Seven benefits of service virtualization for performance testing

What is the initial understanding of the value of a service virtualization solution for a performance tester?


Perhaps it has never been a requirement to “stub out” anything before. Perhaps the performance team has just started out in performance testing and hasn’t hit any major roadblocks in its work yet. One thing is certain, performance testers face challenges that pose a serious threat to the success of every application development effort. If there is no plan for overcoming these issues, the result will be project delays, budget overruns, or even total system failure in production.

Service virtualization addresses these challenges:

  • Avoid accidental interface overload. If you are unaware of the back-end system calls during a load test, it’s very easy to unintentionally send high-throughput traffic (similar to a denialofservice (DOS) attack) to an external system to which you have no permission to be testing. Virtualizing those third-party or external service calls with HP Service Virtualization is a safer solution, and it will help keep your partners safe also.
  • Begin performance testing earlier in the lifecycle. Contemporary agile methodologies require that you start performance testing the first components built during the first sprint of development, before any other components have been completed. This means complete transactions are impossible to include in an early performance test. HP Service Virtualization is a critical enabler to allow you to get started with performance testing from the first sprint.
  • Prevent late-night performance testing schedules. Often performance testing environments are only available for load testing in off-peak hours, where no other critical business functions or transactions would be disrupted. This is very disruptive and troubling to the performance testing team, especially if they are trying to pair up with Agile developers and SCRUM. Virtualizing those database or mainframe sources can enable you to run tests during normal business hours, avoiding the additional overtime or after-hours costs, and allowing schedule alignment with development.
  • Overcome budgetary limitations for lab resources. When the performance lab budget is tight, there are always some secondary components for the system that are nice to have, but not absolutely required; by virtualizing those components of the system you can eliminate those costs. The performance test accuracy will be preserved for the main components of the application system that are proprietary, self-built, customized, and most important.
  • Avoid performance test work stoppage. At times during a performance test, you may hit a minor defect with a subcomponent of the system, which can hinder testing the performance of the full end-to-end transaction. By quickly virtualizing those erroneous components or services, performance testing can continue as if the defect or bottleneck was already resolved. Project timelines and release schedules can often be met, with a critical patch or fix to be released shortly after the go-live date.
  • Improve performance testing analysis and prediction. It is common to find performance tests that include very unpredictable external service response times, thus preventing any accurate extrapolation of test results. By virtualizing those services consistently and with repeatable, predictable service emulation, you can repeat performance tests with exact conditions and greatly enhance the accuracy of your extrapolations and predictions of performance.
  • Reduce performance test complexity. Performance test design for modern systems can become so complex with so many interdependent components that you might not know where to even start your performance test. By virtualizing the majority of the sub-components, you can begin your testing with just a small subset of services or components and gradually increase the scope of your testing with each sprint.

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About the Author
Manuel Rubio is the EMEA lead for HP Autonomy's Sales Business Solution and is a member of the EMEA Autonomy Management team. In this role, ...

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