I was asked to outlline what I’d expect someone to decide before they started a performance test exercise. A quick look at StickyMinds shows this document, which looks very good. It is, however, 8 pages long, which is about 7.5 pages longer than I need if my target audience is going to bother with it. Here, then, is my simplified version. Slightly cryptic, perhaps, but workable (at least for a web server, which is what we’re dealing with).
*Performance Test – see what it will do
*Stress Test – see the most it will do
*Load Test – see what happens when it does more than that
*Sizing – Guide to customers on hardware requirements
*Number of machines
*Low complexity to concentrate on platform
*High complexity to simulate real-life loads
*Think times emphasize load or real-life use.
Finally, how will results be measured?
*Throughput (or equivalents)
*Constraints (e.g. is app under test memory bound, CPU bound, network bound)
*Recommended hardware – e.g. X users per Y GB of memory and Z GHz of processor.