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Load Testing Blog

Bootstrapping an Alpine EC2 instance for Ansible and Docker

One of the challenges in running a large load test is the orchestration of a large number of machines to generate load. This involves a series of steps:

Creating the instances
Install the load testing software
Sending the test configuration
Run the test
Collect test results
Shutdown the instances

Load Tester does that pretty effortlessly in EC2 – our customers as well as our own test engineers love not having to worry about those steps. It just works. As I evolve our next generation of testing tools, I am revisiting this problem and looking at solutions from a different angle. Last week, I decided to investigate … Continue reading »

Introducing the OkHttp extension for MuseIDE

The Muse Test Framework is designed around extensibility – and specifically around the ease of adding new types of steps and value sources. The intent was to make it easy for 3rd parties to add new abilities to the framework and have those abilities seamlessly integrated into the MuseIDE without much effort. This made it a natural choice for us when looking to develop new load testing capabilities beyond our current tools such as Load Tester.
This first version of the OkHttp extension is very simple – almost embarassingly so. It provides just a handful of new capabilties:

Create … Continue reading »

Introducing the Parallel extension for MuseIDE

Executing a load test implies running many tests at the same time…making this ability a crucial part of my work to add load testing capabilities to the Muse Test Framework and MuseIDE. This extension provides just that feature – running multiple tests in a test suite in parallel. After all, a load test is really just a test suite executed with a high level of parallelism and additional (performance) goals.

Measurements extension 0.2 released

The Measurements extension adds performance measurement features to tests developed with the MuseIDE. The 0.2 release adds several new plugins that are crucial to our goal of using Muse for load testing: Periodic Measurement Collector, Store Measurements to Local Filesystem, Store Measurements to CSV and the Step Measurements Producer.

What is the Fastest Web Browser in 2018?

Even though interoperability has been conquered, browsers still want to compete on performance, so picking the fastest one is a reasonable question.  But what does browser performance mean in a world in which many people now have 1 Gb/s network connections in their home, and a 4G LTE phone connection can go up to 173Mb/s?

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 »

Introducing the Measurements extension for MuseIDE

The Measurements extension is a free (and open-source) project extension for MuseIDE and the Muse Test Framework that adds evaluation of performance criteria to a test.  This initial release adds two new capabilities:

Collect and store the durations of steps in the test, for later analysis.
Compare the duration of steps to performance goals and record a test failure when the goal is exceeded.

The extension is available for installation directly within the MuseIDE: after opening your project, go to Extensions and switch to the Available tab. The Measurement extension can be installed into your project with the click of a button:

Each … Continue reading »

The Case for Legion

What is Legion?
Legion is a distributed, protocol-agnostic load testing tool. You can learn more or get started with Legion on the legion-starter-pack GitHub page.
Why does it exist?
I wanted to create a tool that would solve the most challenging problems I’ve
encountered in my seven years of helping clients improve the performance,
capacity, and risk exposure of their network-enabled applications.
Those problems include:

Complexity of the use case or test design,
Unusual or proprietary protocols,
Requirements to scale beyond one million concurrent users,
Difficulty understanding or trusting the results of a test, and,
Difficulties with training new people on a given tool.

My hope is that Legion will eventually … Continue reading »

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 »

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.

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