Load testing should be a natural part of software development projects. Whether it is a manual or automatic test, load testing should be able to offer major benefits if performed properly. We would likely able to know the functional status of our software through load testing. Functional faults will be nipped in the bud and we can avoid costly fixes. In this case, we should be able to greatly reduce functional risks. Here are things we should do to perform load testing more effectively:
- Study the system: Before load testing has started, we should study the system. We also need to perform risk analysis to identify threats to our system. It means that we should be able to define on which parts load testing should be focused.
- Collect data: By collecting data, we should be able to define the efficiency of each build of data. In this case, we should be able to know specific behaviours, such as whether the software uses more and more processor and RAM resources over time. This information should allow us to predict likely resource requirements at different demand levels.
- Assess system behaviours: Software and computer system behave differently at specific conditions. By using realistic workloads, we should be able to simulate likely patterns of demands. We will be able to observe possible behaviours of the system. Specially targeted workloads should allow us to probe the likely vulnerability of the system.
- Consider how to perform more comprehensive load test: It is important for use to add workloads at typically busy periods. With load testing, we should be able to find any atypical resource exhaustion and demand spikes. Endurance tests should be performed on cumulative and operational periods. Reliability tests should involve a lot of transactions and we should know what the system should do when a transaction fails. We should also perform a test of multiple real people who work on the same task or functions simultaneously.
- Use design measurement: With design measurement, we should be able to experiment with our design. Data can be properly analyzed and we could actually estimate resource utilization for each transaction. It means, we will be able to predict the amount of utilization for a hundred, a thousand and even, a million of transactions.
- Focus on generic activities first: When performing load testing, we should simulate generic activities first. These tests then will evolve to more developed things. This can be achieved if we only have allocated enough time and we start early. We should be able to test each incremental version of the software with pre-programmed load test. We shouldn’t delay and it is important to test a new software version soon. This should allow us to compare performance and behaviour of each version; allowing us to perform methods to maintain or boost performance.