Now Is The Time To Begin Cloud Based Load Testing

Published by cyang on

The Internet has drastically changed over the years and even more so with the rise of web and mobile applications. With changes come new challenges that have resulted in complex hosting setups including CDN’s, analytics, 3rd party resources and additional layers of tools with their own unique intricacies. Unfortunately, as those of us responsible for application performance know, it is easier than ever for users to amplify any fault in our site’s overall performance via social media, forums, and blogs no matter what the circumstance. And since nearly no application is an island (see CDNs, 3 rd party resources, hosting companies), our application may be perfectly fine but is dragged down by a relationship with another entity. Our customers don’t care if it was the CDN or a 3rd party resource that impacted performance, all they know is our application performed poorly. Ultimately, the consistent performance of our sites and applications is directly related to our success and is the deciding factor between whether or not someone adopts and remains loyal to our offering. Today, the best way to test your website or app at peak estimated traffic and ensure that your site doesn’t crash is with cloud based load testing.

What is cloud-based load testing?

Cloud-based load testing involves the usage of cloud infrastructure provided by various cloud providers to test the limits of websites, APIs, applications, and other online services. Vendors typically integrate with providers like Amazon, Rackspace, Google, IBM, Azure and build a functional layer on top of their API allowing for ease of use and scale. Benefits of using cloud-based load testing:
  • Affordably generate realistic load and avoid outdated techniques to approximate live production conditions or full-scale load generation.
  • Spin up load generators in the cloud in minutes with just few clicks and scale load generators based on your requirements.
  • Lower capital and operational costs with an on-demand infrastructure.
  • Cloud-based testing providers offer a cost-effective means of testing applications at scale – as opposed to a lab environment that simulates a small subset of the actual production volumes.
  • No longer restricted by licensing issues allowing you to test your site to almost an unlimited number of users.
  • Prices are based on hourly rates or subscription type models. Pay for what you use – no more, no less.
  • Load generators are available across the globe, thus allowing the testing to simulate production like geographic distribution.
  • Network bottlenecks are of less concern due to large bandwidth availability for most of the cloud providers.
  • You don’t maintain the hardware, network or maintenance. Turn it on when you need. Turn it off when you don’t
Drawbacks of using cloud-based load testing:
  • While the cost of cloud-based load testing is typically lower, they can rise quickly and pricing can be confusing. Ensure proper planning is conducted and that estimates are created based on actual project needs so project budgets are not broken.
  • Security can be a concern due to the public nature of cloud testing which might be a deterrent depending on your project’s requirements. Although all vendors are making great strides to improve security and offerings like Amazon EC2’s VPC make things very secure.
Vendors providing cloud-based load testing services? Many of the vendors in the performance industry are moving in this direction. Below is a list of the most popular ones. SOASTA CloudTest HP StormRunner Load Octoperf Flood IO NeoLoad BlazeMeter LoadStorm Still have questions about cloud based performance testing? Feel free to email or give Total Performance Consulting a call with any questions about load-testing and other efforts to ensure the performance of your site or application. We have been doing this for 20+ years. We have seen the market change and tools change with it.  

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