September 17, 2015 | Written by: Ragnar Lonn
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In the midst of building your application, it can be easy to forget about performance when adding features and integrations. Your first thought might be to add a bunch of elaborate bells and whistles your users will love. But is your application’s performance a second thought?
Many studies show users will leave if a website takes more than two seconds to load. So, it really doesn’t matter how great your application is if it loads slowly. The sweet spot is to add the features your users want while optimizing application performance so people can fully enjoy their experience.
Are you thinking about your application’s speed and performance?
As an IBM Bluemix developer, you have the power to test your application’s performance under the pressure of thousands of users at a time with Load Impact. This post provides some insight into what load testing is, why you should do it, and how you can use Load Impact to test your application.
What Is Load Testing?
- Load testing is the simplest form of performance testing
- It helps determine the capability of handling a certain amount of users (load) on your website, app or API
- The goal is to see how your system will perform when subjected to both an expected and stressful amount of load – the latter of which is called stress testing.
Both load testing and stress testing can play important roles in determining exactly how well a given piece of frontend software, such as a website, or a backend system, such as Apache server hosting that site, can deal with the actual loads they’re likely to encounter through regular use.
Why Load Test?
- Cost-savings: performing adequate load testing (through application tuning and capacity planning) saves you the trouble of making unnecessary investments later.
- Builds confidence: Load testing assures you that your website/app/API is capable of handling heavy traffic, even before going live. And it will continue to do so until further notice.
- More time for innovation: A skilled developer free from routine manual tasks, such as performance testing, is a resource capable of contributing real business value – innovating in ways that less development time simply can’t achieve.
What Is Involved in Load Testing?
Load Test Preparations:
- Determine if the application complies with contracts, regulations, and service level agreements (SLAs)
- Detect bottlenecks to be tuned
- Assist the development team in determining the performance characteristics for various configuration options
- Provide input data for scalability and capacity-planning efforts
- Determine if the application is ready for deployment to production.
Define Load Test Iterations:
- The first test will be used as a baseline for performance
- The second test is to evaluate if you can increase performance
- The third test is used to tweak things and assure there are no issues.
Set Performance Benchmarks:
- Make sure your goals are realistic for your business and industry
- Have goals for load on the application that may go above and beyond stated requirements
- Study/review analytics data – Identify peak hours of traffic within the last year using Google Analytics, then go 10-50% above that peak number in order to ensure you have needed bandwidth for potential spikes in traffic at any given time
- If you want some concrete statistics from a historical perspective, go directly to your Analytics reports.
Ready to Try Load Impact?
Once you’ve decided to protect the future of your application through load testing, we’re super easy to find on the Bluemix platform. Check out the video below to help you get started:
And that’s it!
Start free Bluemix trial!
You’re ready to start protecting your application and infrastructure with data from Load Impact. It’s also good to remember that Load Impact employs some of the top performance engineers in the world, and our support team offers quick, responsive assistance for all users.