The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Hallmark Passes the Valentine’s Day (Cloud) Test

The “Super Bowl” in the e-card business every year is Valentine’s Day. Each year, millions of Americans go online to send their loved ones an ecard.  What makes this holiday so different from other holidays (i.e. Christmas) is the density of the load. Sending a Valentine’s Day card on any other day other than the 14th just doesn’t work, so we all send a card within a 24 hour period. Which makes it a very demanding day on  vendors’ Web sites.  After all, if their site goes down or is slow, customers will seek alternatives. is clearly the leader in online Valentine’s Day cards as they may see as many as five million customers on Feb. 14.  So, how did they prepare their Web site for this year’s rush?  Hallmark chose to CloudTest their site and simulate the Web traffic that they might experience that day. For the weeks and months before the 14th the Hallmark team worked late nights and over the weekends to stretch their Web site with simulated users at demand levels that would well exceed their expected load. Cloud Testing enabled Hallmark to test over 50,000 simultaneous users, 800,000 in a single hour, and more then 5 million users in a 24 hour period. . .more then 25 times what they had tested in previous years. Testing any other way would have made it impossible to reach these types of numbers. Cloud Testing changes all of this by providing the ability to provision hundreds of servers in minutes while only paying for the time they are used. Hallmark’s hard work and planning seemed to have paid off as it appears that this Valentine’s Day was a complete success for Hallmark. Cloud Testing is changing how we test our Web sites 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.