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Case Study: Load Testing a Raw TCP Service

Last updated November 2017. You can also read this article on legion-starter-pack GitHub page.
A customer approached us wanting to load test a network service via a proprietary binary TCP protocol. The customers use case involved thousands of simultaneous connections from mobile IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
We decided that this was a perfect opportunity to use Legion.
Requirements
The protocol called for sequential request/response communication with no pipelining or interleaving of messages. There were multiple request and response types which had varying sizes and some fields of every request needed to be unique or dynamic. There seemed to be at least some … Continue reading »

Web Performance Load Tests Comic-Con Badges

Comic-Con represents the worst-case scenario for any website. As the event’s popularity grows, so does the load on its ticketing servers. This year, as many as 900,000 visitors competed for 130,000 tickets—all at the exact same time.

Drupal: Caching and Database Scalability

Note: This is Part 4 of an ongoing series on Drupal performance and load testing. If you haven’t already, read the introduction.
Summary
We measured Drupal’s performance with respect to database size, demonstrating flat performance regardless of the size of the database.  We also got some good data demonstrating Drupal’s behavior with caching.
Procedure
We re-created our previous test platform: a stock Drupal installation on an Amazon Elastic Cloud m1.large instance with both the Alternative PHP Cache (APC) and Drupal’s built-in caching capabilities.  In this test, however, instead of scaling the number of simultaneous users, we instead held the test at 400 … Continue reading »

aiCache and Drupal: A Case Study

Note: This is Part 3 of an ongoing series on Drupal performance and load testing. If you haven’t already, read the introduction.

Optimizing Drupal: From Baseline Drupal to the Pantheon Drupal Platform

Note: This is Part 2 of an ongoing series on Drupal performance and load testing. If you haven’t already, read the introduction.
Summary
We measured Drupal’s performance with a naive and recommended configuration, and again using the Pantheon Drupal Platform, demonstrating a better than 15x improvement in performance.
Procedure
We created a Drupal installation on the Amazon Elastic Cloud, which allows us to start and customize Drupal in a matter of minutes.  For these tests we used Amazon’s “Large” 64bit instance, which corresponds roughly to a dual-core machine with 7.5 GB of memory.
Our baseline platform consisted of a stock Fedora Core 8 with … Continue reading »

Load Testing Drupal: Introduction

At Web Performance, we’re all about measuring and optimizing web applications.  This quarter we decided to test a variety of Drupal configurations, starting with the most basic (unpack the drupal tarball into /var/www and run) and collecting benchmarks with increasingly sophisticated systems using optimized LAMP stacks and even a dual-server caching configuration.
For our test scenario, we imagined that we had just started a small drupal-based blog when a popular website linked to one of our stories and directed massive traffic onto our server. These visitors read stories, followed interesting links, and posted comments of their own. We … Continue reading »

Load Tester™ Gives Nacon Consulting a 5x Performance Boost

NACON Consulting, provider of cyber security training solutions for the defense community, was aware of the concurrent user limitations of their online learning management system. In preparation for a major version release for an important client, COO Kent Leonard told his team that he wanted to see an improvement in performance, with documented proof that the system could not only handle the client’s required user load, but exceed it. “In my eighteen years of experience in IT development, I’ve found that testing is typically not as robust as it should be. I wanted to change that and do proper testing,” … 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 »

For Bell Canada, Early Performance Testing Spells Success

When Bell Canada began development of an important new customer-facing application, project lead Mr. Roger Bejjani knew he needed to find a web testing tool that would help fine-tune performance throughout the development process and into production. Having used Empirix (purchased by Oracle) and Load Runner (purchased by HP)in the past, he decided to forgo overpriced software and look for a tool that would give him the functionality he needed at a more reasonable price. The main requirement would be load testing HTTP and HTTPS requests, and the software needed to be easy to use during development as well as … Continue reading »

Case study: Lenox Finds a Baseline in the Cloud

For Lenox, makers of fine china and crystal, e-commerce has been an important aspect of the business for over ten years. When Lynch needed to test the Lenox website user capacity on short notice, Load Tester was the right tool for the job. It offered the features and flexibility to build complex, realistic test cases and identify performance bottlenecks. Read more about their experience.

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