To understand your systems or software's efficiency you need to conduct a load test on it. This test determines how much stress your system or application can handle and also if there are any hiccups which need to be rectified before the product is launched in the market.
You will need to configure your software and hardware as mentioned below before carrying out the load testing.
This is the first step in which you need to list down or identify the objectives according to which you will measure the performance of your system in response to load. The following need to be considered for this step:
This measures the time, the application takes to display the output
Information about how many resources will be utilized or consumed by the application during the load testing.
A number of inquiries or messages delivered over a transmission channel.
The maximum number of users that are able to run on the current hardware testing configuration.
Scenarios are primarily user paths included in various application activities at a time.
In order to complete the previous step, it is important to determine the work scenario ratio which is calculated by finding the percentage of user load per key scenario.
To compare the application’s real-time performance with user-defined performance objectives. Metrics play a significant role in identifying the issues in the application.
This defines the overall efficiency of the network.
Defines the utilization of the resources on the server.
These are used as a host for an application.
Defines the efficiency of the application.
Measures the entire throughput of the application.
Different testing tools are used for different purposes so it is important to select the correct load testing tool which will meet your software or application testing needs.
Test cases are basically a compilation of activities that are a part of a scenario. They are used to tell whether the expected result is marked as pass or fail after execution.
It is important to set up the load environment which resembles the production environment. In order to set it up, you need to understand the hardware limitations before conducting the test.
Begin with a small number of users against the user-profile and slowly keep increasing the load. In order to stabilize the system, there should be a time interval before moving to the next step. Slowly increasing the number will help to find the specific point where the system crashes because of the load.
Conduct the load test in cycles with a specific number of users in each with a fixed time interval. Once you complete this step, the system could be considered stable and be able to withstand the load. You can use tools like LoadRunner to conduct load testing.
In order to determine the obstacles before starting the test, you need to make sure that both the computers (one administering the load test and the one taking the load) are able to take the load.
It is important to analyze the results after each run and measure them against the metrics set. Then each result needs to be compared with the others in order to find if there is any improvement or degradation in the application's performance. Also, remember it is important to analyze the results among different hosting providers to understand the ways different servers respond to the load.
For the record, at the beginning load testing is done via trial and error method but if you follow the steps mentioned above you will be able to perform error-free load tests.