Load testing requirements

Load testing on Acquia Cloud Enterprise

For most applications, load and stress testing should be an integral part of development. By sending a predetermined amount of simulated traffic to an application, you can pinpoint slow pages using application monitoring tools (such as New Relic), identify bugs in your code, and determine if your existing hardware is able to withstand normal or elevated traffic levels. Whether you can perform load and stress testing on your application on Acquia Cloud depends on your subscription level.

This page describes the different Acquia Cloud Enterprise hardware requirements for load testing, based on your subscription:

After you have reviewed the requirements, see Load testing for information about how to prepare for and carry out load testing on Acquia Cloud Enterprise.

Testing for Acquia Cloud Professional and Acquia Cloud Free

Because Acquia Cloud Professional and Acquia Cloud Free applications rely on shared load balancing hardware that is being used by other customers, and since dedicated load balancers are not available on these platforms, Acquia does not permit any volume of load or stress testing on either Acquia Cloud Professional or Acquia Cloud Free in any environment (Production or non-Production). This allows us to better ensure that other customers' applications are not impacted by any other application's development efforts.

Acquia Cloud Enterprise with shared load balancers, not yet live

If you are an Acquia Cloud Enterprise customer with shared load balancers in front of your Production environment, Acquia offers two options that can enable you to perform load testing, assuming your Production environment is not yet live:

  • Acquia can provide one test load balancer for a single four-hour window. Although there is no charge for this option, you must request this by filing a Support ticket with at least five business days' advance notice. This option is available one time per subscription, and you will need to configure a custom domain name with your DNS provider and point it to the IP address that Acquia provides prior to the provided window. The load test cannot start before or end after the window provided; otherwise it may impact the results of other customers who have also reserved the hardware for that day.
  • For an additional charge, Acquia can provision a pair of dedicated load balancers for a minimum period of one week. You must provide five business days' advance notice. Contact your Acquia Account Manager to obtain more information on pricing or to make this request.

You can perform load tests on your Acquia Cloud Enterprise Production environment only if you choose one of these two options. This is necessary to ensure that other customers' live, production applications aren't impacted by another application's load testing. Acquia does not permit load tests on any non-Production environments on shared staging servers.

Acquia Cloud Enterprise with shared load balancers, live

If you are an Acquia Cloud Enterprise customer with shared load balancers in front of your Production environment and your applications are already live, Acquia offers several alternatives for application stress testing:

  • If you have a dedicated non-production server (for example, if you have a dedicated server for your Development environment, Staging environment, or a custom non-Production environment), Acquia can provide one test load balancer for a single four-hour window. Although there is no charge for this option, you must request this by filing a Support ticket with at least five business days' advance notice. This option is available one time per subscription, and you will need to configure a custom domain name with your DNS provider and point it to the IP address that Acquia provides prior to the provided window. The load test cannot start before or end after the window provided; otherwise it may impact the results of other customers who have also reserved the hardware for that day.
  • If your non-Production environments are on a shared server, for an additional charge Acquia can provision a pair of dedicated load balancers for a minimum period of one week. You must provide five business days' advance notice. Contact your Acquia Account Manager to obtain more information on pricing or to make this request.

For the most accurate results possible on a non-Production environment, you may wish to consider a dedicated load testing environment that duplicates your Production environment.

Testing on Acquia Cloud Enterprise with dedicated load balancers

If you are an Acquia Cloud Enterprise customer with dedicated load balancers in front of any environment, you can perform an application stress test at any time, as you first file a Support ticket and that ticket is acknowledged by Acquia Support. This advance notice gives us a chance to notify all of our technicians that a load test will take place and prevents Acquia from blocking traffic that would look suspicious if we did not know it was a test.

When you submit this request to Acquia Support, include the date and times (including the time zone) of the planned test, and also indicate whether the traffic will be either anonymous or authenticated.

If your application has not yet gone live, you can run a load test on your Production environment. After your application has gone live, consider using instead a dedicated load testing environment that duplicates your Production environment. This will provide the most accurate results possible on a non-Production environment.

Testing with a dedicated load testing environment

For a true load test, you should test against either your Production environment or a testing environment that duplicates your Production environment. If you are an Acquia Cloud Enterprise customer who cannot perform load tests on a Production environment without impacting existing live applications, Acquia strongly recommends that you arrange for a dedicated load testing environment that duplicates your Production environment.

While load testing on standard non-Production environments may help identify general bottlenecks and issues, it is important to note that non-production hardware does not usually match the hardware in place for your Production environment, which can significantly skew your results. To achieve the most accurate results possible, Acquia can provision a dedicated load testing environment with hardware that is identical to what is running in your Production environment. We require five business days' advance notice, and there will be a charge for the additional hardware. Contact your Acquia Account Manager to obtain more information on pricing or to make this request.

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