Craig Irwin

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Top Stories by Craig Irwin

Groupon, LivingSocial, Dealfind — these sites exist because consumers will always be looking for bigger and better deals on the products and services they love. But while you might think that your business landing a promotion on one of these sites would be a good thing, what happens when your ad goes viral and millions of users bring your site to a grinding halt; or worse, break it? If you look at a typical flash sale, it closely resembles the makings of a good load test. Thousands, maybe even millions, of users flood onto your site from all over the globe trying to accomplish the same goal. If that’s not the definition of a load test, then somebody call Webster’s. The one major difference however, is the consequences. When a load test takes down your site, you expect it. When customers take down your site, you panic. That’s the one good thing about synthetic users,... (more)

Record Black Friday online spending no match for retail website performance

Thanksgiving weekend: the truest test of website preparation and performance an online retailer can expect to encounter. It is the culmination of months of strategizing and testing, of not only determining the most jaw-dropping deals, but of ensuring one’s web infrastructure is strong enough to withstand the barrage of shoppers lined up behind their monitors, index fingers poised, ready to begin clicking their way through their gift lists this holiday season. If a normal shopping day is like peaceful spring shower, rain drops pitter-pattering on a tin roof, think of Thanksgiving... (more)

Test scalability now to ensure a successful holiday season

With just under four months to go until the holiday season, it’s time for IT development departments to get ahead and ensure a successful and scalable season come November and December. Why prepare now? More than likely, it’s quiet in the office. So while everyone else is on the beach,  take a fresh look at the three T’s of testing: tools, techniques, and technologies. This evaluation of your testing will not only position you for an error-free, highly scalable holiday season, but it will also provide a great way to scale your revenue by reviewing your analysis and trends, some... (more)

Is Twitter down?

Apica’s checks* confirm that experienced an outage beginning at 11:23 a.m. EDT. It remained completely down until 12:04 p.m., recovered briefly, and then became unavailable again at approximately 12:15 p.m. At 12:58 p.m. Twitter started delivering server-side error codes — or a “Twitter is currently down” message to some users. TWITTER OUTAGE: Lights go out for Twitter users on Thursday morning Twitter doesn’t appear to be completely out of the woods just yet. Users along both coasts continue to experience problems connecting. We’ll continue to monitor the situation a... (more)

Load testing to detect Advanced Persistent Threats

I’ve written before about how Apica’s capacity planning and load testing tools can help companies prepare for a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, but we’ve begun to see a new class of attacks emerge, called Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), whose aim is much more sinister than a slow response time or “page not found” error. What is an Advanced Persistent Threat? The intentions behind APT are all about espionage — not just state-sponsored espionage but also extensive and well-organized industrial espionage. APT is not about any particular technology or technique. The ... (more)