Performance testing is an important part of any software development, especially software that is designed to be consumed online. Online software are open to multiple concurrent users that give tremendous amounts of load on the servers or even the cloud. No one can safely say that their website or app is ready to be distributed to the masses without any rigorous testing beforehand.
Many online projects and applications have already failed because they buckled under the tremendous pressure of a high-server load.
The scenario is usually this; the developer had an idea for a new site or app, the developer designs the site or app thinking that since it is a new site or app it won’t initially require that much resources since it won’t have a massive userbase at the beginning, the site or app suddenly become viral and lots of users flock to the site or app, the project that wasn’t designed for such an onslaught sputters and crashes, the users see this as an unstable product and leaves, the product becomes dead since it has gained notoriety as an unstable product.
It is important to be ready for any circumstances, and should your site fail, you should be at least ready for any fail-safe mechanism. While waiting for the hordes of consumers to actually load-test your website is inadvisable, you can’t just wait for the moment the site or app to fail to gauge it, you must act pro-actively. So before deploying your site to your customers you must be sure that you have fully, and rigorously tested your site to be able to handle the sever stresses your target consumers might put upon the site.
However, there are a lot of suites and software out there that promise to help you load-test your servers or websites. It can be a daunting task to manually test each on of these software and find out which one is the best suited to your capabilities and needs.
You might waste time on a program that lacks the features you want in order to fully test your site or you maybe stuck with a software that you don’t understand at all and is too bloated for you.
Being stuck with a wrong choice is bad enough but being stuck picking on which solution to choose from is worse.
So instead of you taking the plunge head on and totally missing the mark, we took the time to test several of these offerings ourselves and choose the one we think is best for the purposes you might need.
Although there a lot more tools out there than the ones listed below, we choose these for the various benefits of using them and some good use cases which you might like. Again, the list is not as extensive and complete and if you want a more comprehensive list you can find so, however the tools we listed are what we consider to be the best or have something to offer which you might like.
Apache JMeter is an open source software that is part of the Apache software foundation which means it is a top performing software. Being open source, this also means that you can immediately use Apache JMeter without paying for it unlike some of the offerings listed below. It is made in java so it can be run from any environment that supports java without you managing binaries and compatibilities. It also supports a command-line mode or a non-gui/headless mode to allow you to run it via the scripting commands of your OS or any other methods to run the program remotely or automatically.
JMeter, is also fully portable, meaning you can just put it on an USB stick and have it run anywhere and, being a project made in java, anywhere truly means anywhere.
So if you want a full-fledged, open source solution to quickly do a load test, you might want to try out Apache JMeter.
If you wan’t to update to the cloud from JMeter, which only runs in one
instance, you might want to use BlazeMeter. BlazeMeter uses the same technology as JMeter, actually it uses JMeter as it’s back-end. In layman’s terms it creates a custem JMeter script to simulate users, but it is way more complex than that. BlazeMeter runs these tests on the cloud so it can simulate anonymous and logged in user on geographically distributed machines. Running the tests on their cloud also allows them to generate larger traffic volumes which more realistically mimics real-world usage.
NeoLoad is especially designed for Agile and DevOps, it runs automated load testing and also creates an automatic pass/fail results. It integrates itself into your development cycle. NeoLoad sells itself as as part of your build/test cycle
that is built with collaboration in mind.
Because of it’s design philosophy it is especially useful for products that are continuously developed or updated.
So, if you have a product that you want to deploy now but know that you will be continually developing then NeoLoad’s automated solution might be the answer to your problems.
For a more robust and enterprise-grade answer for your big web applications that you are anticipating to accommodate millions and millions of users then you might want to go with WebLOAD. WebLOAD is made to simulate heavy user loads and delivers these from the cloud and local machines. While WebLOAD is seen for it’s robust testing, it is also easy to use and it supports a lot of technologies and protocols.
If you find that the software suite you are using is having difficulty with properly testing your website then you might want to use StressStimulus.
It uses recorded user inputs to test site responsiveness. By using recorded interactions you can be sure it tests the aspects of your product that you want tested. If you still want more extensibility it also supports three scripting languages so that you can script it’s actions.
Another variant to JMeter. SmartMeter.io allows people to use load testing tools much like StressStimulus does, by recording inputs. The focus is it’s easy to use script-less recording test creation. It also outputs comprehensive reports that can show test run comparisons and trend analysis.
Another load-testing software that promotes scriptless, user-recorded testing. LoadUI Pro also uses the cloud to do the testing. It comes with a lot of templates to get you started immediately and is integrated with SoapUI. It boasts advanced visualisation of server-side metrics so you can create better and more informative reports.
There are a lot of solutions you can use to stress-test your websites. If you haven’t started testing your site already you must start now. It is imperative to know how your sites or servers performs under stress and under what load can you reliably provide service. Using the above-mentioned tools you are well on your way to improve your website or app’s performance.