Apply some pressure with BlazeMeter

Q&A – BlazeMeter CEO Alon Girmonsky talks about his company’s launch

Chris Mayer
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Based on Apache JMeter, load testing application BlazeMeter is designed to measure the response of a system or device when under stress.

It may not appear to be the most alluring side of the business,
but load testing has never been so important in building successful
applications.

Today, the people behind cloud-based loud testing
service Blazemeter
unveiled their public face after two years in development. Having
already attracted clients such as ITV, Logica and Toyota, we talk
to the creator of the cutting-edge application, Alon Girmonsky and
his vision for Blazemeter.

JAX – Where did the idea for BlazeMeter come
from?

AG: I’ve been developing enterprise grade systems in and around
the Internet for the past 16 years. BlazeMeter came out of my own
frustrations over the fact that load testing was unnecessarily
complicated to practice and non-realistic when deployed in a local
area network. 

While hunting for a decent load testing solution, I had to
dismiss commercial tools rather quickly as they were very expensive
and required a lot of education before taking any action.  I
came across excellent open source tools but all too often, they
proved limited in capabilities. 

After giving up, I built my own environment based on the open
source Apache JMeter- which
I found to be the best open source tool available. With the
introduction of the cloud revolution, it seemed an organic move to
create a solution in the cloud. It was just too obvious that there
was a faster, simpler, less expensive way to load test. I put out a
few feelers to see if there would be any interest and I was
thrilled with the response. Hundreds upon hundreds (nearly 1500!)
of users signed on to use the newly developed testing cloud.

Over time, this process evolved and BlazeMeter was born an
actual testing cloud for load testing.To elaborate further,
essentially EC2 by Amazon is a general purpose cloud.  Heroku,
another well-known example, is a Ruby cloud. So, in the same vein,
BlazeMeter is a cloud specifically for load testing. 

Why is load testing so important to web application
developers?

As the core of your business, successful web-apps are an
integral part of most businesses today. The only way to really
validate the behaviour of your web-app in real time is to create an
accurate and realistic simulation of what may happen during crunch
time. Otherwise any web-app going live without prior load testing
is exposed to failure and obviously, this can translate into large
financial losses.

Load testing today is complex and time-consuming every way you
turn. Whether self-managed or dependent on external and often
expensive resources, it is no easy task. Prior to BlazeMeter there
was no simple, self-service out-of-the-box solution.

What is JMeter for anyone new to the world of load and
performance testing?

JMeter is an open-source load testing tool created by Apache.
It’s a tool with great protocol coverage and scripting
capabilities. It’s very easy to create a test script that
realistically and accurately simulates any scenario. But running
tests is a different story… users may find it challenging and
spend too much time, up to days even, creating their own testing
environment as JMeter is limited in terms of scalability, reporting
and stability.

What problem existed in the market that BlazeMeter
solves?
 

Existing commercial and professional load testing solutions fail
to meet today’s developer needs because they are either too
expensive or too complex to meet real world professional
requirements. 

Due to our unique technology, BlazeMeter overcomes these
challenges through a self-service load testing cloud that provides
unlimited testing capacity, comprehensive and interactive real-time
reporting and sophisticated result analysis and
recommendations.

How long has the company been running?

We just launched – literally, as we went live today (December 6,
2011) after nearly two years of development. But, during our beta
and garage operation, nearly 1,500 users joined executing over
20,000 testing hours! 

Can you give us a brief description of what BlazeMeter
does?

BlazeMeter is a testing cloud with a sole focus on load testing,
designed to simplify performance and load testing for developers
and QA testers. We provide developers and QA testers self-service
tools to build failure resilient applications. 

We simplify load testing by dramatically reducing time-to-test
and we provide a self-service load testing cloud based on the
open-source JMeter. The fact that we are based on JMeter allows us
to reduce the cost of operation and also allow current JMeter users
to simply upload their script and run in an out- of- the- box
environment.

     

What does BlazeMeter offer/do that other competitors
don’t and what are BlazeMeter’s key features?

BlazeMeter self-service tools seamlessly create extra-large load
tests with minimum friction. Every user gets their own dedicated
and secure testing environment, available in numerous geographic
regions. Users can opt for automatic script generation and always
have the option to start, stop and re-size any options at any given
time. And, it’s available on-demand.

We also have extensive real-time reporting and monitoring for
optimal control. Users receive a full range of fine-grained and
interactive real-time reporting, result analysis and
recommendations. Users always maintain complete control over their
testing resource (logs, CPU, Memory, bandwidth graphs). On top of
the graphical reports, we aggregate and expose information from all
parts of the test, such as errors, exceptions or logs. Users can
query the report to find the most detailed information needed and
really drill down.

BlazeMeter also alters the economics of load testing by
providing a self-service system that allows users to pay only for
actual consumption.

Can you dive a bit deeper dive in to the technology
behind it?

BlazeMeter is a load testing cloud powered by our BlazeCluster™
technology. Our technology enables spawning an unlimited
number of customized JMeter engines, synchronizing them and
aggregating their data into one master set of results, completely
independent of JMeter. Needless to say, that due to having JMeter
incorporated within the BlazeCluster™ technology, it is fully
compatible with JMeter.

How do you see the next few years going for BlazeMeter
and the whole market in general?
 

IDC predicts that the automated software quality (ASQ) market
will approach $2.6 billion by 2014. I believe that most of this
growth will emerge from the enterprise market.  

BlazeMeter’s goal is to leverage the gap and completely
revolutionise the load testing market. With our testing cloud,
users can now practice professional load testing with very little
friction in a way that really embraces the new era of open source
cloud and agile development.  As more and more computing
shifts to web applications, the industry’s need for powerful load
and performance testing will continue to explode. We don’t see an
end to that anytime soon.

Can people try BlazeMeter and how do they get
started?

BlazeMeter
is free to try and download. Simply upload your JMeter script or
enter your URL for automatic scripting generated by the system. Or,
sign up (no credit card required) and receive ten free tests and
feel the power of the testing cloud!

Thanks for talking to us!

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