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The best way to start load testing is to have multiple test clients run the complete functional test, including request submissions and response verifications. When load testing ignores the functionality verification process and focuses solely on load-rate metrics, it risks overlooking critical flaws such as functionality problems that surface only under certain loads.

The best way to start load testing is to have multiple test clients run the complete functional test, including request submissions and response verifications. When load testing ignores the functionality verification process and focuses solely on load-rate metrics, it risks overlooking critical flaws such as functionality problems that surface only under certain loads.

To thoroughly test performance, a functional test suite should be run under a variety of different scenarios to check how the different types of loads are handled. For example, the test could check functionality and response time under different degrees of load increases (sudden surges versus gradual ramp-ups) or different combinations of valid and invalid requests. If the load tests reveal unacceptable performance or functionality under load, the next step is to diagnose and repair the source of the bottleneck. Sometimes, the problem is caused by a fundamental algorithmic problem in the application, and the repair could require something as painful as an application redesign and rewrite. Other times, it is caused by some part of the infrastructure (the Web server, the SOAP library, the database, and so forth). In these cases, fixing the problem might be as simple as changing a configuration or as complex as changing the architecture.

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