Prep your Web apps for stellar performances
Load testers prove a valuable part of your development strategyFollow @infoworld
At the conclusion of the tests, a simple click on a button acquired the output from the test into the analysis component of Proxy Sniffer. Particularly impressive are Proxy Sniffer's reporting and comparison facilities. Of the three tools tested here, it offers the most detailed reporting capabilities. I particularly liked its PDF output and comparison facilities. I simply entered a file name and generated a PDF that contained detailed data and charts from the test results.
After running several iterations of load tests to simulate baseline load plus successive business growth for three- and six-month intervals, I selected multiple test results, chose the comparison type (load curve or bar charts), and clicked the compare button.
It became quite clear that by the six-month interval, I would need to add servers to support the intended load, as the response time would have gone beyond the test SLA that I had previously defined. The compare charts and detailed drill down clearly showed the slowdown in response time with increased load. I successfully exported the comparison in HTML form.
Of the three solutions tested here, Proxy Sniffer offers the best ratio of features to price. In particular, its cross-platform support, ease-of-use, and in-depth reporting make it a strong contender and well worth short-list consideration if you are evaluating Web load-testing tools.
PureLoad Enterprise Edition 3.3.1
When compared with OpenSTA and Proxy Sniffer, PureLoad Enterprise Edition is capable of handling a broader range of testing duties. It is fully capable of testing Web sites and Web applications, but it also can be used to load test other enterprise technologies, such as JDBC connections, SMTP activities, and LDAP interactions.
A Java-based application, PureLoad is available in both a Web Edition (HTTP and HTTPS load testing) and an Enterprise Edition (Web load testing plus enterprise application load testing). If you need a single tool to gauge the performance and scalability of several types of technologies, PureLoad is a solid choice and should be on the short list.
When viewed through the lens of purely Web-based load-testing glasses, PureLoad is a tad pricey, though you get a lot for the money.
As does rival Proxy Sniffer, PureLoad supports single-machine as well as distributed load testing using Unix-, Linux-, and Windows-based load clients. For this review, I focused on how well PureLoad's Web technology testing facilities compared with that of rivals OpenSTA and Proxy Sniffer.
After starting PureLoad's services as outlined in the documentation, the next step is to launch the product's console. Defining a load test is very easy with PureLoad. After defining workers (virtual users), I then went on to create a series of scenarios (scripts).
PureLoad offers three very strong options for script creation. Test developers can choose to manually add tasks, such as an HTTP post task, to a scenario from the 70 built-in functions, or they can create custom tasks.
The second method of script creation would be to use PureLoad's Web Crawler tool, which crawls a Web site or application for static content and structure. This information can then be saved or copied into a scenario and be used as a foundation for a load test. The third method of script creation is provided by an included HTTP recorder, which captures interactive browser-session activity as the basis for a load test.