Testing Pre-Production Servers
Web servers, like websites what every their function need to be tested. Their performance can be measured using operating system logs/monitoring tools or with more specialised testing tools.
It is important to test the security of your server especially when it is open to access from the Internet. The server should only allow access to TCP/IP ports which require it to function therefore firewalls must be implemented. Security tests should also include access and permission testing. If clients only need the rights to read a file then read only permissions must be set on files to stop clients changing the file contents. It is also very important that security is monitored for suspicious activity such as hacking attempts or viruses.
Performance stress testing
Server performance must be regularly tested and monitored. One method is to add a load or add stress to the server to test how it performs. For example simulate a large number of connections to test bandwidth consumption. There are a large number of tools available for stress testing but most server operating systems have built in tools to test, log and monitor performance. It is also important to monitor network traffic and applications for errors. For example bad hyperlinks, software bugs, lost connections and system crashes.
As your client's grow, so do the number of connections to your server. Therefore it is important to plan for the future. By monitoring your performance you can predict when you need to upgrade. For example install more memory, faster processor or a new server.
For server testing tools visit http://www.softwareqatest.com/qatweb1.html