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System Performance  
System Performance
 

When choosing a distance learning system, customers usually ask how many users can simultaneously work on the system or what kind of server must be purchased to avoid any problems.

Despite the simplicity of the question the correct answer may require some clarification of customer needs and objectives and an analysis of their compliance with certain performance benchmarks (see below.)

First, it is impossible to answer the question "How many people can a server handle?" or "What server is used to train 10,000 people?" correctly. Instead, it is much more realistic to answer a question dealing with realistic demands that the company plans to place on the system.

This might include:
1) Assessing 1,000 people with a test that contains at least 50 test questions within one business day
2) Conducting a real time event in which 100 people participate in a live chat and one-way teleconference
3) Conducting remote training of 5,000 employees on the e-course
4) Familiarizing at least 2,000 employees with documents on the learning portal over a 2 hour period

Key factors that allow more accurate assessments of the required parameters for hardware and software solutions, noted above, or similar problems are:
- Timing system events
- The number of participants
- List of quantifiable actions to be handled by process participants

However, nobody can predict in advance how many clicks the user will need to make in order to review an educational portal for  a specific course. Some may need to access the course just once, whereas others will read through materials twice and continue to study formulas. Therefore, when we talk about assessing a system for training hundreds or thousands of users, we can talk about some typical user actions. These assumptions are fundamental for designing a system performance test.

Study of system performance, which allows the customer to answer questions about the required equipment, implies a specialized test which simulates the load of simultaneous operations performed by multiple users on the system server. A specialized application allows software to simulate the load and creates virtual users while running the test.

The tests vary in type, sequence, and number of simulated requests, as well as the intervals between them. Next, we must consider types of test performance, by which we can assess the speed of different versions of distance learning WebTutor modules.

As a rule, the most demanding performance objectives suggest simultaneous operations with a large number of system users within a relatively short time (proficiency testing, filling out evaluation forms, participating in real time activities such as chat or audio and video conferences). Our tests primarily are designed to simulate such problems.

Test Code

TSD5000
Simulated Task Conduct proficiency tests on 5,000 users during a working day (8 hours)
Assumptions Number of test questions - 50, with data transferred to the server after each question. Testing is carried out uniformly, but for one hour during the day the load can double the average either at the end or beginning of the day. (i.e. maximum of one hour: 5,000 / 8 * 2 = 1,250 (test per hour)
Total Number of Requests
  1. Each test is loaded on the main page and displays four pictures (5 requests)
  2. Transition to the section designated "tests" (1 request)
  3. Download the test materials (1 request)
  4. Answer 50 questions (50 requests)
  5. View a report on testing results (1 request)

Total requests to the server during the test: 290,000
Total requests for the period of maximum load (one hour): 72,500
Requirement for the Minimum Number of Requests Handled By the Server Per Second (RPS) 72500/3600 = 20
Testing Results


Test Code TSH3000
Simulated Task Testing 3,000 users for 1 hour
Assumptions Number of test questions: 50, with data transferred to the server after each question. Testing is carried out uniformly, but within a period lasting from 10 minutes to one hour the load be double the average. ie. maximum load for 10 minutes: 3,000 / 6 * 2 = 1,000 (test for 10 minutes)
Total Number of Requests
  1. Each test is loaded on the main page and displays four pictures (5 requests)
  2. Transition to the section designated "tests" (1 request)
  3. Download the test materials (1 request)
  4. Answer 50 questions (50 requests)
  5. View a report on testing results (1 request)

Total requests to the server during the test: 174,000
Total requests for the period of maximum load (one hour): 58,000
Requirement for the Minimum Number of Requests Handled By the Server Per Second (RPS) 58,000/600 = 96.6
Testing Results