Network performance testing is an essential process to examine the uplink and downlink speed of a network. It describes how fast and active a network is to user/data transmission. It is done by uploading and downloading data from the network and mapping download and upload speeds, successful message delivery rate, throughput, and more.
When troubleshooting network deceleration or interruption, measuring network performance is crucial to discover when you are getting network degradation and why you are getting this issue. You need to know, what is the root cause (like, congestion, bandwidth interruption, miss-configuration, network device error, etc.)?
Whatever the strategy you use to resolve the problem (traffic fall with network analyzers like Wireshark, Nmap with tools such as PRTG or Cacti or generating traffic and active testing with tools such as SmokePing or you can simply ping or trace route to follow network response times), you must have pointers: these are normally named metrics and are pointed at providing actual stats when measuring network performance.

Some of the various types of network performance tests hold:

  • Download/upload speed test
  • Penetration test (security)
  • Network load test

Some of the metrics used in a network measuring performance test are:

  • Network Transfer speed
  • Network Throughput
  • Jitter
  • Delays/ Latency
  • Packet loss
  • Reliability

Network Performance Testing Methods:

  • Load testing – It is the simplistic method of testing directed to explain the performance of the system under a particular load. Load testing will outcome in measuring critical business significant activities and load on the database, server, etc., are also monitored.
  • Stress testing – It is conducted to get the higher limit capability of the system and also to determine how the system behaves if the present load reaches quite high the assumed maximum.
  • Congestion testing – Congestion Testing also recognized as endurance testing, is conducted to discover the system parameters under continuous assumed load. During Congestion tests, the parameters such as memory utilization are observed to identify memory drops or other performance concerns. The primary objective is to identify the system’s performance under continued use.
  • Spike testing – Spike testing is done by raising the number of users quickly by a huge number and measuring the performance of the system. The primary purpose is to discover whether the system will be capable to support the workload.
  • Configuration Testing – Configuration Testing is conducted to identify how you can test that each feasible client platform can work with every feasible server platform.


Network Performance Testing

Network Performance Testing Challenges:

1) Selecting the Appropriate Tools
There are various tools for load simulation that you can choose from. These tools run from systems assigned to the test. The tools usually let using various devices in a master-slave plan to share the load, performing, for example, 500 users from each system. The primary aim of this load sharing system is to circumvent the overloading of these devices. If they overload, the test would become wrong, because there would be difficulties with inventing the load or receiving the response time data.
2) Testing Approach
Describing the approach is something that could be quite wide, as we could hold many viewpoints. I like this following explanation: “The design of a testing procedure is essentially a method of recognizing and prioritizing project risks and selecting what actions to seek to decrease them.”
3) Design Outline and Declarations
This challenge is identifying which kind of load tests we require to run each day and how we describe the load and which declarations to attach in order to approach our aim: discover a degradation as soon as possible (early response).

Best Practice for Network Performance Testing:

  • Establish a baseline for user activity
  • Plan genuine tests
  • Understand the variation between measured speed and perceived performance
  • Associate performance concerns to underlying difficulties
  • Make performance testing part of agile development.