Performance testing is a non-functional software testing technique that determines how stable an application’s stability, speed, scalability, and responsiveness will be under a given workload.
Performance testing is an important step in software quality assurance but is often overlooked. After functional testing is complete, often after the code is ready for release.
In setting up a closed performance testing environment, various techniques can be used to validate software performance. This includes
- The simplest form of testing, load testing, is done to understand how a system behaves under a specific load.
- Stress testing is done to confirm the software’s ability to handle the increased load. This helps determine the maximum capacity of the installed system.
- Durability testing is another type of testing that examines the system’s ability to perform under continuous load scenarios.
- Spike testing involves rapidly increasing the number of users on a system and determining how the system behaves under that load.
There are various ways to achieve accuracy and ensure better results in testing. You can easily achieve this by using better performance test environment settings. Below is a list of possible ways to do this.
1. Detailed knowledge of AUT production and test environment
Performance test engineers are responsible for having appropriate knowledge and understanding of the AUT production environment, including load balancing, server machines, and other system components. These details must be properly recorded before the performance testing process begins.
Also, engineers should have basic knowledge of AUT architecture. I should be able to see the same architecture in my test environment. The difference between the two can lead to wasted production costs, time and effort.
2. Separation of test environments
Whenever someone uses the system, it is important to ensure that no activity is executed in the performance test environment. As you know, the results of each test are different, so if other users are already present and active in the system, it can be difficult to run new bottlenecks every time in the system test environment.
Furthermore, the heavy load on the application server will affect the performance. In practice, this can prevent other real-time user performance tasks from running if they are already running.
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3. Network isolation
Adequate network bandwidth is required for performance tests to provide good and accurate output. To start testing and tuning, you need to make sure you have a certain bandwidth. If the network bandwidth is low, user requests will cause a timeout error. For this reason, the test network should be isolated from other users so that the maximum network bandwidth is available to the test environment.
4. Test the data generator
Database records play an important role in validating your tests. So writing, updating, reading, and deleting databases is the most functional part of the software.
Performance tests in production are more likely to fail if you run tests with a small number of database records compared to your test records. Therefore, the performance test engineer is responsible for ensuring that both the database side and the test environment have the same number of test records. If your database is small, we recommend using a tool to generate the test data necessary for a more accurate framework.
5. Remove the proxy server from the network path
If there is a proxy server between the web server and the proxy server, performance results can be significantly affected. In this case, the client reliably provides information and data in its cache and stops sending requests to the web server. As a result, the AUT response time is reduced.
By moving the webserver to an isolated environment, performance testers can easily deal with this issue. This can also be done by directly accessing the web server. This means you can also do this by getting the server’s IP address and editing the HOSTS file.
Performance test production environment
Running performance tests in a production environment can have many consequences. This process has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see them.
- It is possible to confirm the performance test results executed in the test environment.
- The complexity of the application and recovery processes is well known.
- No need to copy the production site dataset.
- Reduce cost and time spent on test infrastructure.
- When there are real users of the software in the system, it is difficult to identify the root cause of the bottlenecks.
- Generating larger data in a production database can slow down the database even after running tests.
- The app’s real user base gets slow and buggy apps.
- In order to achieve good performance test results, access to real users may be blocked.
In the early stages of testing, after the performance test setup is ready, it can be compared to the production environment based on various factors such as load balancing strategy, application components, number of servers, hardware, and software resources.
Proper setup of a performance testing environment is important. I hope this blog will help you learn how to do it right. Above all, remember that it is important that the required tests are done correctly. This ensures that there are no pending defects when the software is released.
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