Under tight time frames, the Guidance Solutions team worked with ArcLight to prepare the test scripts. AlertSite minimized any impact to ArcLight’s online customers by conducting the tests when the traffic volume was at its lowest. Jason Caldwell, AlertSite performance advisor said, “The first test maxed out much lower customer volumes than ArcLight expected. Together with ArcLight, we immediately rewrote the scripts, installed and adjusted load balancers, and performed a second test.”
The second test revealed the system would fail long before it reached customer peaks. “We had to look at root causes of limited network bandwidth in addition to determining if the system could handle a specific customer load,” added Caldwell. AlertSite prepped two load-test servers and Guidance Solutions installed them behind the ArcLight firewall. With this extra level of effort, ArcLight’s systems could break down the relative impact of the network, hardware, software and configuration on the system failure under load.
“Guidance recommended changes to the .NET configuration and completed some fine tuning to the database. During the next test the results improved. However, the reports for the production system showed Web errors. We explained to ArcLight that they needed to make improvements to the network,” said David Hatcher, Guidance Solutions Director and Senior Project Manager.
The first AlertSite report showed a diagram of ArcLight’s complex Web infrastructure which consists of disparate servers for member-loyalty data and availability of movies and seating—the systems have numerous network hops and moving parts.
AlertSite’s major report, the Performance Profile™ Report, showed ArcLight’s end-to-end process and individual page response times over load and bandwidth utilization. The report represented this information in both written and graphical form. The report measured four key metrics: application scalability, system capacity (maximum load), bandwidth utilization and performance bottlenecks. ArcLight was able to access its AlertSite reports from anywhere via a Web browser.