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The world of application and server load testing has traditionally been limited by the availability of on-premise resources. With a new service from startup Blazemeter, that changes as load testing can now be done via a self-service cloud model.
Blazemeter today announced that they have raised $1.2 million in Series A funding to help support the launch of their cloud-based load testing service. Blazemeter leverages the power of the open source Apache JMeter project to deliver a cloud service that enables enterprises to load test their servers and applications.
"Apache JMeter allows you to script any load testing scenario that comes to mind," BlazeMeter CEO Alon Grimonsky explained to InternetNews.com. "It's an advanced tool to create an automated process, but running tests is a different issue."
Grimonsky noted that it's not easy to scale the open source JMeter release and reporting is not as advanced as it should be for large scale enterprise use. That said, Grimonsky said that he's a JMeter evangelist, but the execution elements are a problem and that's where Blazemeter come into play.
According to Grimonsky, with Blazemeter, scalability and execution issues are solved thanks to the advanced cloud self-service model that his company has developed. He noted that scaling to as many as 20,000 concurrent users is a matter of adjusting the slider on the Blazemeter interface.
Grimonsky explained that what Blazemeter does is provide a simulation of the users. For instance, if an enterprise wants to test the effect of 20,000 users logging in, downloading and accessing content or filling out a form, that's a typical use-case for simulation.
"To improve the scalability we have a lot of coding of our own to increase the scalability and to also enhance the reporting," Grimonsky said. "The main difference between the Apache JMeter that you can download and Blazemeter is: with Blazemeter you get an out-of-the-box environment that already solves many JMeter issues providing reporting, monitoring and scaling for load testing."
The Blazemeter service provides testing from up to six disparate geographic locations to help simulate load. Blazemeter uses Amazon's EC2 as well as other cloud providers, though Grimonsky noted that as a service, the enterprise user only deals with and pays Blazemeter.
"You pay according to consumption and usage," Grimonsky said. "It starts from $8 per server hour and grows according to the number of servers and the number of hours used."
Grimonsky noted that the $8 test will buy 300 virtual users on a server for a single hour.
While Apache JMeter is an open source project, Blazemeter's involvement in the Apache process is very limited. Grimonsky noted that, moving forward, the plan is to contribute as much as possible back to the core JMeter project.
New updates to Blazemeter are set to debut approximately every two months.
"My assumption is that JMeter is the best tool out there for load testing scripting, but the process that complements the scripting is a complicated one and that's where we invest a lot of effort," Grimonsky. "It involves more than just JMeter scripting, it involves the part where you configure hardware, test monitoring as well as making sure that the test is healthy."
Grimonsky noted that the goal is to let users leverage JMeter for scripting and Blazemeter for running the actual test. The plan is to make it even easier to access and run tests on Blazemeter by way of an open API and a plug-in. "The idea is to simplify the process and workflow and this is where we will invest as much as we can," Grimonsky said. "Performance can be a complicated issue and we want to provide a knowledge hub for users to help them solve problems with either technology or expert opinions."