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Load testing is a necessity when it comes to performance testing of your website, applications, and web services to check their stability by simulating a real-time environment with a large number of users and their behavior. An essential part of mimicking the actual real-world users is their geographic location.Your website or application is often not limited to only your city or country, but it is available for users from all around the world to enjoy your product and services. But the tricky part is the infrastructure is not the same in every corner of the world, and that will affect your baseline performance when you perform load testing.  That’s where geo-distributed load testing comes into the picture. It enables you to understand the performance of your system in a distributed environment and geo-specific loads.

 

Understanding Geo-distributed Load Testing

Geo-distributed load testing uses regional servers across multiple locations in the world to simulate realistic virtual users on each server for your website, application, and web services to test the location-based impact on performance. In addition to performance testing, geo-distributed load testing provides actionable data for scalability and server resources required to meet the demand of a specific region. That’s also an essential factor to look into when you strategize your load testing workflow and choose a suitable vendor to ensure they have this capability.  For example, if you are rolling out country-specific features, you might want to generate load scenario as realistic as possible by taking advantage of geographically distributed load test servers.

Now, let’s take a look at the advantages of geo-distributed load testing.

  • Mimicking the most realistic end user behaviors and testing them from multiple geographic locations.
  • Effective testing of load balancers and routing components.
  • Testing location-dependent requests and responses.
  • Distributed code features testing for sessions, concurrency, caching, etc.
  • Capability to check safeguards on distributed systems.
  • Scalability testing for multiple locations resource planning.
  • Geo-distributed database testing.
  • Distributed network architecture testing.
  • Geo-based client’s parameter testing.

 

Importance of Geo-distributed Load Testing

A widely used website, application, or web service should give end users a consistent experience and comply with local norms. While the benefits of geo-distributed load testing are huge, let’s take a look at why it is crucial to load test your systems from different regions.

 

Application Uniformity

Internet architecture and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are not the same everywhere. While one geography enjoys great speed, others might suffer from connection speed issues. This behavior can hinder potential issues that your website can experience if you only optimize your load for one location. You need to make the necessary adjustments for content delivery according to different load scenarios based on multiple geo-network factors.

 

Availability

What will happen if there is a sudden surge from a particular location, and your load balancer is not optimized for that? It may bog down your entire server in that location and potentially affect the overall availability of your website, application, or web services. Testing from multiple location servers will help you analyze your geographical loads and prepare for better availability.

 

Content Delivery

Apart from uniformity and availability, you need to be consistent about content delivery. Whether you are using a CDN or implementing your technology, it is important to have a baseline content delivery that your users would expect. With geo-distributed load testing, you will be able to analyze your content delivery system and how it will behave under peak load times and optimize it accordingly.

 

Competitive Edge

It’s true that not all businesses test their load from multiple locations and do it only for primary locations. While it might save them costs, it also makes them lose the potential revenue they never get to know about. Even if you are focused on a particular location, geo-distributed load testing will help you plan quickly if you want to increase your reach there and beat your competitors.

 

Geo-distributed Load Testing: Use Cases

Apart from evident importance and benefits, let’s see some scenarios and use-cases in which geo-distributed load testing would be critically helpful for your website, application, or web services.

Country Specific Rollouts.  Whether you are doing systematic rollouts or country-specific features, you would want to know beforehand how the new rollout would be consumed and serve your end users in that particular country. Geo-distributed load testing will help you understand the load consumption allowing you to make informed decisions about the configuration and optimization of network resources for that specific country.

Cross-border Transactions.  Let’s say you have a FinTech app that allows cross-border transactions. This use-case will have request-response pairs from both geographies. Simulating concurrent users from multiple locations, to and from, will help you understand how your transactions are performed and if they need any optimization to minimize the failure rate.

Organizational Structure. Large enterprises typically have regional offices that have their own network infrastructure and IT systems. If you’re going to be deploying updates across the organization for example, you’ll need to test how the networks of those regional and branch locations respond.

Time-based Geo-distributed Load testing.  Different geographies have different time zones, and hence, different peak hours. Your performance baseline for load testing from one location can give you a completely wrong idea. If you are load testing from the peak times in the United States and huge traffic comes in from China during their peak times, your end users from the United States will suffer from poor performance during that hour. Geo-distributed load testing will allow you to avoid these hiccups by proactively planning for peak time-difference scenarios.

 

Geo-distributed Load Testing: Conclusion

It is imperative that while defining and executing your load testing strategy, you consider these scenarios, importance, and benefits of Geo-distributed testing to avoid any unforeseen situation that may cause revenue loss as well as your credibility at a global scale. The LoadView platform is capable of executing load tests from over 15 geo-locations around the world.  Just choose from the location or locations that you need to test from and the platform does the rest.  No need for any additional hardware or third-party accounts.  Sign up for the LoadView free trial and get $20 in load testing credits to start.  Or schedule a demo with one of our performance engineers to see the LoadView platform in action. They’ll walk you through the solution and answer any questions you have.

Apart from geo-distributed load testing, it is also essential to regularly monitor your applications, websites, and web services from different locations to ensure consistent performance. Learn more at Dotcom-Monitor.