Performance Testing

Unlock the Power of Continuous Performance Engineering

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Continuous Performance Engineering Perfana

With the current demand for software teams to high quality product in a timely fashion, performance is more critical than ever.


Slow, unreliable applications can lead to:

• Frustrated users
• Lost revenue
• Damaged brand reputation

This is where Performance Engineering (PE) comes in!

But first, you may be asking…

What is Performance Engineering?

Performance Engineering represents a cultural shift in how organizations view their essential processes.

As defined in the book “Effective Performance Engineering” by Todd DeCapua and Shane Evans, “Performance Engineering represents a cultural shift, in the way organizations view their essential processes. It embraces practices and capabilities that build quality and performance throughout an organization. This enables organizations to increase revenue, customer attraction and retention, brand value and competitive advantage—all while meeting and exceeding the expectations of end users.”

“Performance covers the entire lifecycle of a project and a product; I would say from the beginning to death of a project,” states Scott Moore, a well-known performance testing expert. “And as it rolls out into legacy, it should always be part of everything that you're thinking about. The days of testing performance into a product are over. It's too risky and it causes too much technical debt to go back and do it later.”

PE is a proactive approach to ensuring your software meets and exceeds performance expectations. But with the rise of Agile development and frequent releases, traditional performance testing methods simply can't keep up.

One effective strategy to address this challenge is to embrace performance engineering as an integral part of your software development life cycle (SDLC) as early as possible. In other words, Continuous Performance Engineering (CPE) becomes a game-changing strategy, seamlessly incorporating performance testing into your development cycle, where automation is the key.

Why Continuous Performance Engineering Matters

Continuous Performance Engineering (CPE) is all about catching performance issues early and often. By automating performance tests and integrating them into your CI/CD pipeline, you can identify and fix bottlenecks before they ever reach production.

This not only saves time and resources but also ensures a better user experience from day one.

Moreover, CPE enables you to:

1. Identify performance regressions quickly
2. Optimize resource usage and scalability
3. Improve system stability and resilience
4. Reduce the risk of costly performance issues in production

The main difference between performance testing and performance engineering is: while performance testing ensures systems are able to handle the projected load, performance engineering dives deeper into the system for further optimization of resource usage, resilience, scalability and stability issues”, states Dylan van Iersel, underscoring the importance of CPE.

Top Load Testing Tools for Performance | TestGuild

Implementing Continuous Performance Engineering

While the benefits of CPE are clear, implementing it can seem daunting.

That's where tools like Perfana come in.

Perfana is designed to help teams adopt CPE in an Agile environment, automating the process of identifying and addressing performance regressions swiftly.

Some key features of Perfana include:

1. Compatibility with popular load test tools like JMeter, Gatling, and K6
2. CI/CD integration with all common CI/CD platforms
3. Automated analysis for performance requirements and regressions
4. In-depth performance analysis tools for root-cause investigations

Perfana triggers your performance tests and with each test Perfana collects, visualizes and analyzes the resulting data and automatically checks whether the software meets its performance requirements. Perfana’s integration with well-known observability and APM tools such as Dynatrace, Jaeger, Tempo and Pyroscope makes finding and fixing performance defects effortless.

With Perfana, you can focus on developing great software while the tool takes care of the heavy lifting in performance testing. It's like having a performance engineer on your team, but without the added overhead.


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Integrating Performance Testing into your CI/CD

A key aspect of implementing CPE is integrating performance testing into your CI/CD pipeline.

In my opinion, there is a need for a lot more automation in the entire SDLC to avoid running performance tests only after everything is finished. And then before to go live you do a big load test and it's probably too late to react to the results appropriately.

This is why you’ll want to begin to shift-left (to use a buzz word) your performance testing efforts.

Adding performance into your CI/C pipeline is a great way to achieve this.

This integration allows you to catch performance issues early when they're easier and cheaper to fix. And as we have just seen, performance tools like Perfana offer integrations that make this process smoother.

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Create a Performance Culture

Successfully implementing CPE requires a performance-focused culture.

Performance Engineering represents a cultural shift in the way organizations view their essential processes.

Fostering this culture involves setting performance goals, providing training and resources,
and celebrating performance wins. Companies like Google, Salesforce, and Apple are known for building performance into their cultures.

Creating a performance culture is essential for successfully implementing Continuous Performance Engineering.

This involves a fundamental shift in how the entire organization thinks about and prioritizes performance.

It starts with setting clear, measurable performance goals that align with business objectives. These goals should be communicated and celebrated throughout the organization, from executives to developers to QA.

Providing training and resources is crucial to equip teams with the skills and knowledge they need to build performance into their processes.

This could include workshops, online testing courses, and access to performance testing tools. Recognizing and rewarding teams and individuals who contribute to performance improvements helps reinforce the importance of performance and encourages ongoing optimization. Regularly sharing performance metrics and customer feedback keeps performance top-of-mind and helps identify areas for improvement.

By weaving performance into the fabric of an organization's culture, from development to operations to management, a company can ensure that performance is not an afterthought but rather an integral part of how they deliver value to their customers.

If that doesn’t convince your management to create a performance culture, then let’s try a financial reason.

Self healing automation testing

The Economics of Performance Engineering

Performance engineering doesn't just improve the user experience—it directly impacts the bottom line. As Lloyd Watts mentioned in a recent TestGuild podcast episode, the economics of performance engineering can be broken down into benefits and costs.

The benefits include certification (proving to clients you can handle expected loads), performance (faster sites lead to higher conversion and revenue), and stability (avoiding costly downtime). These benefits can also be quantified. For example, improving site speed by two seconds with an estimated $2 million cost per second of delay equates to a $4 million benefit.

The costs include instances (for load testing), licenses (for performance tools), and engineering staff. Watts suggests companies typically spend 0.5-1% of their annual revenue on performance engineering.

Understanding these economics helps justify budgets and strategic decisions around tools, testing frequency, and staffing to executives. “If my benefits outweigh my costs, then I've got a positive return on investment,” states Lloyd. “And so now I had the beginning of an economic model of the benefits and costs of performance engineering.”

Continuous Performance Engineering is the Future with Perfana

By now you can hopefully see that performance is no longer an afterthought; it's a critical factor in your application's success.

By embracing Continuous Performance Engineering and leveraging tools like Perfana, you can ensure your software is always fast, reliable, and scalable.

Perfana automates performance testing, providing actionable insights and test run result analysis, which enables early identification and addressing of performance issues.

Don't wait until performance issues arise in production—start proactively testing and optimizing your application's performance today. Your users (and your bottom line) will thank you.

Try Perfana for 30 Days for FREE

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