Head of eCommerce at Express Gifts Ltd
03 July 2008 09:32am
Can anyone offer any advise re:load testing, typical cost etc.
Technical Project Manager (MBA, MBCS, CITP, CEng) at Naxtech.com
03 July 2008 10:40am
It very much depends on the platform you use. Unless your website is too complicated I think load testing is something that you could do internally without any problems. If you need any help just give me a call on 07712 255 379.
Founding Partner at Naked Penguin Boy Ltd
04 July 2008 08:01am
It does depend on how you plan on load testing. If you are going to go the whole hog and simulate a variety of user scenarios performing different functions on the site you will need a tool to assist.
These can be extremely expensive as in £30k + with companies such as HP Loadrunner, QA Load, and Rational Performance Tester and you may need the services of a consultant to assist and they dont come cheap.
Your other option is to use http://www.opensta.org/ which is an open source performance testing tool that shouldnt take all that long to learn how to use.
If you do go with consultants I would suggest http://www.acutest.co.uk/
Hope that helps
04 July 2008 08:46am
Thanks for all your replies.... most helpful.
Technical Director at NCC Group Web Performance
04 July 2008 09:24am
Your account manager obviously hasn't spoke to you for a while ;-)
Don't forget that we, Site Confidence, offer a very cost effective load testing service where we host the testing platform and take care of al the scripting for you, just like with your website performance monitoring...
CEO at SciVisum.co.uk
04 July 2008 13:36pm
Rowan asks the right question:
It does depend on how you plan on load testing. If you are going to go the whole hog and simulate a variety of user scenarios performing different functions on the site
And from our experience (vested interest alarm: 50% of what we do is load testing: SciVisum ltd),
I'd suggest that this is kind of load testing is really the only type that makes sense. It's all too common, for a company to do some 'simple' load testing in house; get some numbers that give them a false sense of security and then crash and burn as their site traffic goes up.
It really does help the business, and the tech teams; to start off by defining the User Journeys that are the 'money making' vital routes on your site.
Then you can plan load testing to measure those: and the number you want is 'completed Journeys per second' for each journey. (forget 'concurrent users' as a measure of traffic: concurrent users is not what your site is for! But to get users through the specific journeys).
With these kind of metrics, there's no risk of a false sense of security: because you're measuring the right thing.
The user journey/second figures will be different for each journey (coz different things happen in the software/databases for each).
Once you know your Journey figures, you've then got hard data to show the bosses, in a language that they can understand!
If any of the numbers are low: then you don't need to write a business case to justify work to fix it: the test results speak from themselves: and the decision whether to 'go with it as it is and take a flyer' or 'spend to fix it' : rightly rests with the management who hold the purse strings.
If you're planning to do a load test each month or more, then buying the pricey software tools and training up someone makes sense: otherwise it's way too expensive, and the software ends up as shelf-ware!
Performance specialists like us are often a more sensible way to go.
Yup, they are good: not pure web testing folks like us though. And if you want to talk to someone who just this month preferred us over them...
Hope this helps
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