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Delivery Stages of Online Service or Online Exam System

There are 4 stages of delivery of an online service (Server-Client/Browser based).

The overall experience of delivery is dependent on smooth synchronous functioning of all 4 components. If any of these is having a bottle neck, the entire performance will go down.

Service Delivery Component

Stage 1 : Processing power of the server

CBT Software running Online
from Cloud Server
CBT Software running Offline
from Owned Server in Lab
CBT Software running Online
from Owned Server in Lab
These are unquestionable because professionally planned for specific use and to handle huge loads.
Each server is catering to multiple customers and is always surplus in resources.
These servers are real time scalable so there is never short of resources
Generally these servers are bought on the criteria of optimal configuration for minimal budget.  Their performance is obviously low as compared to cloud servers but the major advantage of bypassing internet gives a faster feel.
Ofcourse these are servers with fixed configuration so they have load limits.
Same as mentioned in column 2 for CBT Software running Offline
from Owned Server in Lab

 

Stage 2 : Delivery bandwidth of the server

CBT Software running Online
from Cloud Server
CBT Software running Offline
from Owned Server in Lab
CBT Software running Online
from Owned Server in Lab
Again these are unquestionable because professionally planned for multiple customers and has sufficient allowance for surges. Again the resources on cloud are real time scalable so there is never a situation of shortage or clogging. In case of use within the lab, though the dependency on internet connectivity and speed has been surpassed by local LAN connectivity,  but still it is important to assess if the network switch or router is compatible for proper distribution of sufficient bandwidth to each terminal.
For this reason Lab Testing is very essential.
When a in-house offline server is made to behave as online server, then the roles of Stage 2 and Stage 3 swap. The local internet connection was used as receiving bandwidth when users were access test in lab from online server. But now if the Lab server is delivering to online candidates, then the local connection becomes the delivering connection, so it requires high upload bandwidth. Generally local connections have very low upload bandwidths as compared to download bandwidths.

 

Stage 3 : Receiving Bandwidth of the User

CBT Software running Online
from Cloud Server
CBT Software running Offline
from Owned Server in Lab
CBT Software running Online
from Owned Server in Lab
Servers process and deliver unquestionably fast. A server may have processing ability and bandwidth to answer 1000 calls a second, but at the user end if the internet connectivity is not sufficient to download questions fast then the user experience will be poor. Even in case of high bandwidth in lab if after distribution one user can not have enough bandwidth then again the experience will be low.
Generally these days individual users at home or App user may not face bandwidth issues, because in most cases bandwidths are either broadband or 3G/4G so there is not limitation in case of individual distributed users, but in case of multiple users in a single lab depending upon a single shared internet connection may report limitations in not sufficient for each
In case of within the Lab test system working on LAN, this parameter is mostly unquestionable unless the router or network switch is unsuited to the requirement. The analysis obtained by Lab testing data will indicate towards this. Same as mentioned in column 1 for CBT Software running Online
from Cloud Server

 

Stage 4 : Processing power of the User Device (Computer/ Smartphone)

CBT Software running Online
from Cloud Server
CBT Software running Offline
from Owned Server in Lab
CBT Software running Online
from Owned Server in Lab
In case of computers this does not effect much in terms of processing power because not much processing power is required. Small amount of resources are used to open browser and the software opens in the browser a s a normal website. The test is not downloaded into the computer so there is no effect of storage space. Also there is no calculation at the user computer so processing ability also does not effect. The only effect might be of certain computer specific browser settings.
But in case of Android devices where the user is attempting test on app, the resources and health of the device is utmost important, because the test is loaded onto the device and works locally from the device. Any hiccups in the operation are purely due to the device, because when attempting test from the android device,  the server and internet are not used, all activity is held within the device. There are certain guidelines which must be emphasized to app users.
Same as in case of online or offline system, the terminal computer resources do not have much impact, unless otherwise observed for some specific computer by running the Lab testing utility. In case offline test inside lab is held on Tabs/App then the same guidelines as for android devices prevail. Same as mentioned in column 1 for CBT Software running Online
from Cloud Server
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