Twitter übergibt 200 angebliche Propaganda-Accounts aus Russland an US-Senat

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 13:30
Nachdem sich der US-Senat zunächst über die schlechte Zusammenarbeit mit Twitter beschwert hatte, legt das Unternehmen nun die verdächtigen Konten offen.

Amazon stoppt Weinstein-Serie mit De Niro

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 13:30
Der Online-Riese stellt die Kooperation aufgrund der Missbrauchsdebatte um Harvey Weinstein ein und distanziert sich von dessen ehemaliger Produktionsfirma. Derweil wird Amazon mit eigenen Vorwürfen konfrontiert.

Naturfotografie in den Bildern der Woche (KW 41)

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 13:00
Mit Tierporträts, einem herbstlichen Makro und einem holzschnittartigen Landschaftspanorama startet die Serie der Bilder des Tages aus der Galerie von c't-Fotografie.

Appnovation Technologies: Appnovator Spotlight: Paulo Gomes

Planet Drupal - 17. Oktober 2017 - 12:35
Appnovator Spotlight: Paulo Gomes Who are you? What's your story? My name is Paulo Gomes, I am from Portugal and moved to the UK with my wife in 2016 to join Appnovation crew. I am an tech and web enthusiast since the 90's (so not too old and not too young), I graduated in Computers and Management in 2002, after that worked in many places and companies, as freelancer, trainer and t...

"Missing Link": Manipulation, Meinungsfreiheit und Propaganda bei Facebook & Co.

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 12:00
Große Medienhäuser haben sich neben Facebook, Twitter & Co. und Sonderermittlern daran gemacht, Vorwürfe im US-Wahlkampf 2016 aufzuarbeiten. Es geht nicht nur um russische Trollarmeen, sondern auch um Macht und Verantwortung der sozialen Netze.

Was war. Was wird. Die Ballade von der lasterhaften KI.

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 12:00
Ob Karl Klammer schon als Künstliche Intelligenz durchgeht? Hal Faber ist sich nicht sicher, wagt aber immer noch die Frage, warum sich denn bloß eine Künstliche Intelligenz danach sehnen soll, wie ein Mensch zu leben.

Dropsolid: Load testing Drupal with Blazemeter and JMeter

Planet Drupal - 17. Oktober 2017 - 11:59
17 Oct Load testing Drupal with Blazemeter and JMeter Niels A Tech

When going live with a big project, it is all about reassuring the client that the project will be able to handle all those excited visitors. To achieve that state of zen, it is paramount that you do a load test. The benefits of load tests go beyond peace of mind, however. For example, it enables you to spot issues that only happen during high load or let’s you spot bottlenecks in the infrastructure setup. The added bonus is that you can bask in the glory of your high-performance code - on the condition the test doesn’t fail, of course.

Need help with your load and performance testing?
Contact us 


When doing a load test it is important to do the following steps:

  • Analyse existing data
  • Prepare tests
  • Set up tools
  • Run the tests
  • Analyse the results


Analyse existing data

If you are in luck, you will already  have historic data available to use from Google Analytics. If this isn’t the case, you’ll have to get in touch with your client and ask a few to-the-point questions to help you estimate all the important metrics that I’ll be covering in this post.


A couple of tips I can give if you lack the historic data:

  • Ask if the client has a mailing (digital or old-school) list and how many people are on it
  • If you have made comparable sites in the past, look at their Google Analytics data
  • Ask the client how they are going to announce their new website
  • When you are working on an estimate, it is always better to add an extra 15% to it. Better safe than sorry!

The first thing you need to do, is set a reference frame. Pick a date range that has low activity as well as the highest activity you can find. Then start putting that data into a spreadsheet, as pictured below:

You can download an example copy of the file here


The most important metrics we are going to calculate are:

  • Peak concurrent user (Hourly sessions x Average sessions Duration / 3600)
  • Peak page views per second


The values you need to find or estimate are:

  • Peak daily page views
  • Peak hourly page views
  • Total page view for period
  • Peak hourly sessions
  • Total amount of sessions
  • Average session duration in seconds

As you can see, we mainly focus on the peak activity, because you test with the worst-case scenario in mind - which is, funnily enough, usually the best-case scenario for your client.

Before we start preparing our test, it is also handy to check which pages receive the most traffic. This benefits the validity of your test scenario.


Prepare the tests

For our tests we are going to start out with Apache JMeter, which you can grab here.

With JMeter you can test many different applications/server/protocol types, but we’re going to use it to make a whole lot of HTTP requests.

Make sure you have the required Java library and go boot up the ApacheJMeter.jar file.


Adding and configuring a Thread Group

Start by adding a Thread Group to your test plan by right clicking your Test plan and selecting Add > Threads (Users) > Thread Group


Eventually you will need to fill in the number of (concurrent) users and ramp-up period based on your analysis, but for now keep it low for debugging your test.


Adding and configuring User-Defined Variables

Then right click the thread group to add User Defined Variables (Add > Config Element > User Defined Variables).

Add two variables named url and protocol and assign them a value.

Using these user-defined variables makes it easy to choose another environment to test on. It avoids the painstaking and error-prone work of finding all references and changing them manually.

You can use these variables in input fields in your test by doing this: ${url} or ${protocol}


Adding and configuring HTTP config elements

 Next up, you need to add the following HTTP config elements to your thread group:

  • HTTP Request Defaults
  • HTTP Header Manager
  • HTTP Cookie Manager

On the first one, you use your variables to fill in the protocol and the server name.

On the second one, you can set default headers for each one of your requests. See the screenshot below for what I’ve put in default.

For the third one, you only select cookie policy: standard.


A simple page request sampler

Right-click your test again and add the HTTP request sampler (Add > Sampler > HTTP Request).

Here we are going to call the home page. The only things you need to set here are:

  • Method: GET
  • Path: /

We don’t fill in the protocol or server name because this is already covered by our HTTP Request Defaults.


Posting the contact form

In this one we are going to submit the contact form (which is located at, so add another HTTP Request like we did before. Now only fill in the following values:

  • Method: POST
  • Path: /contact
  • Follow redirects: True
  • Use KeepAlive: True

In order for Drupal to accept the submit, we need to add some parameters to our post, like this:

The important ones here are form_build_id and form_id. You can manually get the form id because it always stays the same. The form build ID can vary, so we need to extract this from the page. We’ll do this using the CSS/JQuery Extractor (right-click your HTTP Request sampler: Add > Post Processors > CSS/JQuery Extractor)

Configure it like the screenshot below:

It will now get that form_build_id from the page and put into a variable the sampler can use.$


Posting some Ajax on the form

Imagine our contact form has some Ajax functionality and we also want to test this. The way we go about it is identical to posting the regular form like we did before. The only difference is the post parameters, the path and an extra HTTP Header Manager.

You should set the path in your sampler to: /system/ajax

Then right click your sampler to add your new HTTP Header Manager (Add > Config Element > HTTP Header Manager). Configure it like shown in the screenshot:

  Saving the results of your test

Now that we’ve configured samplers, we need to add some listeners. You can add these listeners everywhere, but in our example we’ve added it to the test in a whole.


We’ll add three listeners:

  • View Results in Table:
    • Show every request in a table format
    • Handy for getting some metrics like latency and connect time
  • Simple Data Writer:
    • Writes test data to a file
    • Handy for debugging when using Blazemeter (check out this link)
    • Just load the file into the View Results Tree
  • View Results Tree:
    • It shows you the actual response and request.
    • Uses a lot of resources (so only good for debugging)


There is a lot more you can do with JMeter. You can read all about it here.

Test-run the test

Now that we’ve configured our test it is time to try it out. So make sure not to put too much concurrent users in there. Just run the test by pressing the green ‘Play’ icon.

If you get errors, debug them using the feedback you got from your listeners.

As this wise man once said: "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome."

After you’ve validated your test, it’s always handy to turn up the concurrent users until your local site breaks. It’ll give you a quick idea of where a possible bottleneck could be.

Just a small warning: doing that load test on your local machine (running the test and the webserver) will take up a lot of resources and can give you skewed results.

You can download an example here.


Set up tools Load testing with Blazemeter

When you have a project that will have a lot of concurrent users, your computer is most likely not able to handle doing all those calls and that is why it is good to test from a distributed setup like Blazemeter does.


You can have multiple computers running the same test with only a part of the concurrent users or you can pay for a service like Blazemeter.


The downside of using multiple computers is that they still use the same corporate WiFi or ethernet, blocking yourself possibly to the lowest common denominator, which is most likely unknown and could cause trouble that might skew your test. On top of that you will also have to aggregate all those results yourself, costing you precious time.


For us the mayor benefits of Blazemeter are the following:

  • Simulate a massive amount of concurrent users with little hassle
  • Persistence of test results and comparison between tests
  • Executive report to deliver to a technical savvy client
  • Sandbox mode tests that don’t count against your monthly testing quota


Adding your JMeter test in Blazemeter is very easy and straightforward. Just click ‘Create Test’ in the menu and select JMeter Test.

Upload the file and you can start to configure your test to reflect your test scenario from the analysis chapter. We suggest to choose to ‘Originate a load’ from a service that is closest to your target population.

Before you run your test, it is important to have set up your monitoring of the environment you want to test.


Monitoring performance

At Dropsolid, we like to use New Relic to monitor performance of our environments but you could also use open source tools like Munin.

The most important factors in your decision of monitoring tool should be:

  • Persistence of monitoring data
  • Detail of monitoring data
  • Ease of use

If you are using New Relic, we recommend to install both APM and Server. The added value of having APM is that you can quickly get an overview of possible bottlenecks in PHP and MySQL.


Run the test

Now that everything is set up, it is important to have an environment that is a perfect copy of your production environment. That way you can easily optimize your environment without having to wait for a good moment to restart your server.

Run your test, sit back and relax.


Analyse the results

If everything has gone according to plan, you should now have reports from both Blazemeter and New Relic.

Blazemeter report of a test of 854 concurrent usersNew Relic monitoring during the same test

If your server was able to handle the peak amount of users, then your job is done and you can inform the client that they can rest assured that it won’t go down.

If your server couldn’t handle it, it is time to compare the results from Blazemeter and New Relic to find out where your bottleneck is.

Common issues are the following:

  • Not the right memory allocation between parts of the stack.
  • Misconfiguration of your stack. For example, MySQL has multiple example configuration files for different scenarios
  • Not using extra performance enhancing services like varnish, memcache, redis,...
  • Horrible code

If the issue is horrible code, then use tools like xhprof or to profile your code.

Need expert help with your performance tests? Just get in touch!

Contact us for performance testing 

Final note

As Colin Powell once said: "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure." That is exactly what we did here: we prepared our test thoroughly, we tested our script multiple times and adapted when it failed.

Steve Wozniak gründet Online-Universität Woz U

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 11:30
Steve Wozniak, Mitbegründer von Apple und Entwickler des Spielklassikers "Breakout", hat eine Online-Universität für IT-Themen ins Leben gerufen. "Woz U" soll im ersten Schritt bezahlbare Kurse anbieten und so die IT-Fachkräftelücke schließen.

Baidu will 2021 in Massenproduktion von selbstfahrenden Autos einsteigen

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 11:00
Das chinesische Internetunternehmen Baidu kooperiert mit einem weiteren Partner, um die Herstellung von autonom fahrenden Autos voranzutreiben. 2019 soll die Produktion von ersten Modellen beginnen.

US-Justizministerium fordert nicht länger eine Namensliste von Trump-Gegnern

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 11:00
Das US-Justizministerium hat seine Forderung auf Herausgabe der Namen von rund 6000 Personen, die eine Facebook-Seite zu Anti-Trump-Protesten mit einem "Like" markiert haben, zurückgezogen.

Telekom führt flexibles Tarifmodell für Unternehmen ein

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 10:00
Mit einem neuen Tarifmodell richtet sich die Deutsche Telekom an Geschäftskunden, die ihr Datenvolumen beliebig aufteilen wollen. Firmen buchen ein Paket pro Jahr statt einer monatlichen Flatrate.

Coalition for Better Ads: Der Browser als "safe zone"?

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 10:00
Nachdem Microsoft dem Bündnis gegen Adblocker beigetreten ist, fordern Branchenverbände eine Neuausrichtung und neue Garantien. Insbesondere der Einfluss von Google soll zurückgefahren werden.

Tesla entlässt hunderte Mitarbeiter – will aber weiterhin wachsen

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 10:00
Einem Bericht zufolge hat Tesla unter anderem Mitarbeiter aus der Fabrik und dem Management entlassen. Das ist Tesla zufolge aber kein schlechtes Zeichen: Es soll weiterhin Neueinstellungen geben.

Container: Red Hat bringt leichtgewichtige Runtime für Kubernetes

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 9:45
Meet CRI-O: Die neue Kubernetes-Runtime von Red Hat soll das Arbeiten mit Containern leichtgewichtiger werden lassen, indem Container direkt aus Kubernetes ohne zusätzlichen Code oder Tooling gestartet werden können.

Kritik an ehemaligem Chef des Europäischen Patentamts

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 9:15
Was als Fachdiskussion über die Zukunft des europäischen Patentsystems mit dem neuen Verwaltungsratschef des EPA gedacht war, entwickelte sich am Freitagabend zu einer harten Abrechnung mit dem scheidenden Präsidenten.

Bitcoin-Kurs weiter auf Höhenflug

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 9:15
Der Kurs der Kryptowährung steuert auf die Marke von 6000 US-Dollar zu. Seit Jahresbeginn hat sich der Wert verfünffacht, in der vergangenen Woche lag das Plus bei rund 30 Prozent.

Smartphone-Hersteller Oneplus rudert beim Datensammeln etwas zurück

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 8:30
Ein Mitarbeiter von Oneplus nimmt im offiziellen Forum Stellung zur Datensammelei und erklärt, dass man nun weniger Geräteinformationen auswerten will.

Drohne DJI Mavic Pro Platinum im Test: Lohnt sich der Wechsel?

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 8:00
Mit der Mavic Pro Platinum hat DJI eine überarbeitete Drohnen-Version der Mavic Pro vorgestellt. Sie fliegtt nun länger und leiser, dafür kostet sie 100 Euro mehr. Ob sich der Wechsel lohnt, verrät TechStage in seinem Testbericht.

Twitter verspricht neue Regeln gegen Hass und Belästigung

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 7:00
Der Konzern reagiert damit auch auf die jüngste Missbrauchsdebatte um den Filmproduzenten Weinstein und den Boykottaufruf #WomenBoycottTwitter der Schauspielerin Rose McGowan.

Neues Radar soll für einen unfallfreien Weltraum sorgen

heise online Newsticker - 17. Oktober 2017 - 7:00
Tonnen von Weltraumschrott umkreisen die Erde. Manchmal stürzt der Müll auch ohne zu Verglühen auf die Erde, öfter ist er auf Kollisionskurs mit Satelliten. Ein neues Weltraumradar in Koblenz soll Unfälle verhindern.