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Performance Testing 101: Business Process Profiles and Server Configuration Profiles

This is the fifth installment in a multi-part series to address the basics of performance testing applications. It’s for the beginner, but it is also for the experienced engineer to share with project team members when educating them on the basics as well. Project Managers, Server Team members, Business Analysts, and other roles can utilize this information as a guide to understanding performance testing process, the typical considerations, and how to get started when you have never embarked on such a journey.

This time around, we are going to introduce the concept of creating Business Process Profiles and Server Configuration Profiles to help you organize and prioritize business processes used for automation, as well as documenting the server resources for the system under test.

Business Process Profiles

Below is a helpful chart called a Business Process Profile.  Use the descriptions below to help fill out the chart.

  • Business Process – Use a descriptive name for the process.
  • Number of Concurrent Users – If known enter the number of peak concurrent users.  During peak usage how many users are concurrently executing this business process?  Typically this is anywhere from 1/10th to 1/30th  of the total peak hourly volume.
  • Peak number of Iterations per Hour – Is the total peak hourly volume for the business process as a whole.  For example 500 POs are created in the peak hour.  Out of all the values collected in the Profile this is considered the keystone of the calculating total load.  A helpful guideline is that a typical user can perform anywhere from 10 to 30 business processes per hour.
  • Business Critical – Please indicate Low (L), Medium (M), or High (H) for how critical this process is to the business.
  • Process Intensive – Please indicate Low (L), Medium (M), or High (H) for how intensive this process is on the application.
  • Business Process Complexity – Please indicate Low (L), Medium (M), or High (H) for how complex this process is.  This will help to determine script complexity.  For example, does the business process require workflow or require data from another business process?  Does it take the users a large number of steps to complete?  If so then the complexity might be high.
  • Key Performance Indicator – What kind of response time is expected for each step of this transaction?  For example, all steps should take under 5 seconds.
  • Special Data Requirements – Does this process require special data?  For example does it require data from another process?  Does it require unique data like SSN?
  • Notes – Is there any additional information that might be helpful to determine scripting?

Download Chart >> Business Process Profile Chart

Server configuration

The next step in planning considers the system under test.  This will help determine monitors and possibly scripting requirements.  Below is the chart to detail the system configuration:

  • Server Type – Examples are Web, Application, Database, Load Balancer, Central Instance, Dialog Instance, Web Dispatcher, etc…
  • Quantity – How many of this type of server are there?
  • OS – Operating system the server is using.  Please include details such as edition and 64bit.
  • CPU’s – Include type, speed, and number of cores.
  • Memory – Include amount
  • Virtual Machine – Is this server a Virtual Machine?  If so please include details on type.
  • Server Software – What software is the application using?  SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, IIS, WebSphere, etc…  Please include version number.
  • Notes – If the servers have names please include them and any additional details that may be useful for performance testing.

Download Chart>> Server Configuration Chart

In the next installment of this blog series we will outline the HP LoadRunner scenario design approach.

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