A New Approach to Load Testing is Required for the Web 2.0 World
Today’s complex, composite web applications are a combination of original and third-party content and shared services which are assembled in the browser on the fly. The variety of browsers and the range of devices that the browser may be running on — desktop, tablet or smartphone — increase complexity.
Customer expectations for website performance are at an all-time high. Shoppers expect your web site load time to be two seconds or less and 58 percent of mobile users expect application performance on their mobile devices to be the same as or better than on a PC.
There are three different types of load testing products available today: Load Testing 1.0, Load Testing 1.5 and Load Testing 2.0. See the illustration below to understand how only one of them addresses all of the needs of Web 2.0 applications.
1.0 Load Testing products don’t test your entire web application.
Traditional load testing, commonly known as Load Testing 1.0, is an older style of load testing usually found in expensive test beds inside the firewall. These labs were built by duplicating production architecture to test copies of internal IT services at scale and are very useful for “unit testing” internal components. However, the goal of load testing in the world of multi-tier web applications is to assure the total end-user web experience, and it needs to address the entire web application delivery chain. Load Testing 1.0 products miss any significant issues that happen outside your firewall — where your revenue comes from.
Load Testing 1.5 products have some advantages, but they don’t go far enough.
The next generation of web-site load testing products, known as Load Testing 1.5 products, are similar to Load Testing 1.0 systems, but they are deployed from the cloud. These products are good for generating load on demand, but they still do not test the entire web application delivery chain. They also do not test from your end users’ perspective and cannot detect a variety of problems that affect your customers.
Only Load Testing 2.0 solutions detect problems across the entire web application delivery chain.
Load Testing 2.0 solutions provide for complete web transaction testing. They are set up and configured, and run on demand through self-service features that even a novice can readily manage. Because it is Software as a Service (SaaS), there’s no need for costly hardware and software investments or expensive consulting engagements. With 2.0 solutions, you can:
- ensure web and mobile applications scale under load
- identify web and mobile application performance problems before release
- reduce the risks often associated with web and mobile application and infrastructure changes
- identify performance problems caused by third-party content and services
- start testing quickly and easily, and achieve rapid payback.
A major benefit of Load Testing 2.0 is you can now test from your customers’ perspective. Since your customers are distributed across the Internet, the key to getting their perspective comes from using a “last mile” testing network. While establishing a large (e.g., tens of thousands) global last mile network of on-demand desktop browsers is beyond any individual load test lab, Load Testing 2.0 SaaS providers leverage their established global desktop monitoring networks to provide geographic load testing.
For stress and base-lining load tests, last mile users are layered on top of a high-volume set of test users reliably generated from cloud-computing hosts. In this way, Load Testing 2.0 solutions deliver all the benefits and more of Load Testing 1.5 products.
Because Load Testing 2.0 is powered by both reliable high-volume sources combined with globally distributed last mile desktops that provide the end-user perspective, you get consistent results with accurate desktop measurements for each geography.
Load testing from your customer’s point of view is the only method to assure you can detect problems before your customers do. Gomez Web Load Testing is a Load Testing 2.0 solution that tests from the “outside in” – where your customers are. Gomez Web Load Testing finds problems across the entire web application delivery chain, eliminating blind spots and ensuring the success of your initiatives.