Mercury Interactive Study Identifies Four Key Web Site Performance Hot Spots
ActiveTest is Mercury''s hosted Web-based load testing service.Application performance management solutions provider Mercury Interactive Corp. Tuesday released findings based on data compiled from thousands of load tests conducted with ActiveTest.
The study found that the majority of Web site performance problems can be traced to four sources: database tuning, network bottlenecks, and application server and Web server configurations.
Test results also revealed that 35 percent of performance bottlenecks occur outside the firewall, usually because of tuning and configuration issues with routers, gateways and switches, bandwidth constraints, and ISP peering point problems. Performance problems that lie outside the firewall can be found only by testing Web sites via the Internet.
Mercury''s data also showed that 98 percent of the time performance problems occurred simply because the infrastructure components were not tuned or configured properly for a specific application. Therefore, it is important to test and tune the entire system before going live, or introducing major changes, to ensure optimal performance.
Mercury''s white paper, "Common Web Site Problems Identified by ActiveTest," outlines common Web site performance problems encountered during load testing with ActiveTest.
Other findings that ActiveTest revealed:
Dynamic Web sites that rely heavily on database operations are particularly at risk for performance problems. Nearly 27 percent of Web site performance problems can be traced to malfunctioning database operations, which are usually caused by insufficient indexing, fragmented databases, out-of-date statistics, or faulty application design.
The ActiveTest team found that in almost 25 percent of cases the available network bandwidth to the Internet was insufficient to handle the desired load and bottlenecked, causing delays in incoming and outgoing requests. Bottlenecks were also frequently found between the customer''s Web site and the ISP. In addition, improper tuning of firewall, load balancers, gateways, and routers can contribute significantly to performance problems.
Application server configuration issues, such as improper application configuration settings and poor cache management or session management, account for more than 23 percent of system bottlenecks. Since the application server is the hub of many complex system architectures, its performance problems can be difficult to identify and can impact the entire application.
Bottlenecks stemming from Web server configurations are the cause of poor performance in approximately 20 percent of all test cases. These bottlenecks are usually the result of improper server configurations and insufficient memory resources.
Powered by LoadRunner, ActiveTest is a hosted Web-based load testing service. First released in 1999, ActiveTest provides full-scale stress testing of Web sites to identify capacity constraints and performance bottlenecks, and pinpoints their cause.
ActiveTest is priced starting at $15,000 for a single scheduled load test. A series of six ActiveTest hosted load tests can be purchased for $25,500.