Triaged Tester

January 24, 2009

Performance Testing

Filed under: General,Performance — Triaged Tester @ 7:12 am

Performance tests deal with how well a set of functions or operations work, rather than how they work as in feature tests. Whether a performance test passes or fails depends on whether the specific set of functions or operations deliver the functionality in a performing way. The performance release criteria of the product have to be validated with tests categorized as performance tests. 


Since the performance tests need to reveal the true performance nature of the product, the test code that needs to measure the performance needs to be clean and lean.  In other words, one needs to be careful not to introduce any overhead that is not related to the product’s true functionality.  Validation, error check need to be done in a way that should not affect the true performance measurement of the product.


Reporting on a performance test is far more demanding than from a feature test. A report on the performance results need to not only report on whether the performance tests pass or fail based on a specific set of criteria, but also need to have detailed information in order for developer or reader to digest how the performance characteristic is. The results analysis and data interpretation is of significant importance to a performance test.  This needs to be handled with great care.


Performance test need to be clear on:

1.)  What is the objective of the test? What for, why do you want to do it?

2.)  What are the key primitives/actions that the test is targeted to?

3.)  How is it related to release criteria/customer impact?

4.)  What are the performance metrics that are meaningful to this operation, e.g. latency, throughput?

5.)  What bottlenecks would be identified for the tests?

6.)  What is the clear context under which this test is conducted? Single user or multiple concurrent users?

7.)  Resource utilization: CPU, DiskI I/Os, memory consumption, network throughput/usage…

8.)  The environment parameters in which the results obtained? Large customer sets/data center?

What is the hardware used?


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