Live Load Software Testing
With consultants located around the globe, Scaled Networks helps clients maximize their IT investments within the Enterprise Facility and Property Management sectors. As summed up in their company tagline, they provide “knowledge without limits.”
But in late 2010, the firm discovered that it had reached the limits of its load testing capabilities. With a web project for a major manufacturing client nearing conclusion, Scaled Networks consultant and project manager Bronwyn Allanson searched for a credible third party that could execute real-world load testing.
"We were having some problems with the system and couldn’t determine the source of the bottlenecks," explained Bronwyn. "uTest helped us create and monitor real-world scenarios so we could see precisely where the trouble was occurring."
This case study will demonstrate how uTest helped Scaled Networks conduct a series of “Live Load” test cycles with members of its global community of software testers. Additional subject matter includes the role of uTest’s project management team; the content and quality of uTest load reports and other subjects.
Scaled Networks: Testing Goals and Objectives
As Bronwyn explained, the company was searching for a cost-effective method of mimicking the typical traffic patterns of a client’s web application. Additionally, they needed to ensure the application would function as intended while under said traffic. For this, they turned to uTest and its unique live load testing services.
With this service, a team of real testers from uTest’s community test an application simultaneously. This enables companies to monitor and measure their app's performance in real time and under real-world conditions. Unlike most load testing services, uTest can complete this process without the time, cost or specialized expertise required by synthetic load testing tools.
Having already run a user acceptance test, Scaled Networks was ready to begin their Live Load test cycle. And with the help of their uTest project manager, Bronwyn was able to get specific requirements met prior to kickoff.
"Our first requirement was that the testers be familiar with the type of application we were testing," she explained. "Our uTest Project Manager was able to find a number of people that met these criteria. From there, we made sure to invite back the same testers for each subsequent release, which was great because they were already familiar with the system."
To start, more than 30 testers signed into the application, where they would complete a series of tasks designed to replicate the actions of real users, including creating a service request, process requests and other tasks.
Test Cycle Results
With uTest’s Live Load services, cycles are typically completed with a few hours – and Scaled Networks’ project was no exception. During this time, Bronwyn and her team were able to monitor activity and gain unique insight into the application’s performance and stress tolerance.
"The platform has a lot of great tools for load testing," said Bronwyn. "Throughout the test cycle we would use the real-time discussion boards and send messages to testers who were in need of clarification. It was really helpful."
At the conclusion of each test cycle, their uTest project manager would deliver a detailed load test report in excel format, highlighting the application’s major strengths and weaknesses in terms of load capabilities.
Summary and Next Steps
Throughout the entire process – from selecting testers to defining scope – Scaled Networks would benefit from the assistance of their dedicated uTest project manager.
"Our project managers did a fantastic job of coordinating testers and making sure we were sticking to the schedule. They were always on-hand during the test cycles, helping to clarify issues with the testers. I always had the feeling that they knew what they were doing."
-- Bronwyn Allanson, Consultant, Scaled Networks
"We’re really happy with the way things turned out," said Bronwyn. "More importantly our clients are happy. I definitely see uTest playing a big role in our testing for the foreseeable future. It’s become almost like a partnership for us and I expect it to continue."