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What is a performance testing process?

– Performance testing process requires you to satisfy some pre–requisites of the process.
– The build of the system must be stable so as to have a resemblance with the production environment as far as possible.
– The environment in which the performance testing is carried out should not be mingled up with the development environment.
– This is not acceptable since if the integration tests or the UAT tests are to be employed in the same environment, the reliability of the results of the performance tests so obtained is reduced.
– Therefore, it is always recommended to keep a separate environment for performance testing.
– It is required that there should be some similarity among the test conditions in terms of their usage but this often is very difficult to achieve. But this is not possible as a whole in actual practice.
– The reason behind this is that nature possessed by the workloads of the production process is random and this makes the replication of the workload variability impossible, no matter how better the test workloads try to mimic the activities of the production environment for even the simplest system of all.
– Some more complexities have aroused due to implementations of the loosely coupled architecture.
– For the true replication of the production – like states there is a requirement of coordinated performance testing among enterprise assets and services.
– Due to time and money requirements and added complexities, organizations are now forced to employ tools for creating and monitoring the production conditions or the noise in the testing environment in order to understand the resource and capacity requirements and verification and validation process of the quality attributes.

Activities in Performance Testing Process

Following are the activities that are carried out in a performance testing process:
1. Identification of the test environment: This activity includes the identification of the physical testing environment as well as the production environment including the tools and the resources. The physical environment consists of the following:
a) Hardware
b) Software
c) Network configurations
A thorough understanding of the whole testing environment is required so that test designing and planning can be made more efficient. Through the whole testing process it is required that this activitiy must be carried out periodically.

2. Identification of the performance acceptance criteria: This activity involves identification of the following things:
a) Response time: user concern
b) Throughput: business concern
c) Resource utilization goals: system concern and
d) Constraints

3. Planning and designing of the tests: This includes:
a) Identification of the key scenarios
b) Determination of the variability among users
c) Simulation of the variability,
d) Definition of the test data
e) Establishment of the metrics to be collected
The above collected information is then consolidated in to models of system that are to be implemented, analyzed and executed.

4. Configuration of the test environments: This activity includes the preparation of the tools, resources and test environment for the execution of the strategy as components and features. it also involves ensuring that the instrumentation of the test environment for monitoring of the resource as and when required.

5. Implementation of the test design: This activity is all about the development of the test cases as per the test design.

6. Execution of the tests: This activity includes:
a) Execution and monitoring of the tests.
b) Validation of the tests and test data
c) Results collection

7. Analyzation of the results, retest and tuning: The results data is analyzed, consolidated and shared. A change is made and retested. The activity is stopped when a bottleneck is reached, the chances are that either the code is improved or more CPU is added.

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