Performance Testing – A Simple Plan

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

Test platform?
*Number of machines
*Machine specs
*Network spec

Test Application?
*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.


Boy it’s quiet round here, eh? I am snowed under by a combination of work, domesticity and online flash games. Oh, and apathy. But mostly flash games.

I’m currently pondering switching over to a somewhat longer post once per week. I’ve the feeling this would be a lot less work than either a) my previous near-daily posts, and b) my current nothingness (because the guilt, she weighs heavy). In the meantime, go play a flash game.

Memory test

From the BBC:

“Reducing what you eat by nearly a third may improve memory, according to German researchers.”

They half-starved these folks, then asked them what they had for tea last night. Turns out they could remember every last detail.

Ballot Writing

There’s a recount going on in the Minnesota Senatorial race between Norman Coleman (R) and Alan Franken (D). The vote highlights the inadequacy of much of the US voting system – the variability of the voting methods used means that if this was a science experiment they’d have to give a margin of error. That’s fine in a poll, but not in the actual election, so the theoretical ‘best’ result would be a do-over (a race I suspect Coleman would win).

Anyway, both sides are challenging ballots because of assorted flaws. Perhaps the most impressive challenge is from the Coleman camp, who have challenged a ballot because it contained the text “Thank you for counting my vote!“. That might technically be grounds for rejecting it, but morally I’d say not, especially as I’ve written the same thing on my ballot before now (and having counted ballots as well, I wouldn’t have hesitated to let it through).