From the author: And although Black Friday is not coming soon, the tips from this article will definitely be useful to those involved in stress testing.
Black Friday is approaching very fast. Now is the time to start preparing your website or application for the expected influx of users, as your competitors do.
1. Start performance testing as early as possible
As the famous proverb says: “He who rises early, God gives to him.” The same goes for performance testing. The sooner you begin stress testing, the sooner you will find bottlenecks and the faster you can fix them. Make sure everything is ready before it is too late.
As testing tends to shift to the left, more organizations are adopting strategies continuous integration (CI), continuous development (CD) and continuous testing (CT). Regularly doing load testing every time you change the code, commit and deploy assemblies, you will find most of the problems before major events such as Black Friday. This does not mean that you can not run special tests before Black Friday, but approach them as prepared as possible. Something reminiscent of shows and performances where the dress rehearsal is preceded by many other rehearsals.
2. Test the entire ecosystem
When preparing your environment for stress testing, test the surrounding infrastructure, software, and the application itself. This also includes communication equipment, databases, networks, etc. By making the test environment as similar as possible to production, you make the test more accurate, thereby increasing the number of bottlenecks detected in time and reducing the risk of unpleasant surprises during Black Friday peaks.
3. Keep track of backend performance during testing.
Load testing allows you to monitor and analyze Kpi (key performance indicators) of your performance, such as response time and latency, and correlations between them. But it’s also important to look at key KPIs, such as cache hits and database queries, see the error log for exceptions, as well as standard hardware features such as CPU / memory / network load and auto-scaling status.
Various solutions expand the analysis of test results. New relic provides application performance monitoring, AppDynamics provides end-user monitoring, and Amazon cloud watch tracks AWS cloud resources.
4. Create and model real-life scenarios for your users
During stress testing, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of your users and their needs. Create scripts in according to their habits. If they like to spend a lot of time browsing the catalog in your application, focus on that. If, as a rule, they carefully check their personal data in the form of your website, make sure that your stress test includes these pauses. Load testing in near real-world conditions eliminates the relevant bottlenecks, thereby providing an excellent user experience.
5. Track user experience
Load testing ensures that your website or application does not paint over at the crucial moment, but you probably also want your users to have a pleasant experience. As part of the DevOps and CI approach, we also recommend that you test your web browsers and operating systems using tools such as Selenium and Sauce labs. In this way, you will be able to detect changes that do not affect performance, but affect user experience.
6. Consider third-party partners and service providers
When you make changes to your application or website, you are not only influencing your own product. You can also affect third-party scripts in your application or site, or you can disrupt third-party devices or servers if you do not properly prepare them. For example, different CDNs require different approaches, and AWS (ELB) load balancing requires warming before load balancing.
Despite the fact that this is part of what you are testing, we recommend that you contact your partners in advance and make all necessary preparations. This ensures that the load test will take into account their training and full capabilities (instead of partial capabilities, as this can happen if they do not have the opportunity to prepare). It also saves you time and effort, since you do not need to deal with serious third-party linings that could be easily avoided.
Are you ready for Black Friday? Start preparing now! To try BlazeMeter, simply enter your URL in the box below and your test will begin in a few minutes!
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