Network Load Testing

Tim Radney uses iperf to perform network load testing:

Poor network performance can be a silent killer for application performance and my personal experience has shown this to be the case on many occasions. Often an application would start having performance issues and the application engineer would say that the application server looks good and starts to point their finger at the database. I would get a call to look at the database server and all indications showed that the database server was in good health (and this is where monitoring for key performance indicators and having a baseline helps!). Since the application and database teams were saying everything was good, we would ask the network team to check things out. The network team would look at a few things and give the all clear on their side as well. Each team troubleshooting and reviewing their respective systems took time, meanwhile the application performance was still suffering. The issue would then get escalated until all the teams would be asked to join a conference bridge to troubleshoot together. Eventually someone would start a deeper network test and determine that we either had a port saturation, routing, or some other complex networking issue. A few clicks or changing something on their end would eventually resolve the application slowness.

iperf is a nice tool for checking to see if your network throughput looks reasonable.

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