Load Testing Blog

Measuring Web Page Load Times using JMeter

At last count there were over 65 separate commercial load testing tools out there, but few with the name recognition of the open source program JMeter. Often people will call us up and ask to compare Load Tester with JMeter, but I only had a cursory look at it many years ago, and couldn’t speak from recent first-hand knowledge. So, when someone called me last week asking about JMeter, it seemed like a good opportunity to give it another look.
To compare Load Tester and JMeter my first instinct was to record a simple test … Continue reading »

Google Pagespeed 1.1 Performance with PHP

For the past week I’ve been testing out the performance of the new Google Pagespeed module for Apache, mod_pagespeed, and with the memory locking option turned on, the performance was a definite improvement for static pages. The fact is, though, there are much faster web servers for static content, and CDNs make scaling static pages very, every easy. Standard testing procedure, though, is to start as simple as possible, and test every variation separately. The next step, then is to test how Pagespeed works on dynamic pages.
As before, this new test uses our own corporate … Continue reading »

Google Pagespeed 1.1 Scalability with Memory Locking

In last week’s blog post looking at the overhead of running Google Pagespeed, there was a marked scalability penalty to be paid that was caused by an approximate doubling of CPU load. Several people suggested some options to try, the easiest of which was turning on an experimental memory locking option. (The default mod_pagespeed config uses file locking.) I was also informed as to the plethora of tuning options to tailor the behavior to each site, but decided to keep it simple and experiment with each option separately. As with Apache itself, there’s lots … Continue reading »

Google Pagespeed Scalability Benchmark

Google Pagespeed is an easy way to optimize web page rendering time without having to recode your website. The pagespeed analyzer gives suggestions on what needs to be changed, while mod_pagespeed is an Apache add-on that makes those modifications automagically.
The one question that hasn’t been answered is “what is the performance cost for installing mod_pagespeed”. Pagespeed addresses only client-side performance, which is completely different from server scalability. The actual page load times that customers see in practice is affected by both the page design and layout, and the actual speed of the server under load. … Continue reading »

The Fastest Webserver?

Looking for the snappiest, fastest web server software available on this here internet?  So were we.  Valid, independent, non-synthetic benchmarks can be difficult to find.  Of course, we all know that benchmarks don’t tell us everything we need to know about real-world performance; but what’s the fun of having choices if we can’t pick the best?
Exactly.  I decided to do a little research project of my own.
Test Plan
I selected for this exercise recent (as of October 2011) versions of Apache, Nginx, Lighttpd, G-WAN, and IIS — a list that includes the most popular web servers as well as web servers … Continue reading »

Internet Explorer Static File Caching Defect

In going through cases we have with some customers, we’ve seen a few instances where Internet Explorer does not cache shared static resources. Within Load Tester, this problem becomes immediately apparent:

Note that the shared CSS, Javascript, and images are re-requested again on the About page and every other recorded page that uses them. Note also, these files don’t come back with a 304 (Not Modified), but instead the full content of the file is sent over and over again through a HTTP 200. Normally, the browser should load these files once, and not need to request them again within the … Continue reading »

Microsoft Affirms the Importance of Web Performance

No, Microsoft has not admitted that our load testing solution is superior…yet. We anticipate that announcement any day now :>
At last year’s Velocity conference, Microsoft’s Eric Schurman (working on Bing optimization) presented results of tests that Microsoft ran to measure the business impact of the performance of Bing, Microsoft’s newest search platform. Using an A-to-B test platform that directs a subset of their users to a dedicated testing system, they are able to directly observe the effect of specific changes to the performance of the Bing test site. They can collect and analyze a number of metrics about both subsets … Continue reading »

Configuring and Analyzing Performance Goals

This tutorial will show you how you can use performance goals to customize the reports to give you information that is relevant to the individual performance requirements of your system. The goal is to help you learn to draw better conclusions from the data and get more accurate results. You’ll also spend less time poring through the data.

User-Level Analysis of Performance Results

By analyzing data against applied user levels, rather than only against elapsed time, Load Tester permits better understanding of performance and of capacity.

Load Testing with IE 8.0, Firefox 3.5

The performance improvements in the latest browsers (Internet Explorer 8.0 and Firefox 3.5) have been eagerly awaited for many months…though they come at a price.


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