How to do more timely and easy performance testing: cloud
Skipping performance testing is not an option. However, if you lack the hardware, the time, and the approvals, cloud is your best bargain.
First, sit back and think of the good, the bad and the slow applications.
Performance testing with Rational Performance Tester
The other day Claudia, a performance testing consultant, contacted me to help with Rational Performance Tester. IBM offers Rational Performance Tester. The product consists of two parts.
Claudia wanted to do performance testing of their registration application for 700 users from all over the world. That number was the customer's requirement for the expected peak load. Claudia had one physical computer for the workbench and only one for a load generating agent. Clearly, one agent was not enough to handle the 700-users load. So, the team had to order new hardware. However, the approvals took so long that they passed the deadline so that the customer reluctantly took the chance to go live without performance testing. Fingers crossed.
What if Claudia could deploy performance testing agents in the cloud? In other words, what would happen with performance testing if you could deploy agents in no time and at a bargain price?
How you can benefit
Earlier you could deploy Rational Performance Tester only in your own company network. Now you can place the agents into the cloud. What is it good for? With Rational Performance Tester 8.7.1 in the SoftLayer public cloud, your performance testing probably cost less time, resources, and money.
In Rational Performance Tester, you arrange a workstation to develop your performance testing tests and control the execution of tests. This workstation is the workbench. From the workbench, you drive agents that perform the tests. Performance testing entirely runs within your company network. Bottom line: you own, manage, and operate your own computer hardware, software, and network. In this way, many teams do performance testing.
Otherwise, in a typical public-cloud environment, you install the workbench where you develop and manage your tests in your company network. You place the agents into the cloud. These cloud agents put load on your application and gather the responses of your application. Then, they send the results from the cloud to your workbench in the company network. You can choose a secure VPN connection for data transfer from the cloud to your network.
Heads in the cloud, workbench on the ground
Like I said earlier, the performance testing agents work from the cloud. So, instead of owning, managing, and operating your own computer hardware and software, you can give away responsibility for the cloud agents to someone else.
When you do performance testing in the cloud, the performance that you measure can be different from the values that you measure in the classic, purely physical environment. Therefore, accuracy is something you need to consider. For example, when your cloud agents use a shared hypervisor, a machine that runs multiple operating systems, less hardware resources might be available for each agent. In this situation, the performance looks worse. You need to correct. You can in the Rational Performance Tester workbench.
Money makes the world go round
Suppose you need more agents than you have boxes to do meaningful performance testing. You then need to ask your manager for more machinery. That means money and resources. Believe me, budgets are always tight. However, with the cloud solution, you're talking about a buck or two.
For the SoftLayer cloud, you pay what you use for the time that you need. Now you can apply a load to your application that you think is realistic and do your thing: performance testing.
Another time saving feature is that you can store a template of your cloud agents. If you can build your agents from that cloud template, you can deploy a uniform set of cloud agents. Another convenience when you need more agents than you had foreseen.
SoftLayer has data centers around the world. Amsterdam, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington among other cities. If you do business globally, you can see how your application reacts to loads from every corner of the world. The advantage of cloud load test from diverse locations, is that you can predict how your customers across the world experience your application.
Example: Let's estimate the costs of performance testing with 10 virtual cloud agents through the SoftLayer Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator. Take 10 virtual servers to accommodate 10 performance testing agents, you would pay about $60 or €55 a week for virtual hardware that runs far above the minimum requirements: 2 x 2.0 GHz CPU, 4 Gb RAM, 100 Gb disk, 10 Mbps network.
Crowd to the cloud
Going back to Claudia, what would Claudia do when Rational Performance Tester release 8.7.1 was available? Claudia might convince the manager to spend money for 10 agents, test for the 700-users loads coming from all over the world. You see a timely, effective, economical piece of performance testing and another happy customer.
Deploy your virtual users to cloud to move forward fast with performance testing. If you want to learn more about performance testing on cloud, read more:
Watch the video Using Rational Performance Tester on cloud.
If you'd like to discuss further about performance testing in the cloud, Rational Performance Tester, or give feedback, leave your comments here on this page or contact @gunangwaney
Software Engineer - IBM