E-Commerce Benchmark – Magento

  This post is part of a series: Next E-commerce environments on the internet come in all shapes, colors and sizes. In our next series of experiments, we delve into the world of open source e-commerce platforms. We are already familiar with one of these: Magento Community Edition. I’ve blogged about Magento extensively in the past, but now it’s time to test it against other free e-commerce platforms. Over six blog posts, we are going to run six different e-commerce platforms and score them on performance. The first one covered will be Magento CE. Our slightly modified Magento CE store […]

AppDynamics Review

The last app monitoring tool review on our tour is AppDynamics. There’s more than meets the eye with AppDynamics. In terms of features, AppDynamics is huge in both depth and breadth. The app has potential for use in large firms who want to keep track of everything going on in and with their application. This is because each account can have multiple users monitoring multiple web apps. Setup I noticed something strange when I began to install the agent. I didn’t have the option to select the PHP agent! This was unexpected because AppDynamics says that they support PHP applications […]

AppFirst Review

Previously, the team checked out NewRelic and all its capabilities. Even though we were impressed with the app monitoring and UI as-is, we missed out on some detailed server resource monitoring. We looked forward to the next player in the app and server monitoring services, AppFirst. At first glance, AppFirst is more simplified and monitors some of the same apps as NewRelic such as Java, PHP, and Ruby. In this post, I will go through the team’s experiences with AppFirst as a monitoring tool. Setup Like last time, the first thing to do was get the agent. AppFirst calls them […]

New Relic Review

As the name implies, the Web Performance Lab is all about performance optimization. We felt it was our duty to investigate server-side monitoring as part of our industry. We also needed a monitor that could serve us accurate, reliable data. Read on for a review of our experiences working with New Relic. What is Server-side Monitoring? In a nutshell, it is a way for you to watch your web and app servers for performance issues using a monitoring service. The lab’s first go-to was New Relic; a big player in the application performance monitoring arena. The goal was to monitor […]

The Scaling Magento Project – Part two

Improve performance of magento

This post is a continuation of my Scaling Magento testing experiment (see part one). Testing Phase After getting the first testing environment setup, it was already time to test. Luckily for me, the VUser activity script was already finished back before this project was proposed. So running an identical load test was as simple as doing a Copy & Edit to our previous load test. Here is the activity of the two tests. In this case, x refers to the xth VUser in the load test. VUser x hits the homepage VUser x logs in as “wil”, a previously generated […]

The Scaling Magento Project – Part one

Introduction When December rolled around, I had been with the Web Performance Lab for 4 months. By then, it was time for another realistic experiment. For months, my focus had primarily been AWS management and scaling Magento in addition to my blogging duties. I was asked to approach this project as if I had been dealing with one of our valued clients. We had one of our software engineers act as an e-commerce vendor who happened to use Magento. He laid out some requirements, then I discussed it with him and went to work. I was pretty excited about this […]

Perks of Load Balancing

why use load balancer

When we think about websites and the infrastructure they run on, we tend to oversimplify. In the web development and web performance industries though, we know better. Gone are the days where even a semi-popular site could be handled by one server. Like the CDN, there are other components that need to be considered, such as the load balancer. A load balancer is a separate server which acts as a reverse proxy and directs incoming user traffic to one of many servers connected to the load balancer. This ultimately eases the load for all web servers. An analogy I came […]

WebPerfLab – LoadStorm Web optimization Redesign

Redesign Header

Welcome to the new LoadStorm.com! As you may have noticed, LoadStorm.com has recently undergone a makeover. While the old site was nice, we wanted to do better by utilizing web optimization! Not only does this new design offer a sleek, slim appearance, it is also easier to navigate. We removed quite a few elements from the previous design, but we also added a few new elements into the mix. Where does that leave us performance-wise? Is our new design faster than our old one? Well, we ran several dozen tests on the new design and compared it to the benchmark […]

What’s Cached in W3 Total Cache?

Server Caching Header

There are four caching options within W3 Total Cache: Object caching, Page caching, Database caching, and Browser caching. What’s the difference between all these options? What do they all mean? Why does it matter? All were questions we had when we installed the plugin, so we thought we’d share the answers we found with you. What is caching, again? Caching is the act of storing data in such a way that future accesses to that data are faster. Typically caching involves moving data from a slow location to a fast one. The hard drive has hundreds of times more storage […]

Web Performance – Which Internet Browser Is Fastest?

Browser Speed Header

Which is the best browser for web performance? Well, that depends on what you mean by “best”. Fastest startup? Best to run JavaScript? Highest frames-per-second on live applications like streaming media and games? For our purposes, let’s look at which browser loads web pages the fastest. Just for fun. Results Using the results from our previous experiments, we gathered results for the three different browsers we tested: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer 9. The following data points are the results averaged from the results over all the pages we tested, taken only from the Dulles test location. The […]