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Load Testing Blog

Site is slow under load, but the servers aren’t busy?!?

The problem
Here is the situation: We are running a load test for a customer. The web servers are showing low to moderate CPU utilization and low disk activity. They have plenty of memory available. The middle-tier servers are reporting similar measurements. So is the database. Everything looks good in the load test.
But then, as we apply more load, the user experience begins to suffer – response times degrade a little. Then a lot. Soon they have exceeded the acceptable thresholds and gone far beyond. Eventually, as we continue to increase the load, the virtual users start to detect errors from … Continue reading »

Legion: Status, and Future Plans

Over the past two years, my employer, Web Performance, Inc, has supported my
work on the Legion Load Testing Framework when my other duties permit. The result has been a very flexible suite of software that has given us the ability to take on work that would otherwise be beyond the scope of our usual tools.
That being said. Legion remains experimental. Legion may be most appropriate for the unusual edge cases: proprietary, eccentric, or unusual protocols, or project requirements that other tools can’t handle, or if you want to write your load test using your own Node.js client APIs.
Legion absolutely … Continue reading »

Load Testing is Not an Academic Problem

For Rowan University, ensuring that their students can get registered for classes is not an academic problem. If errors or system crashes prevent students from getting into the classes they need, it can have a serious impact on their academic careers, potentially even resulting in additional educational costs. So when the IT wizards at Rowan were planning significant upgrades to their hardware and the Banner 9 software from Ellucian to ensure the best possible experience for their students, they knew load testing was an essential part of the project.

Load Testing the New York Marathon 2017

The New York Marathon is coming up on Nov 5th, and for the 5th year in a row we completed a large load test to prepare their site for race day.   Last year 51,394 people ran, and each one of them conceivably had relatives and friends who would want to check on their progress.

Load Testing for the 2017 Eclipse

It has been 99 years since a solar eclipse has crossed the entire continental US, coast-to-coast. 14 states will be treated to 2½ minutes of total darkness by the August 2017 eclipse. I remember watching the partial solar eclipse of February 1979 in my school playground. I am (obviously) a little bit of a science geek, so when I got the assignment to load test the Eclipse Live 2017 site, I was excited. Besides the prestige, it’s really fun to be associated with a project that will be seen by millions, even in a minor role.

NASA hosts much of … Continue reading »

Server Monitoring Instructions for Services Customers

 
What Are You Installing?
For general information about the monitoring software check out the product information. The software is designed to be installed on production systems, and does not modify the registry or anything outside of the installation directory.  The downside is that on Windows the software is not a service and must be started by hand before the test. There are two modes of working– either the statistics can be collected by hand from each server and emailed to our engineers, OR the firewall has to be modified to open two ports to connect to the monitor.  Note that each server … Continue reading »

Load Testing with 5,000,000 Concurrent Users

At Web Performance we’ve been running large scale tests for over a decade, the result of constant testing and measurement to make sure the results are valid. As websites get bigger, we’ve had to increase the size of our tests, creating thousands of computers in the cloud to generate up to 5,000,000 concurrent users at last count.

Mail Server Load Testing

Mail servers can be load tested by sending a large number of emails to a mail server over a specific period of time and recording how the server behaves as it receives those connections. Organizations may require this type of load testing for several reasons. For example, they generally receive a consistent, low level of mail traffic with intermittent periods of high traffic. They may also expect growth within a certain period of time and want a mail server that is capable of scaling with the organization’s growth.

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.

How to get a Quote for Load Testing Services

One of the first questions from customers interested in finding out the performance of their website is “how much will it cost?”.  The main cost drivers for load testing are the number and complexity of the test cases, and the number and size (in concurrent users) of the test iterations.  This blog post will explain how to describe your requirements and get an accurate cost estimate split into two types of charges:  setup, and test iteration.
Setup Costs
The results of a load test are only as good as the quality of the test cases, but there is a large variation in … Continue reading »

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