Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, IoT User Interface, 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.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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 developm...
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud: This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, showed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyone fro...
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices 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 business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
Application transformation and DevOps practices are two sides of the same coin. Enterprises that want to capture value faster, need to deliver value faster – time value of money principle. To do that enterprises need to build cloud-native apps as microservices by empowering teams to build, ship, and run in production. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Neil Gehani, senior product manager at HPE, discussed what every business should plan for how to structure their teams to delive...