My team is currently in the process of planning for performance and load testing (how to load test drupal?) Can you please help me with the questions below? Thanks.
1. We would like to perform a periodic performance review. What type of performance review would you suggest? At the moment we envision three types of performance testing:
- Application Performance
- Server Performance
- Load testing
2. We have been using some application and server performance tools from yahoo to test page load times, CSS/Image optimization, etc., What can you recommend in terms of application/server performance and optimization testing and tweaking?
3. Do you have an application design testing method to recommend in order to allow testing of our applications with a tool that emulates real user like access to pages without authentication? We want that toll to interact with the database as if it was a user without actually having to authenticate.
Dupal is PHP based, which results in an HTTP stream. You need a cultivated architectural eye to be a capable performance tester. This is something that you will want to work with someone on. You can use just about any HTTP based performance tool to generate the load.....assuming your team has the skills to use the tool you have selected.
Your questions indicate you are at the beginning of the curve in developing a performance test practice. Your questions may seem simple, but the answers could fill several volumes depending upon your organization, your technical needs and your team's skills. Have you considered a mentor to come in and work with your team for six-nine months to bootstrap your organization. Assuming you have a balanced mentor in terms of process and tools this should be money well spent.
As far as the optimal tool? As noted above you have a couple of anchors to meet
(a) Does it exercise my application interface?
(b) Can my users use the tool?
(c) Does the reporting meet my needs to be able to analyze the health of the system?
(d) How efficient is the tool? Does the time required to construct the test artifacts and conduct analysis meet the demands of my project timeline? If not, you may be picking a tool which better meets your efficiency needs. Consider an analogy to a free car or a free dog. While the up front cost may be great the maintenance costs may be huge. It should be noted that you could also purchase an expensive lemon if your team is not capable of using the tool effectively or it doesn't match your timeline or analysis needs.
Whatever you do, don't scrimp on training on the tool in question and having a mentor in place for your first 2-3 projects to reinforce both tool and process concepts.
Hi James Pulley - one of our team member is knowledgeable in using JMeter, i was thinking if this tool is comparable to LoadRunner or IBM-RPT (functionality wise). For now we're not considering on buying neither LR nor RPT since we are in the trial stage yet. Thanks.
If at all it is possible, i would recommend that you get someone (internal or external)with knowledge of performance testing to assess these tools, as it is a common misconception that a good tool will suffice requirements. In many cases it is a overkill and waste of money and in others it is just not fit for purpose.