code libraries and design by incorporating changes.
Oct. 23, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,640
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
Oct. 23, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,269
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Oct. 23, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,578
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Oct. 23, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,867
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
Oct. 23, 2016 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 984