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Why is performance testing so hard?

November 5, 2007

There are so many questions you must answer:

  1. What metrics are important to you?
  2. For each metric, how do you decide what is acceptable? Some of us may be lucky and might already have industry standards (or competitors’ standards, if they are published) to comply with, but what about the rest of us? I personally feel that the numbers more often than not are pulled out of thin air (more likely, they are educated guesses, but guesses nevertheless).
  3. How can you eliminate (reduce) other points of latency?
  4. What scale do we run the tests under? Production Level? Single Node on a dev machine? Somewhere in between?
  5. Once the framework is set up and you can run tests, how can you, in an automated fashion, tune your different metrics, to figure out what your best throughput is?

I’m sure lots of smart people in all corners of the globe face the same problems everyday. I did a quick search on Amazon to find books on Java related to this problem – came up with two books written 5 years ago, and specifically for the BEA WebLogic Server.

Thanks, but no thanks!

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