What is capacity testing?
Capacity testing is the process by which network infrastructure is tested for is capacity to handle the maximum anticipated load specified in the SLA (service level agreements), without affecting the customer experience. A capacity test determines the maximum number of concurrent users (users of an application at once) that the application can support without “breaking.” This kind of test is often related to capacity planning, which identifies the application’s architecture, including the number of servers, their memory capacity, and their speed depending on the business requirements.
It is critical in this era of impatient customers. Statistically, close to 50% of the customers will move to a different website if does not load in less than four seconds. A second’s delay results in a loss of more than a quarter of a million dollars every year.
The data from capacity testing is crucial in analysing the performance of existing infrastructure against peak load. This helps to figure out if the existing infrastructure should be enhanced so that the desired level of customer experience could be kept or achieved.
Capacity testing is sometimes confused with load testing which as an entirely different process.
Load testing measures the performance of network infrastructure on real-world loads. Matrices such as average response time, requests per second, peak response time, error rate, and throughput are measured under a load of ‘N’ number of users. Knowledge of programming is necessary to perform the test.
What are the best practices in capacity testing?
The 80/20 rule
The stakeholders that are critical and influence the design process are to be decided by analysing existing data. The rule allows you to find and resolve the issues that have the highest business impact.
Setting proper SLAs (service level agreements) and other conditions
The automation team should analyse the real-time use cases by having conversations with product owners and business analysts so that every problem is predicted and prepared for. This allows the automation tools to better understand the business process and find the ones that generates maximum traffic.
Defining test specifications.
Information such as software version, client type, volume test, type of data volume and hardware specification are to be documented. The type of environment is also a crucial factor; the closer it is to the real-world, better are the chances to find and resolve all potential issues.
With the current shortage of resources that companies are facing, integrating an automated capacity test into your pipeline. Automation tools which can provide both black-box and white-box results are preferable as they are better at root cause analysis.
Reporting and analysing results
Diligent reporting and analysis of capacity tests would help improve collaboration within the organization as well problem resolution. A detailed report allows organizations to analyse design and innovate better.
What are the advantages of capacity testing?
Improved planning: Capacity testing allows you to predict infrastructure upgrades.
Optimization of processes: leverage the full potential of your infrastructure by supplying all the necessary information on real-world operations.
Enhanced planning: The tests allow you to predict load conditions and infrastructure requirements more efficiently so that you can formulate a sound plan.
Better peak-time performance: Capacity testing eliminate unexpected roadblocks during peak- load operations.
Compliance: SLAs and other agreements are met as there would seldom be any unexpected issues.
Capacity testing allows you to iron-out all the bugs in your system and maximise your profit
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