Yes you can, although you will need to take into consideration a few limitations. Web server benchmarking is a common way to see the responsiveness of software and the underlying infrastructure when a website is visited at scale. Common tools used for this are usually ApacheBench, Siege and a few others.
These tools are usually used to measure the maximum requests per second a web-server can handle & the overall latency of page loading under stress testing conditions. Additionally there are quite a few online services, such as webpagetest, pingdom, etc that will test your site and render a web-based performance report.
It is important to note, that there are certain inherent limitations when using the above tools, here are a few:
- The server you are running the tool from may not have enough resources or capacity to accurately benchmark your site. For example, if you are running your benchmark from a small EC2 instance, you simply will not have enough CPU power to be able to accurately measure the peak performance of our infrastructure.
- Network latency and network capacity (throughput/bandwidth) between the benchmark server and the target (your website) is crucial in measuring performance. If there is insufficient capacity between you & us, then the results will be significantly skewed. An example of this is if you are benchmarking from your PC at home over a standard DSL line, you simply will not have enough capacity to accurately benchmark. Also if you have your own dedicated server or VPS, you need to be aware of the limitations your provider has imposed (for example a 100Mbps network cap is again quite inadequate/slow for benchmarking purposes).
- Be aware of the limitations that are inherent to online benchmarking and performance testing services. For example, you may test your site's performance using an online tool, but you should be aware that others maybe simultaneously running tests from the very same server, and that server or the network the tool is running on may be congested. It is quite common to see skewed results (even when using popular well-known online services) and as a best practice it would be wise to run multiple tests from different locations (some online tools allow you to select location) and test from multiple different services, then correlate the results.
- Pressidium offers end-to-end security and Denial of Service protection. Our architecture includes multiple load balanced & highly available network firewalls and web application firewalls (WAF). These systems along with many other measures collectively defend your website against attacks and malicious activity.
- Benchmarks & Load Tests may be detected as an attack since their attack vector and signature is quite similar to that of a real Denial of Service or Brute force attack, and sometimes it is quite difficult to distinguish between the two. This is also the case when the tool's useragent (ie. ApacheBench/version) is being abused by malicious bots masking as a "benchmark". In this case our security infrastructure may correlate and detect your benchmark as an attack and will take countermeasures to protect your site (countermeasures will also gradually escalate over time if the attack continues).
- Our firewalls have been carefully configured to always allow real-world "sane" traffic, so there is no fear of false-positive detection as a DoS/Attack there. Keep in mind that currently we consider "sane" to be not more than 1000 new connection requests per second per source IP address. That means that you can safely benchmark from a single IP address up-to this threshold, exceeding it will result in an initial countermeasure with new connections from the IP being temporarily throttled and intentionally slowed down (to increase CPU & resource usage for the attacker). Over time if the attack continues or is repeated then further countermeasures may result, including the attacking IP being reported and blacklisted.
To avoid the above nasty effects and to ensure that you get a correct benchmark result it is highly recommended that you open a support ticket and submit the IP address of the server you want to test from. This, so that we can temporarily whitelist your IP and ensure that you won't be picked up as an attacker or have any problems while you are benchmarking your site.
Pressidium is built with enterprise grade webscale architecture, and is designed from the ground up to scale and accept millions of visitors per day. We finely tune every single component and monitor performance at every level around the clock in-order to ensure that your website is always responsive and serving content - from only one session to millions of visitors your site will be always fast & available.
If you have any further questions about benchmarking & testing your site's performance please feel free to contact support anytime and we will be more than happy to help you out.