Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning 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 busin...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...