Execute a realistic test

Certain points in the load test require particular attention if informative results are to be obtained. Simulating users does not consist of merely playing back requests to the server. Even if most of the dynamic parameters are created by NeoLoad (cookies, sessionID), some do need special attention.

Define the number of Virtual Users

The number of Virtual Users must be close to the number of real users once the application is in production, with a realistic think time (Think Time) applied between pages. Avoid testing with less Virtual Users with a minimized think time. It could be assumed that the result would be the same, as the number of requests played per second is identical. However, this is not the case, for the following reasons:

Define several types of Virtual Users

Not all users use a web application in the same way. Define a Virtual User for each user profile: simple browsing, browsing with modifications, system administrator...

Group these user types into a Population. Populations allow a user ratio to be maintained when the load varies. For example, a ratio of 90% standard users and 10% system administrators may be selected.

Use different user accounts and values

Use variables to dynamically modify key values such as user account logins or certain form parameters (such as productID in an e-business application). The main idea of this is to bypass the use of the various server caches, for the following reasons:

Test load balancers

Load balancers can use the client IP address to balance the load over several servers. If all Virtual Users are using the same IP address (default setting), the total load will be sent to a single server.

To obtain a realistic load, use NeoLoad IP spoofing function. For more information, see Configure IP Spoofing.

Simulate actual user bandwidth

A user connecting at 100 Mbps through a local network and a user connecting with a dial-up modem at 56kbps do not load the server and bandwidth in the same way.

Use the Population bandwidth setting to realistically simulate the users' connection speeds. For more information, see Wan emulation.