30 Oct 2019
Published: 03 Dec 2019
How to Select Best Load Testing Tools for your Business
Last Updated: 24 Mar 2020
1. What is load testing?
2. What are the Advantages of Load Testing?
3. What are the best practices for Load testing?
4. How to Select the Best Load Testing Tools for Businesses?
6. Which are Common Paid Load Testing Tools?
In today’s fast-paced world, every business depends on its applications to ensure their core business operates efficiently. These business-critical applications should be available for their customers, employees, and other stakeholders. But, evidently when these applications are on peak demand, they may become inaccessible or there may be instances when they slow down inappropriately. Such situations of applications not properly performing under peak conditions might show dramatic effects such as orders might be lost, customers might abandon the app or at times it might even lead to loss of brand reputation. Especially for retailers, a website or an app outage can be a catastrophe and the significance is more when the app has to process critical online transactions.
Moreover, in recent years, the challenge of dealing with these variations in peak loads or peak users is adversely affecting businesses across domains especially during black Friday days. With customer preferences and customer experience leading the charts for all businesses, it becomes a necessity for applications to perform well under even when numerous users access apps. Hence, it becomes necessary to load test applications. Evidently, it is also vital for all business-critical applications to undergo Load testing to take advantage of many benefits.
In the application development lifecycle, performance testing is an important requirement to make the app successful when it encounters load conditions. Load testing is the practice that helps to determine the behaviour of the application when the apps get accessed by multiple users. This type of testing is one of the types of performance testing that examines the application behaviour during high and normal user load. In addition to this, the load testing method benefits in many other ways and helps to overcome many issues, such as:
*Helps to overcome the application response time during each transaction under heavy loads
*Resolves issues related to software designs
*Solves issues related to database server, web server, and other server configurations
*Validates the performance of system components under various loads
*Solves issues related to network bottlenecks, memory limitations, and other hardware related issues
*Monitors the delay experienced between the server and the client
– Defines application performance of system components under varying loads
– Identifies bottlenecks if any, and helps to eliminate before going to the production stage
– Determines the speed, and stability of the system
– Reports about the performance of database components
– Verifies if the application meets the desired performance objectives
– Gives an assessment of whether existing infrastructure is enough to run current application
– Specifies the scalability level of the application
– Helps to display the reliability of the system
– Details the response time of each transaction
– Helps to identify bottlenecks in the system under heavy load scenarios
During the test preparation, the first important need is to identify the business objectives. This helps to recognize the type of tests to be performed, such as pre-production performance test, endurance test, and the capacity test. Secondly, the requirement is to understand the use cases such as considering the type of user requests, estimating the number of users to run the test, and identifying the behaviour during load tests. The next phase is planning the test infrastructure, followed by deploying and tuning the test infrastructure.
one of the best practice is to establish KPIs to measure the real-time performance of the application, such as the storage, response time, usage of the resources, etc.
There are several open-source and commercial load testing tools available for enterprises to choose, but opting for the right tool can help to achieve the business goals. Hence, before choosing any tool, enterprises need to consider the business objectives and their affordability if the load test tool is a licensed tool.
In order to achieve success in app development, it is required to consider several scenarios based on business requirements, user expectations, etc. This way of creating test cases by considering the scenarios will help to identify and achieve effective app behaviour.
Concluding the load test results is not so easy for businesses. If the test cases are run on a production environment having different configurations, then it can result in high business risk. Hence, to avoid such scenarios, businesses have to replicate the production environment.
While preparing for the load test, it is important to perform the tests with few users. Later, the number of users should be increased steadily. This way of running load tests will help to resolve the fluctuations once the user load increases.
While planning to run the load tests, it is most important to run the tests by considering the end-users. This will effectively help to avoid the poor performance of the app and it also enhances user-satisfaction and ensures business success.
For load testing to deliver effective results, the correct tool selection has to be done carefully to achieve effective results while testing applications. Basically, Load testing tools are available both as paid and open source tools that are commonly used to load test applications. But, there are certain aspects that should be accessed by businesses before selecting your testing tools.
The testing tool should integrate with agile and DevOps tools, making it easy to combine with continuous integration and continuous development frameworks such as Jenkins, Maven to name a few of these tools. It should also support the shift-left testing by enabling shortening of the build and test cycles, thus helping to save testing time.
The testing tool should support recording communication between two tiers of the system and should efficiently playback the automatically created script. These tools should also support along with HTTP, other important and common protocols. Sometimes, load testing is reduced to pre-production testing using protocol-level record/playback as the main feature.
There are certain applications where recording cannot be done, in such cases, API calls from the script may be an effective option. Thus, the usage of API testing scripts and web services scripting should be supported by the load tools taken into consideration.
Undoubtedly, with the ever-changing applications landscape with smart apps all around, these tools should support the testing of both desktop and mobile apps. Moreover, these tools should support testing of all kinds of mobile apps such as Native, Hybrid, Web and Secure applications.
It is important to note that functional testing simulates user actions on the application under test. Thus, the tool should automate all these tests with the automated record and playback options.
Tools should have a built-in ability to manage test execution and enable test data to be made available. Load tools should support coordination between virtual users with respect to synchronization points, protocols, and varied network connections. Certain sophisticated open-source or paid tools allow us to test complicated test scenarios and ensure to configure each group of users in a way that is required.
When only a few users are considered to simulate, then there would not be any problem, but when there is a number of users to simulate, then the right tool selection works out to be handy. These testing tools differ on how many resources they need per simulated user and how well they can handle large volumes of information.
An effective testing tool should support new technologies and integrate easily with DevOps CI/CD and other platforms within the existing testing ecosystem.
The cost of considering the tool is directly dependent on the cost factor it involves. The cost of a license should fit within the available budget while providing the necessary capabilities to perform accurate load testing of the system under test.
– Apache JMeter
– The Grinder
– IBM Rational Performance Tester
Evidently, peak load testing is simply not a development need but rather it is a business need. Key stakeholders continue to depend on applications and require stable and high-performing applications to enable effective business transactions even under peak loads. Hence, it is essential for businesses to load test applications using either paid or open-source load testing tools. There are certain points to consider while selecting these tools that should be taken care of to ensure proper load testing of your vital business applications.
Connect with our QA experts to discuss your load testing challenges and we will be happy to provide you guidance on how to streamline your QA process with effective software testing strategy and next-gen solutions.