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Tim Hinds

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Continuous Performance Validation | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #ContinuousDelivery

Evaluate the continuous performance validation process

If you've been following along with the happenings here at Neotys, you know that we've recently pioneered Continuous Performance Validation (CPV), a process that enables teams to produce faster applications, deliver new features and enhancements in less time and simplify interactions across Dev, QA, Ops and business stakeholders.

Whenever a company presents a new concept to the industry, you might be inclined to only think of it as the next batch of marketing mumbo jumbo designed to sell you software you don't need. While it's wise to remain skeptical of burgeoning initiatives, it's also wise to, at the very least, explore concepts for yourself to determine if they could potentially improve your testing activities and application's performance.

While some of you may have already looked into Continuous Performance Validation, we'd like to take this opportunity to discuss the concept in more detail and explain why it works for organizations using process and practices like agile, DevOps, continuous integration, continuous development, and automated testing.

Hopefully, this article will allow you to sufficiently evaluate the Continuous Performance Validation process and the potential benefits it can provide to both your testing team and organization as a whole.

At Its Core, What Is Continuous Performance Validation?
Let's start by breaking down the phrase: what is performance validation and why should you do it continuously?

Performance validation involves checking the performance at every stage to prove that the performance is at the level you desire (this level being your predetermined SLAs). Validation requires that performance is meeting or exceeding the levels you previously set.

Continuous performance validation requires that teams test, monitor and improve performance at every stage of the application development lifecycle, from development to production, utilizing automated and collaborative tooling.

User expectations of application performance have never been higher. As a result, it is absolutely essential for organizations to validate performance continuously throughout the SDLC. Doing so will allow for the early identification and rectification of coding errors and other performance issues that can become much more expensive and bothersome to resolve later in the cycle.

How to Successfully Conduct Continuous Performance Validation
At the foundation of Continuous Performance Validation lies building blocks, or a set of performance test scenarios that sit alongside more traditional functional unit tests. Starting with components tests at the API level and progressing to system-wide business use cases that mimic how users actually use your app, these testing scenarios can be utilized throughout the development process so you can evaluate performance early and often, all along the way.

Development Stage:

During this stage, optimize individual components to test. Utilize a performance testing tool like NeoLoad to test API, web services and microservices - even if your app doesn't have a GUI yet. NeoLoad will help you integrate with a CI server, enabling the execution of performance unit tests on every build. This will not only allow you to spot performance regressions early, but it will also ensure that service-level agreements are met in each build.

Pre-Production Stage:

Here, also using NeoLoad, conduct system-wide testing with realistic conditions. You can leverage your unit test library to build more complex scenarios that include network virtualization and device/browser simulation. With Neotys' hybrid cloud load generation platform, you also have the ability to add a layer of geographic realism to your tests.

Production Stage:

In production, you'll want to validate performance for live users. With NeoSense, you can proactively monitor service-level agreements 24×7, run synthetic users alongside real users and monitor for the same test cases you used in pre-preproduction.

Throughout the Lifecycle:

With these load testing and performance monitoring tools, you will be able to collaborate throughout the entire software development lifecycle. Collaboration capabilities include:

  • Neotys Team Server for sharing designs and results
  • Reusable test scenario components
  • Exportable reports
  • Shareable dashboards
  • Notifications to 3rd party tools

Continuous Performance Validation is a powerful process for web and mobile applications that need to perform. If you'd like to start delivering faster application and new features in less time, join us for our live webinar on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. ET: 3 Keys to Continuous Performance Validation: Automate, Collaborate, Reuse

More Stories By Tim Hinds

Tim Hinds is the Product Marketing Manager for NeoLoad at Neotys. He has a background in Agile software development, Scrum, Kanban, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Testing practices.

Previously, Tim was Product Marketing Manager at AccuRev, a company acquired by Micro Focus, where he worked with software configuration management, issue tracking, Agile project management, continuous integration, workflow automation, and distributed version control systems.