There are many tools available to report on volumetric information for an application or a website.
Depending on the application the volumetric information may be available through a nice, easy to use application or only via the output of a system log which may only be able to be analysed by writing a program to process the file. I’ve done it both ways, the advantage of a proper tool is that it is quicker to use and information can be checked and cross referenced for a high degree of accuracy. System log files which are not designed to provide volumetric information can also provide a high degree of accuracy, you just have to be prepared to spend more time doing it.
When carrying out volumetric analysis, it can be tackled in a number of ways, here is one approach I like to use, although of course, circumstances can dictate that variations will be necessary on occasions.
This is appropriate when an application has smooth peaks and troughs where the workload slowly builds up during a period, peaks and gradually declines back to the trough. Some applications may have 2 or 3 peaks and troughs through the course of the day. Some applications, and a ticket agency is a good example, have extreme peaks that may last an hour or so - for instance when tickets for a popular band go on sale at 9:00am on a Friday morning and the site is inundated with requests.
2) Identify the highest volume page displays for the peak hour identified.
Often the highest volume page will be the home page which is often the landing page. This is not always the case, for instance, when searching for a news item, a user may go via the search engine directly to the page of interest, bypassing the homepage altogether.
Function 1 2500 2500
Function 2 2500 2500
Function 3 2500 2500
Function 4 2500 2500
Function 5 2500 2500
Function 6 2500 11,500
Functions not automated 9,000
Total Page Hits 24,000 24000
In this example, automation has accounted for 15,000 of the 24,000 page hits seen in the peak hour, Function 6 is an enquiry function and that is being run at a much higher volume than it does in production, 11,500 hits in the peak hour rather than 2,500. This may cause a skewing of results and you must be careful to watch out for artificial bottlenecks, but on the whole it is the best way to performance test the peak workload your application will have to support.
Omniture is a common tool used by many companies for measuring traffic to a website. It is highly configurable and can be implemented in many different ways. Core functionality includes: