SOASTA Delivers Cloud-Based Web Testing

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-03-12

SOASTA Delivers Cloud-Based Web Testing

SOASTA, a provider of testing software for cloud computing environments, has added new BrowserFarm functionality to its CloudTest On-Demand testing service.

The company's new BrowserFarm functionality enables load testing with actual browsers for standalone browser-only tests and for enhancing large-scale Web system (Web applications and services) load tests with additional browser users to validate the "last mile" client-side experience of Web systems, SOASTA officials said.

This new feature gives enterprises the option to dynamically generate browser-based users driving load from the cloud across geographically dispersed locations for enhanced CloudTest load and performance testing offering with client-side performance metrics.

Indeed, the option of testing both browser-based and virtual users allows companies to choose a testing scenario best suited to their testing requirements without compromising on cost, quality, testing speed, convenience and upper test limit, the company said. The ability to combine both browser-based users and virtual users in the same load test allows customers to see, for example, how 5,000 browser-based users will experience the Web system, while under load from another 500,000 virtual users.

"To understand what could lead to abandoned shopping carts, poor user experience or frozen transactions, customers wanted the flexibility in our service to measure end-user experience regardless of a user's location or browser choice," said Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA. "This new feature lets customers add browser users appropriately to their larger-scale Web load tests or choose a browser-only load test leveraging our CloudTest Global Platform and real-time analytics."

To be sure, measuring the experience and performance of browser-based users is an important aspect of comprehensive load and performance testing, the company said. SOASTA's BrowserFarm functionality enables customers to define sets of browser-based users accessing Web systems from globally distributed locations, at varying loads and levels, on all modern Windows- or Linux-based web browsers across traditional and Web 2.0 technologies. And SOASTA provisions groups of actual Web browsers running customer-defined Web scenarios on its CloudTest Global Platform, the company said.

With SOASTA's CloudTest On-Demand service, customers receive a turnkey, hourly load testing service that includes all software, cross-cloud hardware and provisioning, testing support and real-time analysis and results reporting. SOASTA customers and partners simply provide the URL to be tested, and tests, monitoring and analysis can begin in hours.

Cloud Computing Is a Game-Changer


SOASTA CloudTest with BrowserFarm functionality is available now. For the next 90 days SOASTA customers can run a 500 browser user test for $500, the company said.

On Feb 18, SOASTA announced its CloudTest Global Platform, which enables enterprises to simulate Web traffic and conditions by leveraging the elasticity and power of cloud computing. This platform enables cross-cloud testing on today's leading cloud platforms such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace, 3Tera AppLogic and Enomaly.

The CloudTest Global Platform leverages SOASTA's CloudTest On-Demand services and enables load generation from virtually thousands of servers from more than 15 locations around the world.

"Because the Web is not a static platform, it's virtually impossible to simulate real Web conditions in an internal test lab or proprietary network," Lounibos said. "By leveraging the cloud, we use the Web as a platform to test Web applications and networks and are uniquely able to provide the most accurate representation of real world Web conditions. Two years from now, we see the cloud as the only viable platform for the load and performance testing of Web systems. Cloud computing has forever changed how we test our Web applications and networks."

Chris Roe, chief technology officer of QTRAX, an online music company, said, "Having the SOASTA CloudTest Global Platform available to us to simulate how the Web really works is amazing. We have done tests in the last several months that I could only have imagined, let alone afford, just six months ago. Cloud computing is definitely changing how we test our Web sites forever."

Patrick Kerpan, CTO at CohesiveFT, which provides a software assembly solution for virtual and cloud computing environments, said, "We like SOASTA - they are one of our partners in the cloud ecosystem. This is just a great example of why I say cloud computing is 'cloud computing gone through the looking glass.' You just couldn't do that kind of thing quickly, well or affordably before clouds like EC2 [Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud] and innovators like SOASTA. The CIO's who make use of these capabilities quickly are going to get a lot of good stuff done for their companies."

Meanwhile, Lounibos said SOASTA competes with commercial products such as Hewlett-Packard's LoadRunner and Borland's Silk. "However, they are not cloud-based as we are," he said. "We are also 80 percent less expensive," he added.

"We partner with cloud platform vendors like Amazon, Rackspace, etc. to generate the load we test against an app," Lounibos said. "We consider ourselves 'cloud agnostic.' With this announcement we enable 'cross cloud' testing....drawing virtual servers multiple cloud platforms at locations around the world to better simulate global traffic and Web conditions against a site. We also partner with Savvis, etc., on the distribution side."

And Lounibos said SOASTA will support the Microsoft Azure cloud offering when it becomes available. 

Rocket Fuel