As your enterprise applications are developed, it’s important to be able to monitor their performance and reliability even while under periods of high traffic. Is the application working as expected—or does its operation become erratic when under stress? Here’s how you can load test and stress test your enterprise applications, in addition to monitoring and managing performance. Being able to validate the performance is essential to understanding how your users will receive your products.
Application Load Testing and Balancing
By creating artificial levels of traffic, load testing tools can be used to test the performance and reliability of your applications before they fail in a real environment. Load testing is a critical part of application development, performance, and general network management. Load bearing issues aren’t just a performance problem: they can also be an issue with security.
There are a number of open source load testing tools for everything from web applications to native applications, networks, and services. Once you’ve tested your application at higher load capacities, you can balance its resource usage accordingly. Load testing will show the failure points of your applications, in addition to which resources fail first. This provides a jumping off point for resource optimization.
The Importance of a Network Performance Dashboard
Enterprise applications no longer operate in a vacuum. As network ecosystems grow, it becomes important to test enterprise applications within their environment. Network performance monitoring tools can aid in consolidating your enterprise applications, testing them as they interact with each other—or testing a single enterprise application within the scope of an entire network.
Network monitoring tools will isolate issues within a network, determining whether your application could be consuming an undue amount of resources or whether it could contribute to network instability as a whole. Once an enterprise application is deployed, a network performance monitoring tool can also help in identifying exploits such as DDoS attacks, which can cause artificially high traffic to devastating effect.
Auditing and Analyzing Performance and Reliability
Performance and reliability must be audited and analyzed at intervals, to identify and correct issues that may be introduced between versions or patches. As software solutions evolve, issues with performance and reliability can be introduced. Memory leaks are one of the most common issues: from iteration to iteration, a software can start leaking memory, and these memory leaks may not become apparent except for during times of high traffic.
Issues with high traffic performance may also be introduced through updates to third-party APIs and plug-ins, or new iterations of technology (such as upgrading to a new development kit or database). Regardless, the only way to reveal unexpected issues with high traffic, high stress environments is to test the solution first.
The Importance of Testing Real Application Traffic
While application load testing suites can stress test most systems, real application traffic is also necessary to thoroughly test an application. Real application traffic can be acquired through user testing and must be a part of real-time stress tests. Real application traffic may work in ways that are unexpected or not automatically tested. Real users may behave differently within an application than an automated load testing product.
Live tests are a critical component to software development for this reason: while there are many advanced tools available for product testing, these tools cannot accurately replicate the behavior of real, live users.
It’s important to validate the reliability of your enterprise applications before any issues occur. To that end, application load testing and balancing can help. By property testing and auditing your enterprise applications, you can avoid any potential system disruption.
To learn more about balancing and testing applications—and to start developing your applications—contact us for a consultation.