Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, John Basso, Pat Romanski, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, IoT User Interface, Agile Computing, Apache

Microservices Expo: Article

Case Study: Preventing Site Outages During the Holiday Rush

Performance testing in advance of trigger points can save your customer relations

This time of year, many companies are now in the process of conducting web load testing in advance of the holidays. In this article, you'll learn details on how a large online retailer conducted web load testing in advance of the holiday spike in traffic - and they're moving into the holiday season more confidently than ever.

Why This ‘Retailer' Came to Compuware
As a leading retailer of personalized gifts, it needed to ensure that its website would be ready for the 2012 holidays. Despite load testing its site last year with a different vendor, The Retailer experienced several outages during peak traffic, costing them significant revenue. Great customer experiences and relationships are very important to this Retailer - both in-store and online. However, as a result of the site outages, customer relationships were impacted both online and in its brick and mortar locations.

In order to provide its customers with great experiences, and protect its reputation, the Retailer's online store has to not only provide a great shopping experience, but also withstand the traffic spikes caused by seasonal upswings, events and promotions. Since performance directly impacts the business, much is riding on the performance of its website during the critical holiday season.

Understandably, leery of promises about ensuring scalability after last years' experience, the Retailer contacted Compuware to engage services to deploy its Gomez 360o Web Load Testing solution which was selected based on three key factors:

  • Enough Load could be generated from enough locations to thoroughly stress its system;
  • Real browser technology for the agents would ensure the most realistic testing and problem identification; and
  • The diagnostic capabilities of dynaTrace's PurePath technology would show the root cause of any problem

The Retailer utilized Compuware Professional services in order to have an independent third-party that would help them design a test plan to re-create issues, not just prove that the system worked.

With Gomez 360o Web Load Testing, each transaction performed during load testing was traced. In addition, all of the diagnostic information correlated into load test reports so there was complete visibility into how applications behaved under load. Armed with this information, the Retailer identified any problems in both proprietary code as well as third-party code.

Retailer's Plan of Attack

  • Test from the end-user perspective using last mile, real browsers and less than ideal Internet speeds.
  • Test the production system during least use in the middle of the night giving a four hour test window with normal peaks lasting approximately 10 hours
  • Calculate load volume based on highest hourly historical activity - then multiply the test window by 2.5 to obtain a 10 hour peak.

Results
The Retailer's site could handle the peak load but not for the allotted four hours. The analysis revealed multiple root causes of instability including:

  • Load balancer issues
  • Gateway errors
  • SQL issues
  • JVM Issues

Reconfiguring the load balancer solved the site crashes while code changes optimized certain queries. JVM optimization was taken care of by forcing garbage collection more frequently.

The quality and speed of the Retailer's website is now on par to provide exceptional user experiences for their e-commerce customers, aligning it with the caliber of in-store service that is expected. The Retailer was also able to reduce testing iterations and cycle time with proactive problem resolution and prevention and validate that the website architecture is performing properly for maximum scalability under peak load.

Actionable data is easily provided to their outsourced development vendor. This not only gives the vendor a deep, code level view in order to quickly fix and optimize the application code, but relations between the vendor and the retailer are greatly improved since the data eliminates finger pointing.

The Retailer is confident it will not have a repeat of last year's outages and its site will perform optimally during peak traffic periods throughout the holiday season.

To learn how performance testing in advance of trigger points can save your customer relations, attend our live webcast with Forrester's Peter Wannemacher on Thursday, Nov. 15.

More Stories By Laura Strassman

Laura Strassman has more than 20 years of experience in product management and marketing in the technology space, and has focused extensively in the application performance area. At SmartBear, she is responsible for technical content strategy and programs for AlertSite UXM, the company’s industry-leading user experience and performance monitoring platform. Prior to SmartBear, Strassman held positions at companies in the application performance, digital video, speech recognition and software development tool markets.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...