Performance Testing

Performance problems in operational IT systems and software applications are costly both in terms of business disruption and remedial work. These issues tend to go undetected prior to launch because of the difficulty of conducting realistic performance testing.

We have created our Testing Services to address this problem before you launch. Through the use of proven, advanced techniques, a structured testing approach and appropriate performance testing tools, we will reduce the risks of performance failure for new or enhanced applications.

Our performance testing service elements include, but are not limited to:

Load and Stress Testing
A load test is usually conducted to understand the behaviour of the system under a specific expected load. This load can be the expected concurrent number of users on the application performing a specific number of transactions within the set duration. This test will give out the response times of all the important business critical transactions.

A stress test is usually conducted to understand the upper limits of capacity within the system. This kind of test is done to determine the system's robustness in terms of extreme load and helps developers/architects determine if the system will perform sufficiently, if the current load goes well above the expected maximum.

Scalability Testing
We often hear the terms Load Testing or Performance Testing, but no one talks much about Scalability Testing, which refers to performance testing that is focused on understanding how an application scales as it is deployed on larger systems and/or more systems or as more load is applied to it. The goal is to understand at what point the application stops scaling and identify the reasons for this. As such scalability testing can be viewed as a branch of performance testing.

Soak Testing
Soak Testing is a type of performance test that verifies a system's stability and performance characteristics over an extended period of time. It is typical in this type of performance test to maintain a certain level of user concurrency for an extended period of time. This type of test can identify issues relating to memory allocation, log file handles, and database resource utilisation. Typically, issues are identified in shorter, targeted performance tests. Soak Testing provides a measure of a system's stability over an extended period of time.

Performance Tuning
As performance bottlenecks are identified during load testing and performance testing, these issues are commonly rectified through a process of performance tuning. Performance tuning can involve configuration changes to hardware, software and network components.

A common bottleneck is the configuration of the application and database servers. Performance tuning can also include tuning SQL queries and tuning an applications underlying code to cater for concurrency and to improve efficiency. Performance tuning can result in hardware changes being made. This is a last resort; ideally tuning changes will result in a reduction of resource utilisation.

Performance Testing Tool Evaluation
Most performance test tools typically provide transaction response times correlated to the server and network monitored statistics collated during test executions. Some work for web, some for SQL, some for bespoke technologies. We have experience in most and are fully familiar with the HP market leading offerings of LoadRunner (all versions to current) and Performance Center (all versions to current).

Not only are we fully familiar, we are certified by HP for both consultancy and instruction and teaching.

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