No More System Testing Required
Overheard an IT Director/Manager recently discussing the successfully completed project. He casually mentioned that he would no longer have to do the continuous load testing that was required throughout the development process. He was hoping to save money and reduce his staffing requirements.
Is there ever a good time to stop testing you systems?
The IT Team worked diligently to ensure that the new applications were more than capable of handling the expected workload once they were placed into production. Everything is working great at the moment. The question is: Is it safe to assume that it will always continue to function at a peak performance level?
Let’s take a few minutes and consider the answer to that question.
We all know that Computer Hardware Systems are continually improving which means getting faster, smaller and smarter. An adept IT Director will always be looking for ways that hardware improvements can make the application systems run more efficiently and effectively. The key here is to decide if you can rely on that new hardware to automatically be faster and to perform better than the current hardware. Load Testing would provide the tools required to determine if you have configured the new hardware for maximum performance and if your application is configured correctly to take full advantage of the new hardware.
Existing hardware systems have a tendency to experience a decrease in performance after extended periods of use. The key to keeping the customers happy is to ensure that, as IT Director/Manager, you know where the system is aging satisfactorily and where it is aging prematurely. Once again, it is ‘Load Testing to the Rescue’. A quality load testing solution will indicate where the systems are in order and where they are failing.
Many IT Departments are making the transition to using the ‘Cloud’ for their processing requirements. Using an Elastic Architecture allows your system to grow and to shrink according to your data usage. As with your On-Premise hardware, Load Testing would provide the tools required to determine if you have configured the ‘Cloud’ Infrastructure for maximum performance and if your application is configured correctly to take full advantage of the benefits provided by the ‘Cloud’.
So, from a hardware perspective can it be justified to toss aside the investment in a quality load testing solution? Or does the investment still offer a return on investment that costs less to maintain than to suffer the indignation of a system failure?
Data Volume Changes
There is no question that any ‘For Profit’ business is looking to grow and increase the return to the stock holders. Growth of the business is essential. Business Growth brings with it additional usage and volume of data within the application systems.
As customers increase and sales orders increase, it means that purchasing must increase and inventory must increase. The increase in the volumes of data means that the performance of the application systems will diminish in a direct relationship.
This would not be a good time to be without the ability to conduct scheduled load tests that can play a large role in identifying the reduction in performance and the relationship to increased volumes of data.
Another way of growing the business is to acquire other existing companies and operations. In most cases there is a merger of the application systems. This obviously has an impact on system performance.
The number of users automatically increases following an acquisition. Increased users has an impact on virtually every aspect of the IT infrastructure.
As part of the process of merging companies into a single application system, load tests should be performed to accurately determine the size and configuration of the system prior to the scheduled move to production.
While it might be a relief to no longer have to pay for the load testing software and manage the staff, there is really no good justification to let your license expire and hope that your application systems and hardware configurations will continue to function at the peak level that you demanded in the beginning.
You don’t want to allow yourself to experience the devastation of having your production system unexpectedly brought to its knees because you did not want to pay the fee for load testing software maintenance.
There are many factors that will inevitably lead to a reduction in the performance levels that made your project successful. Continuing to place your system under scheduled load tests will ensure that there are no surprises and will allow you to be proactive in maintaining those systems.
I have not seen that IT Director/Manager in the social circles recently. Makes one kind of wonder. . . . .?