A load test makes sense — in fact, it's an absolute must — for large, complex, or highly customized systems with add-ons. In these situations, a load test, whereby you physically test a heavily loaded system before it is deployed, is the only way to verify that the hardware sizing, configuration, and parameterization of your system will be powerful enough to support your business transactions with adequate response times and throughput. How do you know if your system requires a custom load test? The first part of this article shows you how to answer this question. And, supposing your system does warrant a custom load test, how do you proceed? What steps must you take to successfully devise and then execute the test? This article answers these questions as well.