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Checklist of Load Testing Best Practices

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Most load tests look at high-level metrics. If there are issues, developers have to look deeper into the server logs to identify the bottlenecks. This is usually a problem: These server logs don’t necessarily include network metrics, such as a slow DNS server or third-party API. And they aren’t particularly useful without knowing what’s considered abnormal and what’s happening at the browser level. It eats lots of valuable time.

Read more about Why the Network Matters in Load Tests.

Use this checklist to ensure that your load tests are meeting the highest standards.

  • Don’t Forget Think Times
    The time that it takes for a visitor to go through various steps of a test case can have a significant impact on resource usage, which makes it important to factor in ‘think times’ into your load tests.
  • Consult the Entire Team
    Business teams have insights into service level agreements (SLAs), marketing teams have insights into upcoming traffic spikes, and developers have insights into what an application can handle.
  • Define KPIs in Advance
    It’s important to think through the performance metrics that mean the most to your business. While it’s tempting to measure everything, you’re best off focusing on only a handful of key metrics at a time.
  • Don’t Try for a Failure
    Load testing is designed to see how an application performs under a normal load—the goal isn’t to crash the application by applying an unrealistic load.

Automate the Tests & Reporting
Load tests should be run as part of an automated test suite that runs them on a regular basis and generates reporting in a format that’s easily accessible to everyone on the team that requires the information.

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