Necessity and Foresight – Real User Testing and Simulation

Necessity and Foresight – Real User Testing and Simulation

RedLine13’s (almost) Free Load Testing provides a leading cloud based load testing platform for users to understand how their site performs in stressful environments. Our nearly free platform is instrumental in getting a better understanding of a sites needs and priorities.

Understanding Necessity:

If you’ve been following our recent social media ( twitter, FB, LinkedIn ) feeds, you’ll see some great examples of why it’s important to always test!

Maintaining an online presence with a premier website is crucial for most businesses today. Whether the company is running an ecommerce site, a media organization, a general presence to strengthen the brand or an interactive means of communication, the site has to function properly. That means it must be able to withstand different loads, data requests and downloads. The best way to determine this need is to simulate different loads and different data requests on your site using the cloud.  This need is serious and has the repercussions occur often.

Take the recent example of the posting of National Public Radio’s (NPR) S-Town podcast series which was recently posted online all at once. With the knowledge of the success of the previous Serial podcasts from NPR, hundreds of thousands of users flooded the site at once to download the new content. Of course the heavy load and massive amounts of downloading crashed the system for several hours while engineers struggled to repost the site.

Similarly, when Trump won the election for President last November, a flood of US citizens visited the Canadian visa and immigration site to see how they might be able to move north. The site crashed instantly from the number of data requests. In this case, even a government site that receives regular and fairly low traffic all of a sudden received a surge that brought its system down.

Understanding these failures, and taking into consideration that they didn’t come from issues or problems with development, can humble all of us in our approach to creating reliable services for our clients.  After all, some of the most catastrophic failures happen when a site or service is providing its users with the intended function!

Foresight – Mitigating Site, App, or Cloud Service down-time:

Instead, companies can now conduct their load testing for a nominal payment, usually a few dollars for a test with tens of thousands of instances hitting your virtual site at one time. These tests are conducted in the cloud so there is no risk to your real site.  At the same time, they demonstrate the vulnerabilities and stresses. You can determine how many users it takes to bring down the site and what kind of data requests are the most stressful.

The virtual tests are conducted on Amazon Web Services in general. This is the largest, most reliable cloud storage provider so it is a good proxy for virtually every other server. Cloud based testing ensures that your on-site or permanent server is not negatively effected by the test. The cloud also is more likely to simulate the real environment of the extreme load.

Load testing is done using several different programming languages, depending on the particularities of your site. The main languages include Node.js, Python and PHP. These common and user friendly languages are easy to manipulate and customize.

At RedLine13, we go through great lengths to make sure that our service integrates easily with a variety of platforms and languages.

RedLine13’s (almost) Free Load Testing can be adjusted at-will to fit the growing needs of any company. Apache JMeter, Gatling, Selenium, and WebDriver are some of the most common tools.  These open source tools help to keep development costs down, while providing lots of flexibility. In short, one can understand the functions before even starting the testing process.

Lastly, for those that don’t yet have a site up, they can create a test site for the test load using an established API. Simply call up the type of site you expect to make and then test the different load requirements on it. This helps to determine the site infrastructure and construction before it is even created. A pre-built API is also free to use and call upon, which again helps to keep the price down.

Today, companies may conduct these virtual load tests so cheaply that it is almost negligent not to do so. Every IT department must engage in virtual load testing to make sure that they are prepared for emergencies.

For more information, please contact us.