Every business’ hope is that their customer base will grow. But that means that the software needs to grow with it. Scalability testing ensures that an application can handle the projected increases in user traffic, transaction counts and frequency, and data volume. It tests the system, network, processes, and databases ability to meet a growing need. If you have increased traffic, you don’t want increased wait times to go along with it. Often part of performance engineering, scalability testing lets you know at what point in your growth you will need to add additional hardware or potentially make software adjustments. Scalability testing can also refer to how an application scales when it is deployed on larger systems, or as more systems are added to it.
The goal of scalability testing is to identify the point during the scale-up the system performance is degraded due to data transfer increases, traffic, or workload. Databases are a good example of potential scalability issues. If your database has a caching tier, what happens if the size of that cache expands exponentially? Indexing issues often arise as well. As the database grows, so does the time it takes to perform searches. Scalability testing may point out the need to change hardware or software operations, but it may also point out the need for schedule maintenance on certain parts of the system in order to keep it running efficiently.
A proper scalability plan and sufficient performance metrics gathered during the execution of that plan are vital for understanding what is happening to the infrastructure. These kind of tests are best performed using tools suited for them, and people who know the finer details of this kind of testing. QA Mentor’s QA Performance and Capacity Planning service, as well as our QA Performance Engineering & Optimization can help you determine how well your system will scale with your imminent growth. . We can point you to exactly how many transactions you can process per day, hour, or even per second before the site begins to exhibit stress. We can then work with you to fix the performance issues and make sure your site is ready for production, and ready for the growth of your company.