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Prepare for a Traffic Storm

Posted on 4.28.2014

It is important for organizations to conduct load testing to ensure site performance during high traffic times. In doing so, site owners can be confident in their Web properties' ability to perform under just about any circumstance.

Luckily, the Web is full of technologies that can help site owners prepare their sites for an influx of traffic. Take LoadStorm as an example. This cloud-based platform helps users prepare their sites for stressful loads by enabling them to simulate hundreds of thousands of website visitors and visitor actions from various geographic areas.

“Performance engineering is what we are all about and we want to help our clients make their sites faster and more scalable,” said Scott Price, co-founder of LoadStom. “Anytime it slows down you are going to be offending someone and they are going to go away. There are so many studies from Amazon to Google to Walmart that say people leave (slow websites), and they tell their friends.”

Today, LoadStorm unveiled version 2.0 of its Web performance testing tool, which is available as a full-featured software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. The tool is offered as self-service or bundled with professional performance engineering consulting. With consulting, LoadStorm’s performance engineers work to meet client’s testing needs, which includes designing tailored test scripts, executing tests, analyzing results and/or providing optimization advice.

The new version of LoadStorm comes with a variety of features. For instance, users can record a test script without coding, which can then be modified within the LoadStorm application. Through the scripts, users can set parameters for virtual user actions from generated data or uploaded files. Actions include logins, shopping cart processes, searches, downloads, auction bidding, registration and more. The solution also offers users access to real-time actionable analytics that are provided in detailed graphs and reports. Plus, users can access specifics on a variety of elements, including performance details on servers, scripts, resource types, virtual user actions and Web pages. These insights enable users to identify potential problem areas when it comes to site performance.

Moreover, LoadStorm 2.0 offers calculated performance metrics, including response times, throughput, requests per second, error rate, data transferred, average throughput and more. In addition, the testing tool provides performance measurement of page completion times throughout the test. The simulated traffic works like a Chrome/Firefox/Internet Explorer/ or Opera browser, and the virtual users put stress on servers for all types of behavior, including AJAX-driven requests, form posts, parallel connections and JSON payload transfers. It is also important to note that test scripts can be weighted in order to generate the correct percentage of virtual users taking certain actions, like signing-in or searching. Pricing for LoadStorm 2.0 starts at $39 for 1,000 virtual users and increases based on factors like the amount of virtual users, test duration and consulting support.

“Countless organizations have a lot riding on their websites that includes revenue from ecommerce or simply ensuring uptime to not lose users,” said Phillip Odom, LoadStorm’s director of performance engineering. “As a result, load testing has become critical but, for many it’s still out of reach. It’s either too expensive, too complex, or too time-consuming. So, people often risk going without load testing and we end up reading in the news, practically every week, about a critical web application crashing. With LoadStorm 2.0, we’re addressing user requests for a load testing tool that is cost-effective, simple to use, and quick to provide results.”

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