One of the first questions from your customers about whatever product you develop is inevitably going to be “How does it perform?” Does it launch fast? How many simultaneous users does it support? Does it open web pages fast? Does it download files fast? What’s its transfer rate? How long does it take to scroll through a document? How fast does it run ten thousand calculations? There are a hundred different ways to ask the question, but ultimately, it comes down to the performance of your product.
NTS can perform testing to evaluate the performance of your product. Benchmarking, load/stress testing and scalability all fall under the umbrella of performance testing. Performance and benchmark testing typically includes evaluating a hardware or software product to determine how effective it is at performing its functionality, whatever that may be. For example, a graphics adapter can be measured in frames per second in a popular game, number of smooth shaded triangles per second or similar measures. Comparing the performance of multiple products against each other typically falls under the heading of "competitive analysis testing."
Load and/or stress testing typically deals with testing a product to verify that it functions correctly when many users (virtual and/or real users) are using your product simultaneously. Load and stress testing allows you to discover the maximum performance for your product or to uncover anomalies or instabilities that may only become apparent over an extended period of time or under high usage, such as memory leaks. Testing can be performed on software products like database software, web server software, etc. Even applications like word processors and spreadsheets can be load/stress tested to uncover memory leaks, etc. that may only appear over time.
Scalability testing is an off-shoot of load/stress testing and typically deals with how many theoretical users a product can support. For example, how many users a particular server configuration with a specific operating system, database, and website can support. This is especially important for complex websites. You need to make sure that all your bottlenecks have been cleared up before your users start hammering away on your website.
As an independent testing lab, NTS is tool-agnostic, allowing us to use the tool most appropriate for the particular test needs (e.g., functionally, financially, goals, etc.). NTS maintains key relationships with various test tool vendors, allowing NTS to exercise the industry's leading high-end software stress and load testing tools on a term licensing basis (e.g., the products are licensed for use on each project based upon the duration of the project and the number of virtual users emulated). Term licensing allows smaller companies the opportunity to test on a one-time basis using highly respected (and very expensive) test tools and also affords larger companies an opportunity to evaluate whether or not the tool meets their needs before purchase.
Testing can be performed with custom test scripts using tools including: IBM Rational Visual Test, Rational Robot, HP WinRunner, HP LoadRunner, RadView WebLOAD, Borland SilkTest, and other tools. If the right tool isn't available to test your product, we can also discuss developing a test tool to assist you in assessing the performance of your product.
Updated March 4, 2015