Load Testing From The Cloud, A Killer App?

There are debates over the usefulness of cloud' computing for enterprise.  Amazon Web Services blog has a post on how one company is using AWS to create load testing to test other web sites.

SOASTA - Load Testing From the Cloud

I met Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA, at the Palo Alto stop of the AWS Start-Up Tour. Tom gave the audience a good introduction to theirCloudTest product, an on demand load testing solution which resides on and runs from Amazon EC2.

Soasta_recordTom wrote to me last week to tell me that they are now able to simulate over 500,000 users hitting a single web application. Testing at this level gives system architects the power to verify the scalability of sites, servers, applications, and networks in advance of a genuine surge in traffic.

Here are a few of their most recent success stories:

  • Hallmark tested their e-card sites in preparation for the holiday season, and are ramping up testing to over 200,000 simultaneous users using CloudTest.
  • Marvel Entertainment is doing extensive cloud testing in order to get ready for the release of the sequel to IronMan.
  • A division of Procter & Gamble is using cloud testing to get ready for new releases of their web site.

Soasta also has a monitoring capability.

See Across Your Entire Web Application Infrastructure.

Resource Monitoring

Monitoring is the ability to monitor a resource (hardware, network, load balancer, firewall, Web server, database, application server, content management system, etc.) and capture usage information about that resource. Resource monitoring is a key component of professional Web testing. While it is crucial that a Web application functions correctly, resource usage and end-to-end response are extremely important. When there are problems, you need information about resource usage across the entire infrastructure of your Web application.

Resource information can be captured from any available resource in the Web application infrastructure—not just the Web server hosting the Web application. SOASTA CloudTest can monitor all three tiers of your Web application—the Web server, the application server, and the database server. It can also capture valuable information about other components in your network architecture—load balancers, for example.

Soasta says load testing is the killer app for cloud computing.  Didn’t think about it until now, but makes a lot of sense.

"Load and performance testing is the ‘killer application’ for cloud computing," said Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA. "Companies can very easily create a real-world test environment without having to invest in it. Developers have virtually unlimited and affordable access to thousands of servers, memory, storage, etc. and can, essentially on demand, simulate load and performance tests for tens of thousands of users without having to purchase the hardware."

Why SOASTA CloudTest Lab is uniquely different:

  • It’s Real World: Load and performance testing in cloud computing environments is the closest thing to running an application in production minus the worry of negatively impacting your customers. SOASTA CloudTest Lab provides you with a controlled environment to thoroughly simulate and stage a real world scenario before it goes into production.
  • It’s On Demand: No more costly investment in new hardware or worries about staffing up for support and management. Ready when you are, SOASTA CloudTest Lab serves as a virtual test lab at your service 24x7x365 and has you testing in a matter of minutes.
  • It’s Scalable: An overloaded Web site is a major problem. Being prepared and understanding the limits of your application is crucial to maintaining availability and a quality customer experience. SOASTA CloudTest Lab allows you instant access to up to 1,000 available test servers when needed, and the ability to shut them down when unused to reduce costs. In short, you pay only for what you need. Find out, without the cost and time of setting up and tearing down hundreds if not thousands of servers, whether or not your Web application can scale exponentially at a moment’s notice.
  • It’s Affordable: Load and performance testing is no longer cost prohibitive. A capability that would typically cost hundreds of thousands of dollars is now available to companies of all sizes in a matter of minutes for only a few hundred dollars.