Step 1 - Identify Your Website Objectives

Write down all the performance objectives that you want your website to be able to perform under high traffic without crashing your website and losing hard to get customers.

The main parameters you should consider for your site is:

a. Response time.
b. Throughtput.
c. Response utilization
d. Maximum User Load.

The next step is one of the most important.

Step 2 - Identify Your website Key Scenarios (or profiles)
These are the anticipated paths the user takes with multiple application activities on your website. The Key scenarios are the specific performance goals you have for your site. This is the business activity of your users over time.

For example: Open 'about window' will take less resource than perform 'buy' action.
The “Buy” action, as opposed to “Open about window”, will involve multiply actions like: SQL, Credit Card validation, IIS.

Step 3 - Identify the workload
Identify the distribution + the ratio of the work. The distribution is the number of users doing a certain application. This is the total sum of those doing these things or more like login, registration, buy and logout.

Step 4 - Identify Your Websites Metrics
Metrics are a derivative of your performance objectives. They are used to measure your application’s real time performance in comparison with your performance objectives. In addition, they also help you to identify problems and bottlenecks within your application.

a. Network-specific metrics
b. System-related metrics
c. Platform-specific metrics
d. Application-specific metrics
e. Service level metrics

Step 5 – Pick Load Test Tool
Before writing your Tests you need to pick the right load testing software tool for your website. In order to select the proper tool for us and our application, you will need to perform a research; Load testing tools requires specific knowledge and each tool has his advantages and disadvantages.

Step 6 - Create Test Cases
These are test cases created base on the key scenarios and the profile mix identified in the previous steps. You should make each test case should include the expected results in such a way that each test case can be marked as a 'pass' or 'fail' after execution.

Step 7 – Prepare and Understand Your Load Environment
Your setup environment should duplicate the architecture of our production environment as closely as possible. It is very important to simulate the load on environment similar to our production because even the smallest hardware or configuration difference can have a big impact on our results.

Step 8 – Run It Step by Step
Begin your load testing software with small number of users distributed against the user profile, and then increase the load incrementally. Incrementing the number of users slowly will make it easier to find the exact point/threshold where the system crashes or hangs due to load. Run the load test in cycles. Check the metrics for each cycle, and document them, so you can show evidence that the loads was achieved already.

Step 9 - Run
Before running the test you must make sure you are monitoring both the computer running the load test and the computer taking the load. This will help you find bottlenecks on both sides of the test.

Step 10 - Analyze and Evaluate the Results
After each run, and of course after the full run, you will analyze all the results and check against the metrics and make sure your objectives were achieved. Save each run Results and compare with other runs, in this way you may notice improvement or deterioration of the performance and load of your application. Make sure you can share your load and performance test results and evaluations. Try to simplify things so it will be understood by those specific populations.

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