London software testing news UK

No 2 reason for web site death is unexpected load

Posted in Load testing by testing in London on September 3, 2009

From Ethiopian Review

This is the Digg/TechCrunch effect. Someone writes something nice about your web app, the buzz spreads, and before you know it you have an order of magnitude more traffic to your website than you ever planned for and the whole thing melts.

So what can you do about it? Well of course you could buy racks of hardware just in case, but that’s not really practical. Here are some more realistic suggestions:

Know your capacity. This involves performance testing your application in advance. Set a level for what you consider to be an acceptable response time, and ramp up simulated users carrying out typical tasks until you exceed that threshold. From here you can establish performance bottlenecks and tune your application to increase that capacity (how to do this is a massive subject in its own right), but even without this tuning, you will at least know what kind of spike in load you can support.

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