Case Study: Load Testing

A client had developed a custom on-line auction site that was experiencing rapid growth.  The site already had hundreds of users who monitored several auctions simultaneously. The client wanted to know if the site’s infrastructure could support the increased load and asked Stonemill to help. 

There was no single “typical user.”  Instead there were 4-5 different types of users several different actions.  The challenge was to create a load test that simulated a realistic “load profile” to enable the development team to monitor infrastructure loads as user volume increased.

Stonemill brought the tools, process and people to develop a realistic load test scenario.  Based on user scenarios provided by the client, we developed automated test scripts to simulate the user’s behavior on the site.  By combining the various test scripts and executing them simultaneously, Stonemill was able to quickly ramp up the site’s infrastructure to peak volume.  This allowed the development team to observe the site under high-stress conditions and look for weaknesses/bottlenecks.

Using the Stonemill-developed automated test scripts, the client was able to develop a process for load/stress testing its system at any projected user load.  This enabled the client to benchmark performance data and validate against those benchmarks at every major release.