Get an update on system performance


What is system performance all about?

System performance covers the non-functional aspects of an IT system. Commonly what is regarded as performance is limited to service processing capacity and response times.

System performance, however, covers ALL aspects of a system's behaviour, such as system availability, system robustness and recovery, service production efficiency and an almost endless number of more metrics.

Why are all metrics of interest?
The simple answer is to get a good understanding of how the system behaves in different situations. This is needed to identify suspected capacity bottlenecks, availability problems, or any other problems limiting the system's full potential. Furthermore characteristics are used to correctly configure a system for a specified workload.

It is also needed to identify a system's design limitations for future or immediate actions. System performance measurements are a learning process about a system's behaviour and this is what makes it a very interesting topic.

The following pages are a short introduction in system performance and we hope reading them will bring you an interest in the topic and the importance of system performance. In the first edition we cover the following basic concepts:

  1. Comparing function testing and performance testing.

  2. Performance views.

  3. Performance categories and characteristics.

  4. Performance metrics.

  5. Performance measurement conditions.

  6. Load and system characteristics.

  7. Performance measurement points.


More pages will be added to this section every month during 2019.

Next addition will be about Resources and Performance measurements.

Please, send us a message with suggestions for more pages. Any comments are also welcome!


1. Comparing function testing and performance testing

Most people involved in Quality Assurance have a good understanding of functional testing, but understanding of non-functional is quite rare.

Differences between function testing and performance testing is therefore a good starting point into system performance and the first step here.

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2. Performance views

This page describes how a system's performance can be viewed and the purpose of different views.

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3. Performance categories and characteristics

These pages explains how system performance characteristics can be grouped into categories for better understanding of the tested system's behavior.

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4. Performance metrics

This page explains different types performance data and the requirements on capturing performance data.

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5. Performance measurement conditions

This page explains what must be fulfilled when performance measurement data are captured, i.e. some very basic requirements on system performance measurements.

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6. Load and System Characteristics

This page explains some definitions of load and the difference between what is measured and how it is measured in a performance test case.

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7. Performance Measurement Points

This page explains the purpose of identifying measurement points and and some examples of measurement points.

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