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Performance Testing Tools and Its Best Practices | Quick Guide

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What is Performance Testing?

Performance Testing is defined as a non-functional type of testing that measures the performance of an application or software under a certain workload based on various factors like speed, responsive rates, CPU and resource utilization, and stability. The main aim or purpose of this testing is to determine and identify any performance-related issues or bottlenecks in the application under test.
It is one of the primary steps to ensure the quality of our software but is usually ignored and is considered only once functional testing is completed.


Performance Monitoring is a tool that enables end users, administrators and organizations to gauge and evaluate the performance of a given system.Taken From Article, Performance Monitoring Tools and Management

What are the metrics of Performance Testing?

  1. Throughput: It assesses the no. of units a system can process over a specific period of time.
  2. Memory: It evaluates that How much space is available for a processor to function.
  3. Response time or latency: It calculates the time at which the response was received for the sent request.
  4. Bandwidth: It calculates the amount of data per second that is migrated across a network.
  5. CPU interrupts per second: It calculates the number of interrupts per second.

What are the benefit of Performance Testing?

  • Improve optimization and load capability.
  • Identify discrepancies and resolve issues.
  • Measure the accuracy, speed, and stability of the software.
  • Validate the fundamental features of the software.
  • Performance Testing allows keeping your users happy.
  • Helps to identify the loopholes which make the system work less efficiently.
A process to check the system accepts the requirements of a user or not. It's performed at a time when the system used by actual users.Taken From Article, User Acceptance Testing Types and Best Practices

Understanding Performance Testing Definitions

It’s crucial to have a standard definition of the types of performance tests executed against the applications, such as -

  • Single User Tests - Testing with single active user produce the most suitable possible performance, and response times used for baseline measurements.
  • Load Tests - The action of the system under average load, containing the expected no. of concurrent users doing a particular number of transactions within an average hour. Measure system capacity, and know the actual maximum load of the system while it still meets performance goals.
  • Peak Load Tests - Understand system behavior under the most massive demand anticipated for the concurrent number of users.
  • Endurance (Soak) Tests - Endurance testing determines the longevity of components, and if the system can withstand average to peak load over a predefined duration. Memory utilization should be observed to detect potential failures. The testing will also measure that throughput and response times after sustained activity continues to meet performance goals.
  • Stress Tests - Under stress testing, several activities to overload the existing resources with excess jobs are carried out in an attempt to break down the system. Understand the upper limits of capacity inside the system by purposely pushing it to its breaking point. The goal of stress testing is to ascertain the failure of the system and to observe how the system recovers back gracefully. The challenge is to set up a private environment before launching the test so that you can precisely capture the behavior of the system repeatedly under the most unpredictable scenarios.
Performance tuning improves the price to performance ratio for a system or set of services by reallocating the available computing, network, or storage resources.Taken From Article, What is performance tuning?

Why Performance Tuning Matters?

It is mandatory in the case while finding a difference between benchmarking results of two codes -

Race Detector

It is used with both tests and benchmarks to check that if there is synchronization. However, this can be more clear by looking at the following example - Syntax -


go test -race

However this above is used in the same way both with tests and benchmarks. They make a call to


function "ParseAdexpMessage" to check any synchronization issue.

What are the steps in Performance Testing?

The following steps are involved in an efficient performance testingxenonstack-how-to-do-performance-testing

Identification of the Test Environment and Testing Tools

  • The first step involves the identification of a testing environment and various testing tools that will be used.
  • Then a tester needs to understand the complete detailing of the hardware, software, and various other configurations used during the testing process.

Identify the Performance Acceptance Criteria.

  • The second step involves the identification of performance acceptance criteria.
    It involves goals for response times, throughput.
  • The major criteria can be picked from the project's specifications provided, but a tester needs to explore more benchmarks and criteria for the performance success of an application.

Plan & Design Performance Tests

  • In this step, the tester identifies the test scenarios keeping end-users in mind.
  • After the scenarios are identified, the performance data is planned, and the metrics that need to be assessed are gathered.

Configure the Test Environment

  • In this step, the test environment on which the testing is to be performed is properly configured.

Run the Test

  • In this step, the tests are executed, and their performance is monitored.
    Monitoring of Test results is very important.

Analyze, Tune and Retest

  • In this step, the results are analyzed.
  • Based on the analysis, the application is fine-tuned and retested again to check whether there are some improvements or not.


The intellect to perform the primary QA job using DevOps actions to interact with the CI/CD working and build' continuous testing.Taken From Article, Understanding TestOps Best Practises and Architecture

Best Practices for Performance Testing

  • Test Early and Often.
  • Take a DevOps Approach.
  • Consider Users, Not Just Servers.
  • Understand Performance Test Definitions.
  • Build a Complete Performance Model.
  • Include Performance Testing in Development Unit Tests.
  • Define Baselines for Important System Functions.
  • Consistently Report and Analyze the Results.
  • Test as early as possible in development. Do not wait and rush Performance Testing as the project winds down.

Follow DevOps Approach

Soon after the lean movement inspired agile, IT organizations saw the requirement to unify development and IT operations activities. The outcome is the DevOps processes, where developers and IT work together to define, build, and deploy software as a team. Just as agile organizations frequently embrace a continuous, test-driven development process, DevOps should include IT operations, developers, and testers working together to build, deploy, tune and configure applicable systems, and execute performance tests against the end-product as a team.

Consider Users, Not Just Servers

Performance tests frequently focus on the results of servers and clusters running software. Don’t forget that actual people use software, and that performance tests should determine the human element as well. For instance, specifying the performance of clustered servers may return acceptable outcomes, but users on a single overloaded server may experience a satisfactory outcome. Instead, tests should contain the per-user experience of performance, and user interface timings should capture orderly with server metrics.

To exemplify, if only one percent of one million requests/response cycles are latent, ten thousand people an alarming no. will have experienced poor performance with the application. Driving the Performance Testing from the single user point of view helps you understand what each user of your system will suffer before it’s an issue.

The Design patterns are defined as the best practices that a programmer must follow to amplify code reusability in a framework.Taken From Article, Design Patterns in Automation Testing

Which are the Best Performance Testing Tools?

Following are some of the famous performance testing tools available in the market.xenonstack-performance-testing-tool

WebLOAD

  1. It is readily available on the cloud as well as on-premise.
  2. WebLOAD is an enterprise-scale load testing tool capable of generating reliable test scenarios.
  3. It provides support for all major technologies.
  4. It helps in detecting performance issues and bottlenecks automatically.
  5. It provides integration with various tools for performance monitoring.

LoadNinja

  1. It provides a feature to create scriptless load tests
  2. It is highly recommended as it reduces a lot of testing time
  3. LoadNinja also provides the advantage of running load tests in real browsers rather than using emulators.
  4. It provides record and plays features hence making testing more accessible.
  5. It provides an amazing feature of browser-based metrics.
  6. It usually supports the following protocols: HTTPS, HTTP, Java Based protocol, Oracle Form, etc.

Apache JMeter

  1. It is the most popular open-source performance testing tool in the market.
  2. It is used for Java-based applications
  3. Apache JMeter is mostly used for performing load testing on websites.
  4. It provides various reporting formats.
  5. Load tests can easily be executed using both UI and command lines.
  6. The various protocols supported by Jmeter are HTTPS, HTTP, XML, SOAP, etc.

Gatling

  1. It is a new open-source load testing tool in comparison to the other tools.
  2. Gatling helps us in running load tests against multiple concurrent users via JDBC, JMC protocols.
  3. This tool is amicable with almost all operating systems.
  4. The scripting language used by this tool is Scala.
  5. It also provides the capability to scale Taurus with Blazemeter.
A tyрe оf Performance testing, helps to understand the performance оr behavior оf аn аррliсаtiоn/server when various loads аre аррlied.Taken From Article, Load Testing Tools and Best Practices

What are the types of Performance Testing?

The following are the various types of Performance Testing:xenonstack-types-of-performance-testing

Stress Testing

In this type of testing, the application is provided with a specific load beyond normal conditions to test and verify which features or components result in failure. The main motive of stress testing is to determine the breakpoint of an application or software, i.e., it identifies the point at which the application will fail or break. By doing so, it easily calculates the performance and stability of the application under test.

For Example: An airline company drops the price of a domestic flight 50% for one hour for a marketing campaign. They send their customers a push notification about it. People rush to that website.

Spike Testing

This type of testing checks the application's capability to handle sudden amounts of load. Spike testing is usually performed to identify that whether our application is capable enough to handle sudden or drastic loads.

For Example: Suddenly, the results of Class 10th are announced, So this testing will determine whether this sudden announcement of result will lead to the website crash or will the website be able to handle such a sudden rush.

Volume Testing

The volume test aims to verify the state of an application when there is a huge amount of data to deal with. Many applications and websites work fine at the first stages of their lifetime, but there are some unexpected conditions with a huge amount of data.

For Example: Two finance companies are merging; therefore, two million new users will be migrated to a new system, including their historical data. So this testing will determine that when such a huge amount of data is introduced to our system, how will the system react? Will it crash, or will it be capable of handling such a high amount of data.

Load Testing

Load testing plays the most critical role in performance testing. In this, an application's performance is measured by loading it with multiple users concurrently to evaluate the application's capacity to handle the load. The main motive of load testing is to make sure that our application does not crash if some amount of load is given to it for a specific time period. Multiple virtual users are sent to the application simultaneously or concurrently to assess the software's behavior.

For Example: The Cowin application resulted in a server crash when multiple users rushed concurrently for vaccination registration. So to identify such bottlenecks and to protect applications from crashing, load testing is performed.

A procedure for executing automated tests as part of the entire delivery pipeline and a risk management activity.Taken From Article, Continuous Load Testing Tools and Features

Conclusion

Performance testing plays a crucial role in an application's development. So to enhance the quality of an application, it is essential first to prioritize the application's performance. So every QA should keep in mind that the application should not be made QA approved only based on Functional testing. Still, non-functional testing should be assessed appropriately before making an application live.

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