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How to Test Your Web Applications
Web Performance, Load, and Stress Tests
Mainframe and Open System Network

By Dieter W. Storr

Last update: 10 June 2004

Commercial enterprises are connecting their legacy systems to the e-commerce world and are aggressively embracing e-business as a means to increase revenues, while reducing operational and sales-related costs. This empowers enterprise developers with the ability to build Internet applications.

Instead of using their existing mainframe and enhancing it with relevant web system software (for example WebSphere from IBM), many enterprises like to use an Open System environment (for example application and web servers) to present their legacy data to the Web. Even they believe that the mainframe is too slow to keep up with the speed that is necessary to carry out e-business.

During the initial tests, the developers may experience response times from ten, twenty, or even more seconds. Most of them have knowledge to analyze and determine where the bottlenecks are on the legacy system. But how can they determine problems in different components of the Open System? Do the application servers or the web servers need adjustments? Maybe the load balancing components in connection with the screen scraper software has problems? Or could it be the firewall and the handshake with the router?

This presentation explains what parts play which role in the network, what response time should be expected, as well as differences between various test scenarios. It also describes the different tools available to measure and analyze the network components and how to carry out stress tests without manual keystrokes.

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