Microsoft's Web Capacity Analysis Tool can help you answer the question, How many users can this thing handle?

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Windows Server System Magazine

by Keyur Shah

October 15, 2004

For This Solution: Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Resource Kit

You're on a small team racing to put a Web server-based application in production in time to meet an immovable deadline when a coworker asks you "How many users can this thing handle?" You can make an educated guess and hope the application is sufficiently efficient and the hardware is up to the task. Or, you can run tests to see how much it can really handle.

If the hardware in question is running Windows NT, 2000, or 2003 Server, you're in luck. Bundled with Windows 2003 Server and included in the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit is a handy tool called Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) that allows you to stress-test your system before unleashing users on it. In particular, WCAT helps you understand the load your system can handle before it reaches the point that users find unacceptably slow.