Throughput in Performance Testing: Principles, Tools, & Techniques

Jeffery Thompson
Innovative Leader in Custom Software Solutions: Jeffery Thompson, Founder of BIT Studios
Quality Assurance (QA)
7 min read
Published: Mar 15, 2023
Updated: Mar 15, 2023
Throughput in Performance Testing - BIT Studios

Many applications and websites have many users and perform different tasks. Before launch, good performance testers must ensure their app can work well at the required capacity. Throughput is the metric used to measure this.

Although throughput is a fundamental concept, it’s also one of the most misunderstood.

In this article, you’ll learn why we measure throughput in software performance testing. We’ll also discuss how you can track this metric more effectively. Let’s get started!

What Is Throughput in Performance Testing?

Throughput is the amount of data an app can process within a specific period. It measures the requests per second, transactions per second, or bits/bytes per second. Measuring throughput ensures the system can handle the expected load and won’t crash due to overload.

Here is a typical test scenario. As users begin ramping up, the throughput will also increase. When user requests are processed consistently, the throughput behavior will even out. If you need an environment’s throughput upper bound, you should continue increasing the number of users.

Performance testing aims to measure whether a system can handle its expected load. The throughput metric helps us understand app performance when processing more requests. The app can take on higher loads if the throughput exceeds expectations. The same concept is when throughput drops drastically during heavy use. In that case, it suggests that the system cannot handle its load and will eventually crash.

Benefits of Measuring Throughput

Measuring throughput has many advantages. Get the scoop and find out how tracking this metric can benefit you!

  • Increased Productivity

Measuring throughput ensures the web server can handle concurrent users per unit of time. Doing so improves overall efficiency.

  • Improved User Experience

It helps ensure users get a smooth web application experience, improving customer satisfaction.

  • Identify System Bottlenecks

Tracking throughput can help you identify bottlenecks in the system that might be slowing it down and causing delays or errors.

  • Maximize Performance

This metric helps you maximize performance by optimizing resources and processes.

  • Challenges of Measuring Throughput

While tracking throughput can be a powerful way to monitor performance, you may encounter hurdles. Let’s explore what they are.

  • Resource Management

You need to have enough resources available to handle concurrent users. If you don’t, you can quickly hit resource bottlenecks, leading to poor performance.

  • System Complexity

As systems become more complex and interconnected, analyzing and optimizing performance becomes harder.

  • Data Management

You also need to manage data from multiple sources, which can be challenging. Plus, you need reliable tools to ensure the user load test results stay accurate.

Principles of Throughput

Here are some essential principles you should bear in mind when measuring throughput.

Defining Goals and Expectations for the User Load Test

Clear goals for a performance test run ensure you can measure performance accurately. It would be best if you defined realistic expectations for maximum throughput. These goals should be based on your system’s specifications and capabilities.

Identifying System Bottlenecks

You need to identify any bottlenecks in the system that could be holding back your performance. Doing so helps you optimize resources and make targeted improvements.

Optimizing Resources

Effective resource optimization can help you maximize throughput and ensure the system runs at its best. It’s best to look for ways to optimize resources, such as scaling up or down as your needs change.

Establishing a Plan for Testing & Measuring Results

When it comes to performance testing, it’s essential to have a comprehensive plan. A plan ensures that throughput stays fairly consistent. It should include setting acceptable performance levels and defining the things to be tested. You should also monitor the system during load tests.

Creating Processes To Ensure Quality Standards Are Met

A successful strategy for throughput optimization includes creating processes that meet quality standards. With these processes in place, teams can ensure their application meets their desired criteria.

Analyzing and Understanding System Capacity Requirements

When you know the current capacity of your system, you can plan accordingly. You can create an optimal software testing strategy that maximizes throughput.

Techniques for Optimizing Throughput

Techniques for Optimizing Throughput in Performance Testing [infographics]

If you want to ensure your performance testing is airtight, here are some proven techniques for optimizing throughput. Utilizing these methods will help ensure that your tests run as quickly and efficiently as possible!

  • Minimize Response Times

Reducing the time it takes for a request to be processed and a response to be returned helps speed up data processing and maximize throughput.

  • Implement Caching

Caching can minimize response times. It reduces requests to a server and improves performance.

  • Use Asynchronous Processing

Asynchronous processing is a great way to maximize throughput. It allows multiple requests to be handled in parallel and reduces server load.

  • Optimize Bandwidth Usage

Optimizing bandwidth usage ensures that your system uses resources efficiently and maximizes throughput.

  • Compress Data Transfers

Compressing data transfers streamline data transmission, which improves performance testing throughput.

  • Utilize Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Using CDNs helps reduce latency and improve response times, which can help optimize throughput.

  • Reduce Server Loads

It ensures that the system can handle the expected load without any issues or bottlenecks.

  • Improve Database Performance

Use efficient queries and indexing techniques to help speed up data retrieval.

  • Design for Scale

Designing a system for scale helps ensure that it can handle increasing loads so that throughput remains optimized.

Load-testing Tools for Measuring Throughput in a Performance Test Run

Having the right load-testing tools is essential for performance testing and maximizing throughput. Here are some of the tools for measuring throughput:

  • JMeter

JMeter measures throughput, latency, and other critical metrics. It helps you analyze your system’s performance under different loads. Plus, it identifies potential performance issues.

  • LoadRunner

LoadRunner is a good performance testing tool. It can generate user load to measure system response times, throughput, and other performance metrics. It also provides valuable insights into system behavior under heavy load conditions.

  • NeoLoad

NeoLoad is a popular tool for measuring throughput, response times, and other performance metrics. It helps you quickly analyze the behavior of a system under different load conditions.

  • WebLoad

WebLoad offers advanced analytics and reporting capabilities for measuring throughput. It helps you quickly identify and address performance issues.

  • Locust

Locust allows you to measure throughput in distributed systems. It helps you analyze how a system performs under different loads.

  • LoadUI Pro

LoadUI helps you measure throughput in real-time and identify areas for improvement. It also provides detailed reports on system performance to help you make informed decisions.


With the right techniques and tools, you can maximize throughput in performance testing. They will help you accurately measure, analyze, and improve throughput.

BIT Studios can help you get started using the right tools for performance testing services. Contact us today to see how we can help optimize your throughput. Our experts are ready to assist you in any way they can.

Originally published March 15, 2023, updated March 15, 2023

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