When you are serving thousands of customers through a successful SaaS product, infrastructure constraints should be the smallest thing to stop you from progressing. Many companies build fantastic products but don’t spend the required time testing their applications for scale and elasticity. This type of SaaS performance testing is important to ensure that your applications can perform well under all circumstances. If you are a budding SaaS product company and don’t have an experienced team, you can take Load testing services for SaaS but don’t skip this step while shipping your products. In this article, we will take a look at the best practices that you should follow while load-testing your SaaS products. But before that, let’s understand a bit about load testing and how SaaS products are different from regular software.
What is Load Testing?
Load testing is a type of testing where user load simulation takes place on any software. During this testing phase, continuous requests are passed to the software, which imitates real-
world scenarios. Load testing helps teams understand whether their infrastructure can handle the extreme user loads without slowing down performance and usability. Why Does SaaS Software Need Load Testing?
1. To Identify Bottlenecks
As load test uncovers how the system performs under continuous load from real-world usage, it helps you to identify the bottlenecks in your system. Whether it is a slow server in the infrastructure or a code block that takes too long for execution, load testing can help you find all the bottlenecks early on so that you can fix them before they arise in real-world situations.
2. Optimizing Resource Allocation
With load testing, you can carry out SaaS application optimization by benchmarking your infrastructure and other resource needs. There may be a chance that you have significantly overprovisioned your resources, and a lot of your resources are not being utilized even at maximum load levels. Load testing will help you identify how resources are being used and how you can optimize the resource allocation and achieve more profitability.
3. Stick to the Performance Guarantee
SaaS products are accessed over the internet, and a lot of the performance depends on the servers and not on client devices. Every user that uses a SaaS product wants the product to be performant at all times. By load-testing your SaaS products, you can identify and fix potential issues in them so that you can always guarantee the best performance. Having known about why SaaS software needs load testing, let’s find out the best practices to follow while doing this type of testing.
Load Testing Best Practices
1. Estimating Right Loads
One of the primary best practices that you should follow while load-testing your SaaS applications is to estimate the right loads. Not every SaaS application needs to be tested with millions of concurrent users. Whenever you want to load test your applications, you should first understand the target audience and how many concurrent users will be using your applications. This step will be crucial in deciding the load testing process. Once you have identified your concurrent user number, you can estimate loads in multiples. You may test your infrastructure with twice or thrice load than your expected users. Putting the right load on your systems will help you in finding the right errors. If you load your applications way beyond your usage and scenarios, you may end up with errors that are not relevant to fix at the current stage. Hence, if you want to get good results in a load testing process, always have a correct estimate of your loads to begin with.
2. Continuous Monitoring
The primary aim of any load test is to understand how the system performs under heavy loads and to know that you have to do continuous monitoring of your systems. Whenever you start a load testing session on your SaaS product, get all your monitoring tools pointed in the right direction so that you don’t miss out on anything. Everything that happens during a load testing session should be recorded and monitored. The more monitoring you do, the more data you will have to analyze at a later time. You should constantly watch the system vitals, like how many requests are being processed every second, the number of failing requests, the average time to serve a request, CPU, memory, storage, etc metrics.
You should also keep alerts on the systems that are being bombarded with load. This way, you can also keep track of larger changes that happen in the infrastructure during the test.
3. Keeping Load Generators Healthy
Load generators are devices that simulate the loads on your servers. Without load generators, you cannot perform load testing for your SaaS products. Before you decide on a schedule for your load testing process, make sure that your load generators are healthy and ready to attack. To keep your load generators in the best health, always remove unnecessary applications from the devices that are generating the load. This will ensure that all your devices have enough resources to use throughout the testing phase, and resource shortage will not cause any performance issues for the load generator. Moreover, the load generator’s capacities should always be monitored, and it should not be pushed ahead of its capability. You can do this by keeping limits on your load generator usage and trying to launch fewer virtual users on the same load generator.
4. Optimizing Load Test Scripts
Many SaaS companies make the mistake of having a heavy load test script. When you are carrying out a load test, you don’t want to get inaccurate results because of the unoptimized code of your load test scripts. To get the correct results in any load-testing process, you should always focus on optimizing the load-test script. Certain operations may take more time, but they may not
result in anything significant. In such cases, it is better to remove such operations and code blocks. Moreover, you should also try to find the most optimized load-testing framework for your tech stack so that you can get the correct results.
5. Always Run Tests in New Sessions
While this may seem like an obvious thing, it is best to run load tests in new sessions. Many times, browser cache and session history result in a faster request-response cycle for SaaS products and decrease the load on core backend servers. Due to this, you may not get the correct results of your load test. Hence, whenever you start load testing, always run the tests in separate and new browser sessions.
Coming to an end, if you are looking to get the best results on your load testing process, you need to do it correctly. There’s no better way to get the best results but to follow the best
practices that are discussed above.