“This stupid app is too slow!” “I’m sorry, our system is running slow today.” “Why is this taking so long?” Ever heard any of these? Ever thought them yourself about a system, application, or website?
Is any system ever really fast enough? If you’re honest, you’ll probably answer “no”. Nobody enjoys just waiting around in a checkout line or sitting on the highway during rush hour. The same is true when using computer systems. You don’t want to waste minutes waiting on your computer to start up or for an application to load. And what happens if that application is “slow”? What will your customers or employees do if a website or an application is taking a long time to respond? Most likely they will get will get frustrated and give up on using it, if they can. You may lose customers and their revenue. You may lose employees.
If you’re beginning development of a new system or a new application, Performance Engineering can help minimize the risk that your new system or application will perform poorly once deployed. By defining your performance requirements (sometimes called performance targets or performance goals) early on, you can incorporate the required degree of scalability in your architecture and designs. Your developers can develop performance unit tests that can be executed similar to functional unit tests. These performance unit tests give your developers an early indication of whether the system/application should be able to meet to your identified performance targets. Formal performance tests using data, hardware, network, and system configurations that are representative of your deployment system are then required as a final verification that the final integrated system/application meets the established performance targets. If at any point a performance test indicates that your system/application is not meeting your established performance targets, you will need to conduct performance profiling to isolate the root cause of the performance problem.
But what do you do if you already have a slow system?
You find someone who understands Performance Engineering and can thereby help you identify both the causes of the poor performance of your system and recommend solutions to improve your systems’ performance. Performance Engineering uses an analytical process, a variety of measurement tools, along with several general principles/guidelines to evaluate your entire system including the application software, middleware components, operating systems, hardware, and network. The first step is to define your performance requirements then design appropriate performance tests to determine how far off your system’s actual performance is from the desired performance. Performance profiling may then be required to identify specific areas in a system that are responsible for the poor performance. Sometimes performance issues can be resolved by simple configuration changes. Other performance issues may require re-architecting individual system components or the entire system as a whole.
So if you would like help building a system/application with performance in mind or you have an existing system/application that is “slow”, please visit our contact page and let us know what you need.