Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Article

Continuous Performance Validation | @CloudExpo #DevOps #IoT #BigData

Today, user experience is crucial to an application's success

Achieving Continuous Performance Validation with Synthetic Users

In most modern development groups, there's a big focus on creating code that works. The idea goes that in more traditional, waterfall approaches, errors in code that aren't fixed until late in the cycle are much more expensive to resolve due to unintended consequences. Today, some groups practice test-driven development as a way to ensure that code is always functional while others work with short agile sprints where all code produced must be usable in the field by the end of each sprint.

There's a common understanding about what it means for a coding task to be "done." Yet, often this "doneness" is only a measure of functionality - not necessarily usability.

Today, user experience is crucial to an application's success, and that goes well beyond what color your button is or how prominently a call-to-action is placed. Users leave your site if pages don't load fast enough or if the site simply feels sluggish when compared with your competitors' sites.

The question is: is there a process for validating that your app is performing up to your customers' expectations and have that process treat performance testing with the same amount of rigor as functional testing?

Yes. It's called Continuous Performance Validation.

Defining Continuous Performance Validation
Continuous Performance Validation is the process of continuously testing, monitoring and improving performance at every stage of the application development lifecycle, from development to production, utilizing automated and collaborative tooling.

The heart of this process is a set of performance test scenarios that sit alongside more traditional functional unit tests. These tests, in conjunction with performance SLAs that can be placed on the task board as inputs to the development process itself, give you a library of performance unit tests that you can mix and match in a number of interesting ways.

As the building blocks of Continuous Performance Validation, these elements let you form long chains of specific behavior to use as test scenarios, mimicking how users actually use your app. These transactions should be used in every phase of the application development lifecycle - development, pre-production, and production - to proactively test and monitor performance across environments.

Before code is released, these scenarios can be pieced together to analyze how load and stress impact your app in different ways. That information can be fed to Operations for infrastructure and capacity planning purposes. Meanwhile, in production, those same scenarios can be executed to see if performance trends in reality match what was predicted in test. Problems can be identified, sent back to dev & test so that issues can be patched quickly.

Synthetic Users: The Key to Continuity
Continuous Performance Validation depends on the idea of creating synthetic users that can move through the app just like real users. Throughout the synthetic users' journeys, they gather metrics on performance and the end user experience.

As part of your continuous integration process, you can continually validate the overall performance of the system by building automated scenarios and plugging them into various stages of the dev process, executed by synthetic users.

In development, synthetic users execute transactions through unit tests that can validate localized performance requirements of key systems. They can fulfill a pre-planned test requirement, similar to TDD, and they can protect against regressions as code changes.

In pre-production, synthetic users can be thrown out from the cloud for truly distributed and georealistic load testing across the entire system. These users traverse various paths through the application and help to define the scalability and geographical contours of your application's distributed user base.

In production, synthetic users operate alongside real users. They navigate the system and exercise the same user paths you have already tested. But instead of sending out millions of them, you only need to send out a few, which gather metrics about performance and availability at particular moments in time and tell you if there is going to be a problem. Synthetic users validate that your performance is up to par and give you insight as to where it is not.

Conclusion
Continuous Performance Validation is a powerful process for apps that need to perform. By putting it in place, you won't be treating performance as an afterthought. Performance testing will be directly integrated into your standard process of development, making performance part of everyone's job description and everyone's responsibility.

Want to learn more? Check out our webinar on Continuous Performance Validation in Agile Development.

Photo Credit: Bicentennial Man (1999) from 1492 Pictures, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Laurence Mark Productions

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...