Saturday, February 3, 2024

Performance Testing - What to Know Before User Behavior and Traffic Pattern?


This blog post is in series of 100 Days of Skilled Testing.  I see, I do not have to pick every questions asked in this series.  I pick and share to which I see, I can add value.

The twelfth question from the season two of 100 Days of Skilled Testing, is:

What strategies do you use to simulate realistic user behavior and traffic patterns when conducting performance tests?

The twelfth question asked is vague and it needs to be refined for preciseness to pick it up and continue.

The Question and the Gap

I see the below are missing in the above asked question:

  1. What aspect of performance is under evaluation?
  2. What is the system that is being evaluated for a performance's aspect?
  3. What part of the system is being evaluated for a performance's aspect?
    • Queuing? Messaging? Database I/O? Memory? Space? CPU? Client Performance? Functional Module?
  4. Who are the users?  What are their personas?
  5. How and where the users are accessing the system?
  6. What is the context of users accessing this system?
  7. What is the geo location of users who are accessing this system?
  8. How long these users are connected by accessing this system?
  9. Are there any differences among these users in their roles and privileges in accessing this system?
  10. Can the user access system through multiple interfaces?
  11. Are you assuming the user is on web browser and mobile apps to access this system?
  12. Is this system you are referring to, is a software system? Or any other system that is controlled environment like - access door, elevators, etc. ?
  13. You are asking to simulate the user behavior and traffic pattern.  Should I assume, I and you know or agree to any volume of user?  And, all these users are here for the same purpose when accessing the system?
  14. Are you considering any time or at a particular time when talking about the traffic pattern?
  15. Are there any unrealistic users who is accessing your system?  You say 'realistic user'.
    • Do you see that bots and non-human are also allowed as a user in your traffic?
  16. Have you evaluated this earlier in your system?
    • If yes, do you have the history and data for user behavior and traffic pattern?
    • If you don't have, do you allow to use or have your competitor's user behavior and traffic pattern data? 
  17. What is the tech stack of your system?
    • What part of your tech stack, you want to evaluate with this user behavior and traffic pattern?
  18. What is the architecture of your system?
  19. What part of your system and its architecture is being evaluated with this user behavior and traffic pattern?
  20. Are you running this exercise for the first time?  If not, where I can refer to previous exercises?
  21. How the interaction and events are handled from its start to completion?
    • What all are needed to complete the transaction in work flow?
    • How this transaction can go invalid for lack or incorrect data, state and action?
  22. What is spike, drop, saturation, expected, unexpected, and average numbers in the traffic coming in?
  23. What do you understand by traffic?  Do you mean number of requests coming in?
    • Do you mean the being committed I/O operations?
    • Do you mean the response received at the other end?
    • What is the definition of 'traffic' in this context?
  24. What is that you want to study and evaluate by the User Behavior and Traffic Pattern information gathered in this context?

Using the above questions, I will get an idea to proceed.

I will build a model from information I collect using above asked questions.  This model we will used to further in testing for a performance's aspect.  The value added to the performance test depends on this model as well.  To get a better model in context, it is useful to address the gaps.  From here, I start to think further.

What do you ask and look for when building a model for User Behavior and Traffic Pattern?

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