5 Simple Strategies for More Realistic Load Tests

Load Testing Strategies

The process of realistically generating load tests is something of an art, and some of the best perks about LoadComplete are the settings that aid that artistry. Of course, like all load testing tools, you can specify the number of virtual users to be simulated, but you can also set certain conditions that easily create more powerful and reliable load tests. Load Testing is so important to the testing phase- an appliation that works fine under normal use, but breaks with an influx of users is not quality software. So, no matter which load testing tool you choose, make sure it allows you to set some version of these basic conditions and remember the our performance testing best practices.

Ramping Up Virtual Users

When running performance tests, it’s not desirable to start all virtual users at the same time. Starting all virtual users at the same time can create artificial bottlenecks in certain parts of the application – such as the login process. In LoadComplete, you can elect to set a load profile whereby you start with a small number of virtual users, and increase that number over time. For example: you start with a single virtual user and add one virtual user every two seconds until you reach a certain number of simultaneous users, and then hold that number for the duration of the test.

Setting Load Duration

In order for you to run a test with large numbers of virtual users, you will need to set duration for your test. By setting duration, each virtual user will execute its scenario and when it reaches the end it will start over – thereby maintaining the level of load. For example, if your scenario takes two minutes to be executed, but you run a test for 10 minutes, the scenario might be executed five times by each virtual user. This function can be found under the “continuous load” tab of the load profile in LoadComplete. Merely check the enable box, and set a time.

Parameterizing Tests

While recording a scenario, you may need to specify some parameters that will be used for further test runs. For example, you can enter some search terms, user names and so on in the application’s fields. However, it is not a good practice to play back a test with the same recorded data for each user as it does not simulate the real-life conditions. To solve the problem, LoadComplete allows you to parameterize your load test using special variables. A variable can store desired data and your requests can use this data during test runs.

Emulating Browser Speed and Bandwidth

Real users visit a website using different browsers, the bandwidth of user’s Internet connections can vary significantly, and they spend different amounts of time on each page. You can configure all these parameters when creating load tests in LoadComplete. This means you can specify different browsers and connection bandwidth for different groups of virtual users. You can also specify think time for each tested page (we call this think time, as it simulates the time period when a user is viewing the page and thinking). You can easily randomize the think time for simulated scenarios to better emulate real user activity to better simulate actual users in your performance tests.

Simulating Concurrent Requests

To download a Web page, modern Web browsers send requests to the server using several simultaneous connections. These parallel requests download images, scripts, CSS files and other resources located on the page. Unlike many other load testing tools, LoadComplete automatically detects and simulates parallel requests, that is, it sends requests exactly like your browser did when you recorded your scenario. This makes the simulation closer to real-world conditions.

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