Performance Testing - What Why How

28 Oct 2020
Performance Testing - What Why How
What is Performance Testing?

As the name implies, Performance Testing interrogates your website, software or applications against simulated and real-world scenarios to find and eliminate any weak points that could potentially impact the user experience and integrity of your systems.

What are the different types of Performance Testing?

Performance Testing is generally a form of non-functional testing designed to evaluate the speed, reliability and stability of networks and systems. This can take various forms, including:

  • Load testing – this measures the performance of systems and software with expected user loads to ensure they work optimally during normal conditions.
  • Stress testing – this measures performance during unusual or extreme circumstances, such as high traffic volumes, determining what additional resources, if any, are needed to cope with the increased demand.
  • Scalability testing – this measures how well systems and software scales with increased load or traffic volume.
  • Endurance testing – also called soak testing, this measures how well systems and software performs over an extended period, and speaks to the reliability of these systems under both normnal and extreme conditions.
Why is Performance Testing important?

Unlike other types of testing, Performance Testing is specifically intended to ensure there are no issues with your customers’ experience. Performance Testing is designed to stress systems to uncover any potential issues that could arise from both normal and unforeseen circumstances. The information gained from Performance Testing can also uncover any issues with your systems’ scalability, stability and overall speed.

Reasons for performance testing can also include comparing different systems, to determine how a new system performs against an older one, or to test against predefined service level agreements. Performance Testing can also be done to mitigate the risk of underperforming systems, to prevent issues before they occur and before they can affect the customer experience and, by extension, your company’s reputation.

How is Performance Testing done?

Performance Testing is typically done using a range of specialised tools and services. There are numerous open source and proprietary solutions designed specifically for Performance Testing, one of which, Neoload by Neosys, is our tool of choice.

Other tools include LoadRunner and JMeter, but the specific tool used will depend on what is being tested and the context within which the testing occurs. For example, Performance Testing covers a broad range of metrics, from response time and throughput to resource use and extreme user traffic, so it’s important to choose the right tool based on what is being tested.

When is Performance Testing done?

Regular Performance Testing ensures your systems and applications are performing optimally day-to-day, week-to-week, but Performance Testing is also critical ahead of high-traffic events, like online sales (Black Friday/Cyber Monday), and any other scenarios that could result in higher than normal activity.

Bruce Zaayman

Director: Specialised Services

Bruce has over 17 years of consulting experience in performance and non-functional testing. The technical and analytical ability of the teams he’s built allows him to architect technical testing solutions for clients across a variety of industries, including retail, legal, banking, insurance, pharma and mining. Bruce has built strong partnerships with industry vendors, and worked with various international clients in structuring and implementing testing solutions within multi-supplier programme environments. He holds a B.Sc. Honours in Financial Mathematics and various other certifications.


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