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Pitfalls in Performance Engineering

For those hoping that reaching a satisfying user experience is a cake walk, there is the bad news, reliable and responsive applications are not for free. Those who have failed to consider certain principal activities in their software development chain won’t reach satisfactory user experience.

One first failure is to solve your application performance bottlenecks with a ramp up of infrastructure. Based on my experience, from several hundred performance investigations, fewer than a tenth of these matters could be settled with a ramp up of infrastructure.

Secondly, it is advisable to specify performance requirements in early stages and make them part of the contracts with your software providers. At least the load pattern, including the number of concurrent users and the throughput during regular and peak business hours must be specified. Also, some response time and system utilization thresholds are desirable.

Finally, performance requirements must regularly be verified. Make sure that you have performance and capacity management specialists in charge who monitor the end-to-end user experience on development, test and production stages. Small changes in usage or data volumes could have a massive impact on your application response times.

Don’t be reactive, identify issues before your user community will be affected.

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