Stand Up To Cancer (SUTC) is an annual televised event on Channel 4, which attracts significant fundraising volumes via an online donation form.

Our consultants initially carried out manual Functional Testing, using an Agile methodology, alongside third party developers. Once the solution was completed and functionally proven, a Performance Test was then necessary.

Performance Testing for resilience

Due to the high volumes of expected users and the risk involved, a series of tests were recommended and designed, which were executed using the open-source performance testing framework, Apache JMeter:

  • A Peak Load test (1 hour, 1,000 concurrent users)
  • A Soak Test with spikes (3 hours simulation, 1000 concurrent users, reducing wait times)
  • A Failover Test to check system resilience (1 hour, 1000 concurrent users)

A number of bottlenecks and configuration issues were identified in the initial tests, which had to be remedied by Cancer Research UK’s development partner before tests were re-run. Once the initial tests had been executed, an Open Source Performance Testing framework was then implemented using JMeter, injecting load via a cloud-based provider over AWS.

Project outcome

The outcome of this project was a significantly more resilient platform, which coped with transaction numbers greater than anticipated on the night, driven by the live show on Channel 4.

Failover to a batch mode solution was not necessary and all transactions were successfully captured on the night, without any interruption of service to those donating.

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