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Monday, December 13, 2010

What are Load Tests - End to End performance tests

Load Tests are end to end performance tests under anticipated production load. The objective such tests are to determine the response times for various time critical transactions and business processes and ensure that they are within documented expectations. Load tests also measures the capability of an application to function correctly under load, by measuring transaction pass/fail/error rates. An important variation of the load test is the network sensitivity test which incorporates WAN segments into a load test as most applications are deployed beyond a single LAN.

Load tests are major tests, requiring substantial input from the business, so that anticipated activity can be accurately simulated in a test environment. If the project has a pilot in production then logs from the pilot can be used to generate 'usage profiles' that can be used as part of the testing process, and can even be used to drive large portions of load test.

Load testing must be executed on today's production size database, and optionally with a projected database. If some database tables will be much larger in some months time, then load testing should also be performed against a projected database. It is important that such tests are repeatable, and give the same results for identical runs. They may need to be executed several times in the first year of wide scale deployment, to ensure that new releases and changes in database size do not push response times beyond prescribed service level agreements.

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