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Should we outsource load testing or do it ourselves?

We get this question a lot. I would really like to give an easy answer to that question. But since the answer depends heavily on the nature of your organization and the testing demands, I’m instead going to list some of the issues that we consider when helping our customers make these decisions.

  1. Schedule – are you in a hurry? If you have an impending deadline and the performance testing needs to be completed immediately, then outsourcing may be the best choice. With an experienced partner, the first load test can be completed in less than a week. If the schedule is not yet critical, you have some time to evaluate our Load Tester software and determine if it makes sense to bring the testing in-house.
  2. Experience – Does your organization have experience in load testing? If not, going through the load testing process with an experienced test partner (such as us!) will give your team a better perspective on the performance testing process and the required skills. If you already have the required talent, testing in-house can bring both cost savings and increased flexibility.
  3. Workload – Do you have enough performance testing work to keep a tester busy full time? We never stop trying to make our software easier to use, but load testing remains a highly-skilled discipline. Besides requiring a solid understanding of network, application and browser operation,  web performance testers need to the ability to operate the testing tools and analyze/interpret the complex (and sometimes conflicting) data. Top-notch testers may not have trouble balancing this along with other testing duties.
  4. Management – Does the management overhead of outsourcing outweigh the benefits? Outsourcing in the IT world is (in)famous for its high failure rate. A big factor is the difficulties it introduces into the project management process. Fortunately, load testing is one of the easiest IT activities to outsource – primarily because the amount of domain-specific knowledge required to load test an application is minimal. This reduces start-up time and encourages short-term projects – both of which lead to quick results and lower risk.
  5. Language and Timezones – Can you work effectively with the chosen outsourcing agency? For North American organizations, outsourcing load testing to Web Performance eliminates language and timezone differences. Located in Raleigh, NC – we are no more than a few timezones away and we speak your language (both figuratively and literally).
  6. Software Evaluation – Will a particular load testing software package work with your system? If you choose to outsource a few stress testing projects and then decide to buy software and bring the operation in-house, software evaluation gets a little easier. Once we have completed load tests on your application, you will know that our software works with your site and be familiar with the analysis reports that it generates.

Whether you choose to buy our software or utilize our highly skilled test engineers, we are here to ensure your testing is completed on-time and on-budget!

Chris Merrill

Chief Engineer at Web Performance

1 Comment

5 June 2014 Don't Get Crushed by the Load: Testing, Optimization, Performance Strategies

[…] this opportunity to decide on your business’ core competencies. Ask yourself, how deep into the bytes will you venture? On the other hand, if your firm has […]

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Our experienced performance engineers have tuned hundreds of systems for companies large and small, and know just where to look, saving you time to market and money. We'll run your website through a complete performance evaluation, then tell you exactly how many users your site can support, including such important details as the effects of "the last mile." We'll also pinpoint potential problem areas and give you a full report detailing what needs to be fixed and where.

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