Forecasting Number of users in performance testing

How many users should be applied in our performance tests ?

in a previous article we discussed some ways that may simplify the process of setting system SLA , so if we can say that we have now our SLA or simply what is the response time we are hoping to operate under , what about the number of users.

The simple answer is it should be a given requirement , but sometime we don’t have or actually we don’t know.

The following are some ideas that may help :

– If the site is up and running , you can get the users numbers and distributions (users percentage per function or page) through analytical tools like Google Analytics.

– If you are selling a product to a company or organization you can forecast based on the number of employees , it can be a percentage of them or all of them as the highest load possible.

– Adding to the previous point , if the system is license based you can forecast by the number of sold licenses and also based on the max number of users per license.

– If the site / service is completely new and you’re in a lunching process , you can get the numbers based on the market research and the sales forecasting for the first 3 – 6 months and you can adapt your tests and infrastructure when needed during the 1st year of the lunch.

No.of users is an important factor within the performance testing activities and that’s why it is important to set them carefully and as close as possible to real world scenario to have accurate results and to have confidence in your running system.

Please share your tips, experience, comments, and questions for further enriching this topic of discussion.

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