Chester Zoo Turns to SOASTA to Manage Demand

Impending BBC drama demands rapid testing programme

London, UK, 12th November 2014SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing, today announced that Chester Zoo, one of the UK’s leading conservation charities, has selected its CloudTest on Demand platform to help manage seasonal spikes and underpin its online growth strategy.   The decision was prompted by performance issues that affected the main website when demand was high but it was the impending screening of the BBC drama – Our Zoo – that gave the decision an added urgency.

During the summer peak season, Chester Zoo’s website experienced unprecedented traffic as the warm weather attracted more visitors than ever leading to a significant jump in online ticket sales.

“Thirty per cent of our ticket sales are currently done online and we have a goal to double this over the next few years as part of our growth strategy. We upgraded the look and feel of our website in June and as a result we also thought it wise to revisit our approach to testing.  With the BBC drama set to air in early September, it was evident that we had to move quickly to ensure the website could cope with the expected surge in traffic.  SOASTA not only responded promptly, they were the only company that offered an on-demand, cloud based solution that met our budget and tight timeline,” said Martin King, IT Manager, Chester Zoo.

SOASTA initiated the initial test within a matter of days with the goal of identifying performance bottlenecks and to stress the website to breaking point.  The test found that the 100mb leased line quickly became saturated once the number of concurrent users passed the 850 mark, causing connection errors and ultimately the site to crash. With the drama expected to generate traffic to the website in the thousands, a permanent solution was needed.

“Upgrading the leased line was not really an option given the prohibitive cost and a waiting time of 3 months so instead we created a new domain for the online shop and outsourced the rest of the site to an external hosting company, UK Fast. By separating our online shop from the rest of the website, we saw a marked improvement in the performance and response times. This was reflected in a second set of stress and performance tests that SOASTA ran hours after the new set up was in place that highlighted that the number of concurrent users that could be supported ranked in the thousands. SOASTA’s CloudTest on-demand platform gave us the confidence and ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive testing programme within tight deadlines and at an affordable price point. The proactive and accommodating nature of the SOASTA team was an added bonus that enabled us to engineer a practical solution,” added Martin King, IT Manager, Chester Zoo.

“Chester Zoo’s use of our CloudTest on Demand platform and the results it has helped deliver is an example of how the testing environment has changed. The idea that a stress and performance test could be outsourced, provisioned, configured and running within a matter of hours let alone repeated again and again against variable criteria was unheard of years ago. The reality is that testing has had to move with the times and become more agile and adept while delivering a robust, scalable testing environment. Our on-demand platform appeals to organisations that have time-sensitive or financially challenging projects and our ability to utilise the cloud has resulted in a solid, proven technology solution that not only scales but delivers valuable insights and analysis,” said Tim Bisley, MD & VP EMEA, SOASTA.


About Chester Zoo

Set in 110 acres and with over 11,000 animals, Chester Zoo is one of the UK’s leading conservation charities. A registered charity, the zoo attracts 1.4 million visitors annually and is involved in conservation projects around the world.


SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes real user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos,, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.



Ajay Nawathe

SOASTA EMEA Communications

+44 (0)207 194 8101

+44 (0)7813 564099