Saturday, August 25, 2007

Model Workloads for Performance Testing: FIBLOTS

This is the third installment of a currently unknown number of posts about heuristics and mnemonics I find valuable when teaching and conducting performance testing.
Other posts about performance testing heuristics and mnemonics are:
For years, I have championed the use of production logs to create workload models for performance testing. During the same period, I've been researching and experimenting with methods to quickly create "good enough" workload models without empirical data that increase the value of the performance tests. I recently realized that these two ideas are actually complimentary, not exclusionary, and that with or without empirical usage data from production logs, I do the same thing, I:
While the play on words makes this mnemonic particularly memorable, I'm not saying that I just make it up. Rather the acronym represents the following guideword heuristics that have served me well in deciding what to include in my workload models over the years.
  • Frequent: Common application usage.
  • Intensive: i.e. Resource hogging activities.
  • Business Critical: Even if these activities are both rare and not risky
  • Legal: Stuff that will get you sued or not paid.
  • Obvious: Stuff that is likely to earn you bad press
  • Technically Risky: New technologies, old technologies, places where it’s failed before, previously under-tested areas
  • Stakeholder Mandated: Don’t argue with the boss (too much).
Scott Barber
Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus, Inc.

Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
Author, Web Load Testing for Dummies
Contributing Author, Beautiful Testing, and How To Reduce the Cost of Testing

"If you can see it in your mind...
     you will find it in your life."

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