You are about to purchase a new enterprise tool, and you are charged with figuring out if it has the chops to handle your company’s traffic. What’s the best way to test it? Well, you might have a suite of testing tools of course and nice lab set up for this purpose, but did you know you can use your monitoring software as a testing tool?
As we wrote the other day, applications performance monitoring (APM) tools can help you understand the big picture of your organization’s IT infrastructure, and just as you can watch how transactions move across your existing system, you can use that same software to test a new system.
You get a product into your lab. You connect it to your test systems and let it rip. Using your APM software, you can test a vendor’s products to look at the transaction flow and timing inside the product. Based on this information, you can see in your APM tools, you and make decisions regarding whether it’s going to be able to handle the volume you require or not.
The great thing about APM tools is this type of flexibility. You can crank up the transaction volume and see what happens. You can see if a particular type of transaction is more likely to blow up the tool or how easy it is to track and fix a problem when one occurs.
One thing you can be certain of is that tools are always going to break at some point. It’s useful to see what is most likely to cause it to break, how easy it is to track problems inside the tool and most important, how easy it is to fix an issue when it happens.
Armed with this kind of useful information, you are better able to help your company make an informed decision about which tools meet your criteria and which don’t. It’s always good to have a set of baseline guidelines to test against as a starting point.
As we wrote in a post last week, baselines give you a common understanding of when a product works and when it doesn’t, according to your company’s unique needs and standards.
Testing is just one of the ways that you can make good use of your APM tools. There are several others and we’ll be writing about them in the coming days. For now, it’s important to understand that APM tools aren’t one-trick ponies.
You can use them for lots of different purposes, even ones you might not have considered — like testing.