Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Plutora Blog, Ram Sonagara

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, XML, .NET, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0, Apache

SOA & WOA: 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 is a Web Load Testing Product Manager at Compuware APM.

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.


@CloudExpo Stories
Entuity®, a provider of enterprise-class network management solutions, today announced that it solidifies its position as a market leader through global enterprise customer acquisitions and a refined channel strategy. In 2014, Entuity increased new license revenues in EMEA by over 75 percent, and LATAM by over 125 percent as customers embraced Entuity for its highly automated solution and unified architecture. Entuity’s refined channel strategy focuses on even deeper strategic alignment with ke...
We are all here because we are sold on the transformative promise of The Cloud. But what good is all of this ephemeral, on-demand infrastructure if your usage doesn't actually improve the agility and speed of your business? How must Operations adapt in order to avoid stifling your Cloud initiative? In his session at DevOps Summit, Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the DTO Solutions, will highlight the successful organizational, process, and tooling patterns of high-performing c...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the ...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
At 15th Cloud Expo, Shrikant Pattathil, Executive Vice President at Harbinger Systems, demos a video delivery platform that helps you do interactive videos. He discusses how Harbinger is accomplishing it in the cloud world, the problems they faced and the choices they made to get around these problems.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
CloudBees, Inc., has announced a $23.5 million financing round, led by longtime CloudBees investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. Existing investors Matrix Partners, Verizon Ventures and Blue Cloud Ventures also participated in the round. The latest funding announcement follows earlier rounds of $4 million, $10.5 million and $10.8 million, bringing the total investment in CloudBees to just under $50 million since the company’s inception in 2010. Previous venture investment rounds were led by Ma...
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the tec...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Appcore deploys cloud for service providers based on the Apache Cloud set. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Nate Gordon, Director of Technology at Appcore, shows their new product that's coming out in January - Appcore Atlas, which is focused on deploying private clouds based on CloudStack in 15 minutes or less. Our upcoming June 9-11, 2015, event in New York City will present a total of 10 simultaneous tracks (the largest conference content in the world) by an all-star faculty, over three days...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Databricks, discussed how the zero management cost and scalability of the cloud is addressing the challenges and pain points that data engineers face when working with Big Data. He also s...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
IBM has announced a new strategic technology services agreement with Anthem, Inc., a health benefits company in the U.S. IBM has been selected to provide operational services for Anthem's mainframe and data center server and storage infrastructure for the next five years. Among the benefits of the relationship, Anthem has the ability to leverage IBM Cloud solutions that will help increase the ease, availability and speed of adding infrastructure to support new business requirements.
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, explored the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, wa...
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...