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High-performance Web sites and apps don't happen accidentally. A detailed performance and scalability testing strategy is needed throughout the development lifecycle -- and that requires a good load- testing solution.
The rewards are clear: Strong, ongoing emphasis on performance testing can keep budgets in check and reduce production issues. With the plethora of performance and scalability tools available today, however, choosing the right one for your shop can prove challenging.
I recently examined three Web load-testing solutions: OpenSTA 1.4.3, Ingenieurburo David Fischer's Proxy Sniffer Professional Edition 3.7, and Minq's PureLoad Enterprise Edition 3.3.1. The three solutions represent the low-, middle-, and higher-end price points of the load- testing tools market; and for basic HTTP and HTTPS testing, any of these three solutions more than meets the need. The way each solution is implemented differs, however, as does the functionality they offer.
OpenSTA is an open source Web load-testing tool that's easy to install and use. Setting up baseline and scalability types of load tests using either a single or multiple machines is a snap. Platform support, however, is surprisingly limited to Windows only.
Nonetheless, after registering all of my test machines with an OpenSTA repository on a central machine, I was executing distributed load tests in no time. Heavy OpenSTA load tests may also require developers to adjust the maximum number of sockets on each load client to reduce the occurrence of socket errors.
Script creation, execution, and analysis are all accessible via OpenSTA's Commander interface, which is a native Windows application. After creating a new script definition and clicking on it, the OpenSTA Script Modeler opened. The Script Modeler has three panes: one for script creation; a …