The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Delivering Reliable Web Services Requires Web Scale Testing

Who isn’t delivering a web service today is a much easier question to answer then asking who is. But the fact remains, if a web service is not reliable then it will not last long, no matter how interesting it might be. Ensuring a service’s reliability has been a goal of every developer, but it has been nearly impossible to attain until now.

The biggest obstacle has always been the cost of testing at web scale. Web scale is different for every company. In some cases, it’s a few hundred users hitting a web site at the very same time. For others, it’s millions of users (i.e. Facebook). No matter what your volume, it’s very expensive to achieve web scale in testing. For example, lets look at the environment you need to test 17,000 concurrent users of a web site. If you use some open source testing tools, you will most likely have to have over (200) server cores in your test lab. Try buying, configuring, and maintaining that many server cores and you will realize that “some assembly required” does not come close to describing the complexity and cost . . . and still you’re not done. You also need load balancers, monitors, dashboards, alerting systems, etc. . . . you get the picture! Even if you had unlimited money and manpower to achieve “web scale” in testing, you still have the problem of simulating traffic coming from inside your firewall and not externally as most Web2.0 applications function. For these reasons and many more, most companies have given up on testing their applications and network against the real world traffic that they are expecting (i.e. web scale).

That is, until today. Cloud testing enables companies to easily and affordably simulate “web scale” by using the access, availability, and affordability of Cloud Computing to create simulated web traffic. Companies like Hallmark, Intuit, Chegg and many many others are experiencing, for the first time, the ability test their web sites at “web scale” and beyond before their big day or event occurs. Cloud testing is changing how we test our web applications forever!

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Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.