I joined SOASTA in large part because it was clear the company had developed innovative technology addressing a critical business issue: accurately testing the performance of consumer-facing websites. Disruptive technologies, such as rich user interfaces, mobile devices and cloud, not to mention websites built using complex, distributed architectures, exposed the limitations of existing load testing solutions, which were built for low scale, client/server apps. CloudTest pioneered the use of the cloud for load testing and, by leveraging our engineering team’s rich experience creating products dealing with big data in real-time, SOASTA provided companies with the ability to quickly and affordably test production websites at scale.
However, scale also meant LOTS of servers, and while there were tools available that helped make deployment of servers easier, none really met the requirements of our particular workload. To service our burgeoning customer base we knew we would soon be launching thousands of servers every day. These servers needed to come up quickly, execute tests and then just as quickly go away. In addition, as we did more and more production testing, it became apparent that we needed to drive load from multiple locations. Our customers wanted to represent traffic as accurately as possible and sending everything from Amazon East was just not going to cut it. Manually provisioning servers, learning the idiosyncrasies of different cloud providers and needing to replace up to 5% of servers that were dead on arrival were just some of the reasons we decided to fully automate the process.
The team addressed this challenge with a brilliant piece of engineering called the Global Test Cloud, which is anchored by our grid provisioning technology. We are incredibly proud to have recently been awarded the patent for Provisioning a Cross-Cloud Grid.
Today, SOASTA’s Performance Engineers and our customers simply define where around the globe they want test servers allocated by using a simple-to-understand wizard. The SOASTA Grid provisions, corrects errors, reallocates servers and checks their health in a fully automated way. Click on the deploy button, go get coffee, and come back to a cross-cloud, global grid of servers available to run the world’s largest load tests. When you’re done, click one button and thousands of servers are immediately brought down.
When you build great technology it can often be leveraged in previously unanticipated ways. SOASTA’s mPulse for Real User Monitoring shares some of the same requirements as CloudTest: the need to analyze and develop actionable intelligence from massive amounts of data in real-time. But instead of generating that data by driving load, mPulse collects the data generated by millions of real user interactions. As with CloudTest, geographic spread and dynamic scaling is important if you want to provide the most accurate possible information. Our now patented technology for provisioning a cross-cloud grid will play a key role in giving our customers yet another innovative solution from SOASTA.
Continuous innovation … it’s fun being at SOASTA.
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