As web service developers, the most important thing we should strive for is to offer the user a fast, trouble-free browsing experience. Measuring the response rates of our servers under a variety of load conditions and benchmark programs helps us to do this.
A benchmark program may consume significant resources, so you cannot find the real times that a typical user will wait for a response from your service by running the benchmark on the server itself. Ideally you should run it from a different machine. A benchmark program is unlike a typical user in the way it generates requests. It should be able to emulate multiple concurrent users connecting to the server by generating many concurrent requests. We want to be able to tell the benchmark program what load we want to emulate—for example, by specifying the number or rate of requests to be made, the number of concurrent users to emulate, lists of URLs to request, and other relevant arguments.