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How to Handle the Holiday Retail Rush with Agile Performance Testing

All too often retail companies are unprepared for the holiday season, when traffic spikes put immense pressure on their applications and infrastructure. But with the right level of proactive performance testing and troubleshooting, you’ll be able to avoid dreaded downtime and ensure a great customer experience.

In our latest webinar, Apica’s own Troy Presley and Carter Ransom presented tips on how to handle agile performance testing ahead of the holiday season. A key criteria for success is timing.

Test early and often

Many retailers don’t realize that they should be load testing their websites and applications at least a few months before the holidays to ensure that several fix and test iterations are completed successfully. After all, what good is testing if you don’t have time to fix the issues?

In addition to testing early, you should run load tests consistently to ensure that any performance issues are identified and addressed before they affect the customer experience. Load testing isn’t just for the holidays—organizations stand to benefit from conducting load tests on an ongoing basis.

Three types of load tests

There are three primary types of load tests for websites and applications, all of which will help expose bottlenecks. We recommend you include all of these tests in your agile performance management practice.

Stress tests – This test continuously increases the load to determine absolute theoretical bottlenecks and breaking points for the website or application, with the test doubling the traffic each time to determine the absolute limit.

Concurrency tests – This test uses realistic traffic to find practical performance and failure limits. Concurrency tests determine actual traffic levels, both average and peak, and allow the simulation of ‘what if’ scenarios to show the effects of changes in user activity on your application.

Continuous ramp-ups – This test slowly increases traffic to find practical performance thresholds. Continuous ramp-ups are perfect for validating auto-scaling environments, and for understanding how each piece of your application and infrastructure responds to increasing numbers of users.

Want to discover more? Watch the webinar

To learn more about how to get ready for the holiday season, watch the webinar on demand. Clocking in at 30 minutes, this webinar will help you get started with agile performance testing in no time.

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