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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Understand And Measure An Application’s Performance

With RIAs, much of the execution of code in Web applications happens on the browser client, and not just the Web or application server, and therefore understanding what is actually happening inside a real browser has become imperative. To understand and measure an application’s performance, most Web monitoring tools try to emulate a user transaction using measurement technologies that use imitation, or emulated browsers.

These imitation browsers mimic, or emulate browsers like IE and Firefox to simulate a site or application visitor’s behavior. While emulated browser measurements have their place when simply monitoring for availability, a complete Web performance monitoring discipline must include both operational monitoring, primarily conducted using emulated browsers, and true end-user experience monitoring, conducted using real browsers.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Measuring Streaming Media Performance From The Customer Perspective

Along with the growth, however, have come significant challenges as streaming media points out to corporations and individuals the limits of their information infrastructure. These limits crash against the users’ demands for smooth video, clear audio, and performance levels specified and guaranteed by contract. Media providers seeking to provide consistent quality of service face a daunting array of web performance issues, caused by lack of last-mile broadband build-out to service interruptions and carrier quality of service problems.

One key to dealing with quality of service issues is accurately measuring streaming media website performance from the customer perspective. With the lack of industry standardization, customer confidence rests on providing information from a trusted source.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Unrealistic Load Testing Leads To Unrealistic Inferences

Website need to be tested under the most realistic conditions. These tests should be done using the arrival rates based on actual web logs and a real user – true to life scenario. This will help determine the revenue potential.

Earlier tests might have been conducted within your environment. But website performance testing would only be effective if conducted where the end users are. Unrealistic load testing leads to unrealistic inferences.  You will need true visibility into your end-user experience ensuring the success of your online business.

A big discrepancy in the page response times from different locations may point to the latency issues related to some backbones or the ten worst performing pages as the load level is increased indicating the pages causing performance bottlenecks.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Web Site Preparedness!

One of the major reasons why some companies don’t want to run a web load test on their production site is that they are not looking forward to performing activities such as the database back-ups and restores that a production site load test requires. We believe that such drills are a positive side-benefit of load testing. We have all heard stories of Web sites crashing under heavy load and taking many hours, or even days, to bring their system back.

Practicing system back-ups and recovery following a major load is an extremely important component of Web site preparedness. A load test on your production site will not only show you how well your system can handle a large load, but how well and how quickly your system and crew can recover from a site crash due to overload. If there are problems with post-crash recovery, the right time to discover and fix them is during a test, not while your site is experiencing real traffic peaks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Importance Of Website Load Time

An average Web site takes 2– 3 seconds to load. According to Apdex.org, as the load time increases to 4–6 seconds, users start to get frustrated. The level of frustration and the probability of switching to another web site increases if the load time goes beyond 6 seconds. This is where web load testing comes into play and is a very important part of website monitoring.
Many sites do not directly generate revenue, unlike a retail site or travel site, but instead focus on customer service. Sites like credit card, banking, and insurance sites reduce costs, cross-sell products, and help increase customer loyalty by servicing customers online. Website transaction monitoring plays an important role here and is much needed. A poor experience directly translates into increased calls to the call center and a decrease in overall customer satisfaction.  

In the case of online trading sites, online performance is extremely critical. A delay of seconds carries the risk of huge trading losses, and an equally large litigation and regulatory risk. Not only does a technical issue (poor performance, outages, and errors) impact the direct customer or user, it can also have ripple effects.