The simplest ways to test server performance

A network lives on traffic — so the best way to test it is to generate a high load of traffic and feed it into the network.

The easiest way?

You could craft a combination of ICMP packets with a simple PING command. But remember that some routers/servers are already protected against stressful traffic — this is to avoid DoS and other attacks.

There are many ways to test your LAN/WAN with ICMP traffic. For example,

Send Large and unstoppable Packets to a Target:
Change the size of bytes in an ICMP packet header and send it over an extended “ping” command. In Windows use the -t parameter, in Linux and MacOS, the extended ping is active by default. In Windows, use -l to change byte length, in Linux or MacOS use -s. Command: ping -s 8000 (target IP)

Create a Ping Storm:
A way to test for lost packets and server performance is with a simple “ping -f (target IP).” This command creates a ping flood or storm (you’ll need superuser access).

Or try a Combination of Both:
Be careful as this could put your server, router, and network into real stress (if the router is not able to reject this traffic).

When it comes to performance testing tools the best two are WebLOAD and LoadNinja. Enterprise-grade load and performance testing tool for web applications. WebLOAD is the tool of choice for enterprises with heavy user load and complex testing requirements. It allows you to perform load and stress testing on any internet application by generating load from the cloud and on-premises machines.

WebLOAD’s strengths are its flexibility and ease of use – enabling you to quickly define the tests you need with features like DOM-based recording/playback, automatic correlation, and JavaScript scripting language.

LoadNinja by SmartBear allows you to quickly create scriptless sophisticated load tests, reduce testing time by 50%, replace load emulators with real browsers, and get actionable, browser-based metrics, all at ninja speed.

You can easily capture client-side interactions, debug in real-time, and identify performance problems immediately. LoadNinja empowers teams to increase their test coverage without sacrificing quality by removing the tedious efforts of dynamic correlation, script translation, and script scrubbing.

Bottom line is to get the job done, you’ll need server-side, client-side, and performance tools, traffic tools like Babylon Traffic and you can find free and open source options that fall into each of these categories.