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Do you know what the true cost is of foregoing any performance testing? In the spirit of true testing, let's do a quick test of our own.

  • Does your team do performance testing? If so, how?
  • How do you know with 100 percent certainty that applications are working correctly for all of your teams?
  • Are you just doing the minimum to get by (load testing), or do you think you might need more?
  • If you think you need more, how do you know what testing steps you might want to add that will bring value to your business?

If you were unsure on any of the above, you'll want to continue on for some helpful hints when considering performance testing.

What is performance testing?

Performance testing should be part of every IT team's best practices, as mission critical applications always need to be readily available both internally and externally.

Performance testing is the qualitative and quantitative measurement of the speed and effectiveness of single and/or multiple applications systems under various circumstances to determine how well they are working for your teams.

Here is a holistic view of the types of performance testing that are required to provide a true measure of how your systems and applications are working:

  • Load testing: (Single Application) Measure performance under an expected load.
  • Stress testing: (Single Application) Loads higher than expected and component failure tests.
  • Volume testing: (Multiple Applications) Simultaneous stress testing across the environment.
  • Endurance testing: (Multiple Applications) Testing application or software with a significant load for a long period of time.
  • Spike testing: (Multiple Applications) Subjecting system to short bursts of load.
  • Scalability testing: (Multiple Applications) Measuring capability to scale up, load supported, number of transactions, etc.

How does performance testing help organizations?

Performance testing is an industry best practice which is utilized to:

  • Solve problems: Address front end and back end business critical applications for latency and performance issues.
  • Mitigate risks: Identifies remediation opportunities for mission critical business functions.
  • Support internal/external customers: Initiative to drive enterprise datacenters ideal end state of always on.
  • Improve efficiency: Provides single and multiple application performance improvements to help the business.

Why does performance testing matter?

Here are some reasons to utilize performance testing.

  • Reusable: All performance testing efforts are reusable.
  • Automated: Test scripts could be automated to run after changes for validation or smoke testing.
  • Flexible: The performance testing methodology can be expanded in the future for cloud testing if needed.
  • Scalable: Enhances a capability that organizations can leverage for burst ability for peak load times.

When should you do performance testing and who should do it?

Performance testing should be done as part of a cadence, as well as ad-hoc to check viability of current network and applications. Remember, you have both internal and external discerning customers that expect always on, always available.

Previously when there was an update or enhancement, QA and dev separated, which caused time delays and often miscommunication for expected outcomes that matched acceptance criteria. The way to shift the needle towards ideal performance is test-driven development, or TDD. Developers should include performance test cases and requirements.

You can also utilize testing to benchmark common cross-functional performance test scenarios. Teams often need to work together using similar software. Understanding the interdependencies helps gain downstream impacts and insight into potential scalability needs.

What do I need to do to conduct successful performance testing?

Ensure that your environments should be set up to be readily available. Have a clear understanding of your organization's applications and what they actually do. In order to make performance testing results valuable, you need to know what your applications do for people, how applications are used to make their job easier and the expected outcomes that are necessary now and for the future.

  • Keep it simple: Start with applications that have the least amount of dependencies, and work towards the more difficult ones. This will give you practice and a better understanding of performance testing.
  • Make performance testing part of your unit testing: This will allow your teams to recognize any performance issues early and often to reduce impact to development.
  • Set realistic benchmarks for performance metrics: This includes performance data outcomes for the various devices that teams use — most importantly, mobile performance.
  • Change the way you perceive overall performance: Seek to gain a holistic view. Don't just test via the network/server outputs, but also seek feedback from the users. The user experience should match your metrics — if they don't, you may need to refine.
  • Implement DevOps: Organizations that are successful are those that keep up with providing capabilities more rapidly. Combining dev and test through automation and use of containers and microservices reduces the time to market.

Make sure to consider business value

Performance testing is a must have for your organization to stay competitive in today's market. Customers internally rely on applications to be always on and always available, and testing is the only way that you can ensure that your applications are working in all scenarios.

Our Performance Testing Service expands your current best practices to provide improved piece of mind and insight into your business applications, along with how well they are working on your network to provide value across your enterprise. 

Understanding the purpose and use of your application, setting realistic performance benchmarks and implementing steps towards DevOps are a few of the best practices for effective performance testing.

 Reach out to us today to see how we can help your team scale for your current business needs, as well as grow and prepare for the future.