Set Performance Objectives

Your project goals must include measurable performance objectives. From the very beginning, design so that you are likely to meet those objectives. Do not over-research your design. Use the planning phase to manage project risk to the right level for your project. To accomplish this, you might ask the following questions: How fast does your application need to run? At what point does the performance of your application become unacceptable? How much CPU or memory can your application consume? Your answers to these questions are your performance objectives. They help you create a baseline for your application’s performance. These questions help you determine if the application is quick enough.

Performance objectives are usually specified in terms of the following:
Response time. Response time is the amount of time that it takes for a server to respond to a request.
Throughput. Throughput is the number of requests that can be served by your application per unit time. Throughput is frequently measured as requests or logical transactions per second.
Resource utilization. Resource utilization is the measure of how much server and network resources are consumed by your application. Resources include CPU, memory, disk I/O, and network I/O.
Workload. Workload includes the total number of users and concurrent active users, data volumes, and transaction volumes.

You can identify resource costs on a per-scenario basis. Scenarios might include browsing a product catalog, adding items to a shopping cart, or placing an order. You can measure resource costs for a certain user load, or you can average resource costs when you test the application by using a certain workload profile. A workload profile consists of a representative mix of clients performing various operations.

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