Load Testing of a Communication Protocol for a Networking Solutions Provider
The Customer is a provider of networking solutions that help increase efficiency and security of data transfer across WLAN and LAN networks.
Aiming to eliminate data transfer errors and improve data transfer speed between a server and a client, the Customer developed a communication protocol. The Customer needed to test how well the developed protocol performed in comparison with TCP/IP, QUIC, and SRT and searched for a third-party load testing services provider to carry out the task.
ScienceSoft’s network engineer carried out load testing in 4 stages in an isolated network with the latency value defined by the Customer.
The testing environment comprised a server (Apache HTTP Server) and a client (cURL) communicating via a selected communication protocol, and a network emulator (NetEm) placed between the server and the client. The network emulator was employed to generate data transfer errors, such as delay, packet loss, and duplication.
During the first and the second stages of testing, the performance of the Customer’s protocol was tested against the performance of TCP/IP employing a large file of 250 Mb and small files of 5, 10, and 15 Mb. The files were transferred from the test server to the client while the network emulator imitated data transfer errors.
The third and the fourth stages of testing presupposed verifying the performance of the Customer’s protocol against QUIC and SRT, communication protocols optimized for video transfer.
The network engineer recorded network bandwidth, latency, and packet loss rates for the tested protocols. The protocol developed by the Customer proved to show considerably higher performance. For instance, with the delay of 40 milliseconds and the packet loss rate of 40%, it took 13 minutes to transfer the 250 Mb file to the server via the Customer’s protocol, while transferring the same file via TCP/IP required 8.5 hours.
After all four stages of testing were completed, the network engineer compiled a test results report, which included the comparison of communication protocols’ performance rates.
The Customer was assured that the communication protocol they had developed considerably improved data transfer speed under network delays and packet losses and presented it to the market.
Technologies and Tools
NetEm, Apache HTTP Server, cURL