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Testing for Scalability

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Careful planning and development are necessary for any application development project. However, to make a truly scalable application, it is important to rigorously and regularly test it for scalability problems. Scalability testing is an extension of performance testing. The purpose of scalability testing is to identify major workloads and mitigate bottlenecks that can impede the scalability of the application.

Use performance testing to establish a baseline against which you can compare future performance tests. As an application is scaled up or out, a comparison of performance test results will indicate the success of scaling the application. When scaling results in degraded performance, it is typically the result of a bottleneck in one or more resources.

When your application does not meet performance requirements, you should analyze data from the test results to identify bottlenecks in the system and to hypothesize a cause. Sometimes the test data is not sufficient to form a hypothesis, and you must run additional tests using other performance-monitoring tools to isolate the cause of the bottleneck.

Identify bottlenecks using tools such as Windows Task Manager, Windows Performance Monitor, and the Component Services administrative tool. You can often alleviate bottlenecks through performance tuning. The goal of tuning code, the operating system, or even the hardware on which it is running is to optimize the allocation of resources. Overcoming some bottlenecks usually requires more expense and some bottlenecks cannot be overcome or do not warrant the expense. In every application, you will always reach a limit that you cannot overcome due to time, money, or technology.

See Also

Scalability | Testing for Performance | Microsoft Application Center Test 1.0, Visual Studio .NET Edition