Tools of the Mad (Load Testing) Scientist - Minding the Minions
I tried to stop by and see the mad load testing doctor at his very unassuming lab a few times in the last few days, armed with fresh baked goods on each occasion, but his lab had been shuttered tight on each visit. I started to get worried. I knew how singularly obsessed the good doctor was with the concept of building the bullet-proof website, and how maniacally determined he was to never be caught in a situation for which his site or his infrastructure had not been fully tested. I was wondering if the doctor’s aberrant compulsion had finally driven him over the edge, if the frosting had finally fallen off his cupcake.
I was relieved yesterday when I finally saw his van out front. In the lab, the doctor looked even more tired and disheveled than usual. This was a man who looked like he truly needed the sugar rush from the fresh bag of cookies I had brought as a gift.
“Disloyal minions!” he muttered, half at me, half into the bag. “I hire them to monitor the performance metrics on my Web server, and they fall asleep during the load test! And while I was in the middle of load testing the VERY weekend my evil plan was to take hold! This is the fifth time I have tried to run this same 72-hour test, and I still have no recorded data from the server! I have been trying to go back in logs to see if I can re-create all this missing data from my other systems, but trying to make all the data points align has been eating up all my time! It is driving me CRAZY!”
I thought I saw a brief specter of sadness cross his eyes. “I mean, I didn’t want to eliminate them, but what could I do? They were useless to me…”
“Doctor, you mean, you killed them? Just for falling asleep?”
“My MINIONS? Heck no!” And he started muttering and chuckling under his breath, something about having plenty of other good projects for minions to work on. “NO, my boy, I eliminated all the test data logs! Since then, I have built my own system to graph the performance of the servers, which I video, and then with two projectors I can superimpose them with the video of my load test graphs, and THEN I can compare them! It is genius, actually. Yes, there are a lot of video to review, but I am getting the results I need.”
“Doctor, wouldn’t it be easier if the load test captured the test data points AND the performance metrics from the server in the same system? And could present them in custom graphs with the same timeline, that you could change whenever you wanted, to highlight metrics against each other?"
The doctor’s eyes narrowed in frown. “Oh no, don’t say it! Not SmartBear again?”
“Doctor, I can’t believe someone who is so nuts, er, someone who load tests as much as you has not tried SmartBear’s LoadUIWeb Pro yet! “ I opened my laptop and with a few clicks, launched a new load test for the doctor to watch. “Look at these run time graphs! The bottom right pane is grabbing the performance data from the Web server, and is even charting it against the load, while the test is running. See? ‘% Memory usage’, ‘%CPU’, ‘% Disk Time’… ”
“Yes, but what if my minions fall asleep again and miss it?” he snorted.
“Here is a log of a test I ran last week,” I told him as I clicked on one of the files on the left of my screen. “ Look, with the custom charting feature, all the data from that test is contained in the log file. I can modify this chart to show only the metrics I want to see, whenever I want, just by selecting the options here. And since the data is stored by LoadUIWeb Pro, there is no chance you or the minions will miss anything! ”