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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Targeted Infrastructure Tests and Performance Testing


Targeted Infrastructure tests are isolated tests of each layer and or component in an end to end application configuration.
- It includes communications infrastructure, load balancers, web servers, application servers, crypto cards, citrix servers allowing for identification of any performance issues that would fundamentally limit the overall ability of a system to deliver at a given performance level.
- Each test can be quite simple.
- Targeted infrastructure testing separately generates load on each component and measures the response of each component under load.
- Different infrastructure tests require different protocols.


These are the tests that determine end to end timing of various time critical business processes and transactions, while the system is under low load, but with a production sized database.
- This sets best possible performance expectation under a given configuration of infrastructure.
- It also highlights very early in the testing process if changes need to be made before load testing should be undertaken.
- Performance testing would highlight such a slow customer search transaction which could be re mediated prior to a full end to end load test.
- The best practice to develop performance tests is with n automated tool such as WinRunner, so that the response times from a user perspective can be measured in a repeatable manner with a high degree of precision. The same test scripts can later be re-used in a load test and the results can be compared back to the original performance tests.
- A key indicator of the quality of a performance test is repeatability. Re-executing a performance test multiple times should give the same set of results each time. If the results are not same each time, then the differences in results from one run to the next can not be attributed to changes in the application, configuration or environment.

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