uTest Partner BlazeMeter Hosts Performance Testing with JMeter Webinar

JMeter is the leading open source load performance testing tool, and cloud-based performance testing provider BlazeMeter will be hosting a live1_blazemeterbanner webinar next week giving testers and developers everything they need to run performance testing with the popular tool.

In this webinar on Wednesday, November 19, at 1pm Eastern Time, BlazeMeter’s Ophir Prusak will cover all of the vast capabilities and lesser known limitations of the popular open source load tool. The session will consist of three parts:

  • How to run performance testing with JMeter. Learn best practices, tips, and what you can and can’t do with JMeter.
  • Why it’s worth using BlazeMeter with JMeter. Learn the benefits and additional features you can get by running performance tests through BlazeMeter.
  • Live Q&A. Ask Ophir your questions about JMeter or BlazeMeter.

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Preparing for a Load Test With JMeter: The Vital Point You Might Be Overlooking

This piece was originally published by our good friends at BlazeMeter – the Load Testing Cloud. Don’t forget to also check out all of the lbz_bl_0001.24.13f_1oad testing tool options out there — and other testing tools — along with user-submitted reviews at our Tool Reviews section of the site.

If you often run load tests, you probably have a mental checklist of questions that run through your mind, including:

  • How many threads per JMeter engine should I use?
  • Can my engine handle 10% more threads?
  • Should I start with the maximum number of threads, or add as I go?

All of these questions are important and should be carefully considered – but what about the load test itself? Have you considered how the actual procedure will be managed?

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Open Source Load Testing Tools Comparison: Which One Should You Use?

This piece was originally published by our good friends at BlazeMeter – the Load Testing Cloud. Don’t forget to also check out all of the load testing tool options out there — and other testing tools — along with user-submitted reviews at our Tool Reviews section of the site.

Is your application, server or service is fast enough? How do you know? Can you be 100% sure that your latest feature hasn’t triggered a performance degradation or memory JMeter-Response-Times-vs-Threadsleak?

The only way to be sure is by regularly checking the performance of your web or app. But which tool should you use for this?

In this article, I’m going to review the pros and cons of the most popular open source solutions for load and performance testing.

Chances are that most of you have already seen this page. It’s a great list of 53 of the most commonly used open source performance testing tools.  However, some of these tools are limited to only HTTP protocol, some haven’t been updated for years and most aren’t flexible enough to provide parametrization, correlation, assertions and distributed testing capabilities.

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Load Testing Not Performed in Most Organizations: Should it be an Optional Affair?

We’ve all seen the disastrous results of not properly load testing and sites not being able to shoulder the traffic — the healthcare.gov site crashing in the United States is one load-testingexample where people’s livelihoods were actually put at risk (e.g. this wasn’t someone being inconvenienced today while pre-ordering the iPhone 6).

So you’d think that more organizations would be taking load testing seriously as part of the software development process, given the bottom-line risks to the business. However, according to a Software Testing Magazine report citing a survey from the Methods & Tools software development magazine, only 24% of organizations load test all of their projects, and even as high as 34% don’t perform any load or performance testing.

I’d be interested to dig deeper into this report, because it isn’t clear if this is a widespread issue in software development, or just in certain sectors. For example, organizations that make up this survey respondent pool may want to re-think their load testing strategies if they’re in industries with a low tolerance for crashes or slow site performance — i.e. retail. Nonetheless, this is still a surprising number.

Is load testing just an optional step for software development organizations? Or have they still not learned with the number of high-profile site crashes as of late? We’d be interested to hear from you in the comments below.

Load Testing Tool LoadStorm Introduces LITE Version

Untitled5Creator of cloud testing tool LoadStorm, CustomerCentrix, today announced that it has released a LITE version of its cloud load testing tool.

This version is designed to be a cost-effective, easy-to-use complement to its enterprise level tool, LoadStorm PRO. According to the company, LoadStorm allows users to set up tests in the web application and run them from the cloud with no hardware to purchase and no software to install. Users will be able to try LITE for free from their site.

Don’t forget to leave a review of LoadStorm if you’ve used the cloud load testing tool in the past, and be sure to check out the complete library of testing Tool Reviews to check out comparable load testing tools and see which is best for your testing team’s needs.

Load Testing with uTest & BlazeMeter

BlazeMeter LogoWhen it comes to building high quality apps, ensuring that they can handle even the toughest loads is one of the most important steps in software testing. But despite its importance, companies often see load testing as too difficult, too expensive, and too distracting from the goal of simply shipping the app. For many companies, their first load test comes in the “real world,” in the hands of their devoted users. And for all too many of them, the results are disastrous.

Our customers have been asking us for more and more help with load testing, and earlier this year we started seeking a partner who could help us execute high volume load tests. When we met the team at BlazeMeter, we immediately knew we had made the right connection. When it comes to modern load testing, these guys get it. They’ve built an outstanding cloud platform to run load tests using JMeter, a hugely popular load testing tool, with the ability to quickly scale from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of virtual users.

Load ChartToday we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with BlazeMeter, and we think that by working together we will make it substantially easier for companies to load test their web and mobile apps quickly and affordably.

BlazeMeter has built their load testing technology on JMeter - an open source platform with thousands of man hours of active development – for companies like Nike, Adobe, MIT and others. By creating a cloud platform for JMeter scripts, BlazeMeter has made it easy to deliver load tests on any scale without their customers having to manage expensive infrastructure.

BlazeMeter waterfall chartuTest brings to the table our team of performance experts to help create JMeter scripts and interpret the results. With our community of load testing professionals, we have some of the smartest JMeter experts in the world who know how to build testing scripts, execute them, and then interpret the results. Companies can work with us to have their web and mobile apps load tested using industry-leading tools, even if they have have no prior background in running a load test.

And because JMeter is an open platform, companies are not locked into an expensive tool with recurring licensing fees. Customers can reuse their JMeter scripts however they like, including on their own systems.

Are you launching a new app soon? Getting ready for the upcoming big holidays? Planning for an ad blitz around some upcoming sporting events? You have absolutely no excuse to think load testing is too complicated or expensive. Using uTest, we can help you plan, execute, and interpret a full suite of load tests very affordably for your web or mobile app. Learn more on our load testing overview page or contact us for pricing.

Quell the Queue with Load Testing

App QueueThere is a recent trend in releasing hot new apps to create a queue for your users before you can fully support them (see Mailbox and Tempo). The implementation of these queues is great from a usability perspective. They create both excitement and exclusivity for an app while you can sort out scalability issues. But as entertaining as they can be in the first week of usage (“yay, my numbers going down and look how many people are behind me,” you may think), having users wait to get your app while you sort out issues is a dangerous tight rope to walk, especially when a user’s switching costs are so low. An impatient user may decide to delete your app and move on to the next one, never getting to appreciate your app’s greatness.

So how do you minimize this risk? Enter Load Testing. Before releasing your app, get the confidence you need to know that all of your systems integrate properly and can handle the weight of your user base. uTest offers a combination of live and simulated load options to allow you to understand your app’s performance under peak loads. Finding your bottlenecks before launching your app means that no users, not even those early in the queue, should have to face performance issues. Avoid low app store star ratings and reviews and delight your users by letting your app shine through.

Do you know if your app has what it takes to meet its post-launch demand? Find out today.

iOS Jailbreak: Even Underground Developers Need Load Testing

iOS JailBreak: Why even underground teams need to load testGood news for the customization-loving jailbreakers out there; the long, nearly five month wait is over. A jailbreak for iOS 6 is now available, and works on the iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad mini and most current iOS devices.  The jailbreak allows users to personalize their device quickly, eliminating Apple’s restrictions.

The jailbreak, known as “evasi0n”, was developed by the underground team of hackers called evad3rs. According to Andy Greenberg of Forbes, evasi0n hit peak traffic almost immediately:

“In its first six hours online, the crack had already been used at least 800,000 times, according to Jay Freeman, administrator of the Cydia appstore for jailbreakers, and he says that’s a conservative estimate–his count was fouled up when the tsunami of traffic knocked his server offline several times over the course of the jailbreak’s first day online. By Tuesday his count was up to 1.7 million.”

Today Craig Llyod, of Slash Gear, said that Cydia saw an unfathomable peak of 14,000 hits per second. This is a perfect example of why all developers, even the underground teams, cannot overlook load testing. You can’t predict if the application, app store or nifty jailbreak you launch is going to have a slow and steady adoption, or flood with traffic immediately. Development teams need to know; at what point does the application begin to degrade, how many concurrent users can it support, are there bottlenecks and how does all of this effect the user experience? The benefits of load testing and attaining peak performance cannot be outweighed by common cost or time arguments. Teams need to plan for the worst case (or rather best case peak traffic) scenarios.

In the case of evasi0n, the rush of traffic perhaps caught evad3rs and the Cydia appstore developers by surprise. Jailbreaking, while having major benefits, puts users’ device stability at risk and can void an Apple warranty. However, yesterday’s incident perhaps indicates that the adoption of jailbreaking is growing. Whether your an enterprise, startup or underground developer – if you want your software to work remember to load test.

For the Love of Holidays – Load Test!

Not Load Testing Your Site Can Ruin Valentine's DayIt used to be that people visiting your website were sitting in front a computer – traffic to your site may peak on specific days, but they still needed to be at a computer. Load testing for that scenario isn’t good enough any more. Now your site must be prepared for even more traffic because in today’s mobile world people can access the web-anywhere, anytime. Want to snag that Black Friday sale but still in a turkey coma? No problem, grab your smartphone and buy that Blu-ray player from the comfort of your bed. Stuck in a board meeting and realize you forgot to send your sweetheart flowers for Valentine’s Day? No problem, tap tap tap and it’s done. That is, if the site you’re ordering from was prepared for the holiday traffic.

Time and time again companies fail to prepare their websites for high traffic days. I’m not talking “it’s payday and I’m going to buy a new pair of shoes,” I’m talking about Black Friday, major holidays, extensively advertised product launches, and now, Valentine’s Day.

Last November several e-tail sites crashed under the weight of the Black Friday shopping rush. Target underestimated the popularity of its new, highly advertised, Missoni for Target line and left customers frustrated after its site crashed repeatedly. How many Coca-Cola polar bear commercials did you see during the Super Bowl? Enough to think that Coke would be prepared for heavy web traffic. They weren’t (and neither was Acura or the site for the film Act of Valor).

After all these high profile site crashes you’d think companies would begin to do extra load testing leading up to especially high traffic events. And you’d think sites focused on jewelery, chocolate and flowers would take extra care to prepare for Valentine’s Day. Alas, they still haven’t gotten the message, and it’s hurting their sales. From pingdom:

Valentine’s Day is a great day for any vendor selling flowers. Over the years, a large number of websites selling flowers have sprung up, and as you might expect, many of these websites are flooded by eager shoppers on February 14 wanting to buy flowers and gifts for their loved ones.

This is big business. Americans are expected to spend $18.6 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts this year.

Now here is the catch. Every year, some of these websites won’t be prepared to handle the increase in visitor traffic and as a result they slow down significantly, or even crash under the pressure. …

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Five Server Load Tips

Last week, a company called Skyfire launched an app that made it possible to watch Flash movies on an iPhone or iPad. Their app uses servers hosted in the cloud to convert Flash videos to HTML5, making them viewable on iOS devices where Flash is not available.

Now we’ve heard before that nobody wants Flash on their phones, so you would understand that Skyfire had a slow first day after their launch. And by slow first day I mean their servers were so overloaded by the demand that they couldn’t provision them fast enough. Eventually they had to pull their app from the app store and declare it “sold out.”

We here at uTest think that among the things in this world that could be called “problems,” having so much demand that your servers can’t keep up is definitely a good problem to have.  Skyfire did, after all, make over $1 million in their first weekend on the app store.

On the other hand, nobody wants their servers to crash because of excessive load. The trouble is that properly planning for heavy load is often something that can vary from one application to another. (The load planning for Skyfire is probably very different from Facebook.) Still, there are some very simple load planning tips that almost everyone should know:

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