Ramp-up Load Testing: Guaranteed Efficiency for your Website

TMC - Net4All

TECHNICAL

A site that is very slow to load, a page that does not open, an unavailable shopping cart … So many elements that will only drive your prospects and customers away from your site without them finishing their purchases! Excellent navigation quality is therefore essential for the health of your business.

The ramp-up load test allows you to evaluate the maximum capacity of the number of visitors that your website can receive: it is a basic test to be carried out regularly in order to determine and subsequently optimise the sensitive points of your site.

The Goal? Make it more efficient!

In practice, the ramp-up load test simulates the user journey through different scenarios. So it is not a rough or assumed estimate, yet as close as possible to reality.

Today, ramp-up load testing is a must which allows you to anticipate your strategic periods of activity. You cannot afford to be faced with a faulty platform since it is the image (and the revenue!) of your entire company that is at stake.

Why Run a Web Performance Test?

Do you know the maximum number of users that your site can accept simultaneously? Is your infrastructure able to handle a surge in traffic during critical business periods?

This is the type of question you need to ask yourself. If the answer is no in both cases, a ramp-up load test should certainly be considered soon as part of your infrastructure.

Indeed, some websites or web applications are likely to experience high traffic. Those most affected include online marketplaces: at the start of the summer, winter or any other sales, when selling tickets for concerts or sporting events, clearance sales, promotional and advertising campaigns, when new products are launched, during the run-up to Christmas, etc. For several years now, there has been a trend towards a significant increase in purchases via the Internet, in order to avoid crowds in shopping malls, but also to benefit from a wider range of products. The constant search for ever more interesting promotions or exclusive web offers is also a major criterion.

Another possible scenario, which this time applies to everyone and not only to e-commerce sites, is a spike in notoriety. If your company is mentioned in a TV or radio broadcast, if you are engaging in a large-scale communications campaign or if your company makes the front page following negative buzz, many curious people will rush to your website!

It is for all these reasons that ramp-up load testing should not be neglected in your strategy.

What is Measured During Ramp-Up Load Testing?

test de montée en charge

A ramp-up load test is carried out in a predictive manner, to ensure the proper functioning of applications.

It measures the response time of the site during a progressive increase in the number of visitors. This response time is the sum of the processing time of the application and the response time of the web server.

Measures carried out in collaboration with the development teams for the application make it possible to identify bottlenecks on the platform. They can then be anticipated and effectively resolved, for you not to be confronted with themd during a surge in traffic, for example.

TMC: What is the procedure for carrying out a ramp-up load test?

These web performance tests take place within a limited period of time, during which the increase in traffic will be gradual, with the aim of detecting the breaking point of the application. Two methods co-exist, each having its positive or negative aspects: continuous increase or increase by series.

  • Continuous increase makes it possible to find the precise breaking point where the application no longer responds. This is the most complex and risky solution to implement, because, since the increase is continuous, the test needs to be completely automated. In short, this means that the information is collected in parallel to the monitoring, so that, if the test encounters a problem, it needs to be recommenced from the beginning again.
  • With the increase in series, the analysis of the results is easier, because, if any doubt exists, it is possible to restart a single test session, independently of the others. This solution requires leaving the architecture in an identical state, so as not to distort the results and to be able to compare the measurements efficiently. With this technique, however, it is not possible to pinpoint the breaking point precisely: it will fall within a range (between two “stages” of testing).

At the time of continuous development and integration, periodic load testing becomes essential, in order to assess the impact of current developments upon site performance. It is actually not uncommon for a modification – even a minor one – to have a strong impact upon the overall performance of the platform (slow sql queries, multiple inclusions, etc.).

Key Points Concerning the Ramp-Up Load Test

The health of your platform should not be left to chance. A ramp-up load test must follow a process of consistency and anticipation. To consider it only a strategic periods approach is therefore a mistake. Thus, when carried out on a regular basis, this test makes it possible to identify any deterioration in your platform and efficiently schedule your remedial action over the course of time. Wave goodbye to nasty surprises!

Thanks to the ramp-up load test, your site will be able to maintain its brand image, notoriety, visibility and, above all, its sales and turnovers in the case of an e-commerce site.

So, are you sure your platform will be up and running for your next big moment?

If you would like more information or would like to run a ramp-up load test, please get in touch with our teams!