Instant Load Generator Automates Massive Load Tests

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Simulating very large numbers of users accessing a website just got much easier with the release of the Instant Load Engine™ from Web Performance, Inc.

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literally boot, add engine, and test.

Simulating very large numbers of users accessing a website just got much easier with the release of the Instant Load Engine™ from Web Performance, Inc. Companies that rely on their websites to handle thousands of customers at a time know the value of testing to insure their site's performance and reliability, but the testing process often incurs long delays as the testing software is installed on up to hundreds of computers. For example, generating 50,000 simultaneous users could require anywhere from 40 to 100 computers to be individually configured and calibrated.

Because Web Performance, Inc. uses its own software to do fixed fee load testing services, any time spent on configuration lowers the profit margin. With that in mind, the product has been streamlined to automate as much as possible, including installation, auto recognition, auto quality control, auto updating, and automatic load balancing. The result is the most technologically advanced load testing software on the market, and no easier way to generate large numbers of users in a load test.

In the past using load engines meant running an installer, and that still is supported, but now there's the option of not installing anything: just create a CD-ROM using the provided ISO, and reboot your test computer to turn it into a load engine. "I am no longer required to manage and maintain a collection of computers on the chance event that I need to run spike tests. I can grab nearly any unused PC and make it a part of the test with a single reboot.", says David K. Shepherd who works with a large government consulting company. "A new load testing client machine can be added anywhere throughout my network, by simply booting an unused computer in any office."

Once an instant load engine is started, the next step is to connect it to the main program that will be managing the tests, and make sure the versions are compatible. The discovery process is automatic-- once the load engine starts it just shows up in the main program. Upgrading load engines to the latest versions is just as easy. If the version of the load engine is out of date compared to the Load Tester version, just click on the Update Button and the new version is automatically sent to the load engine! According to David Shepard, this has reduced the setup procedure to "literally boot, add engine, and test."

The next biggest problem in generating large numbers of simulated users is are they accurate? Web Performance invested a tremendous amount of design and lab testing to insure accuracy, ranging from system configuration tweaks to runtime monitoring of the load engines. The challenge was enormous because the response of any particular computer is non-linear, and the software has to work with unlimited combinations of hardware configurations. The result is a system which guards against common operating system performance problems, while continually monitoring the accuracy of the load engines.

Imagine trying to generate 50,000 concurrent users across a network consisting of a huge range of hardware, from an 8-way server to a laptop. The capacity of any single computer to general virtual users could vary from 400 to 1,500 depending on the configuration. The load engine performance is continuously monitored, and each computer's load generating capacity is measured and tracked. The task of generating the virtual users is then distributed throughout the network based on each computer's capacity, with the more capable computers handling more of the load. Each computer is used efficiently according to its unique capacity.

Another major step toward making large performance tests easier is to increase the number of simulated users that can be generated from a single computer. Web Performance Load Tester™     was designed from the ground up to simulate as many virtual users per-computer as possible. The latest tests show that up to 1,900 concurrent virtual users can be simulated from a single cheap, modern computer at last count.

About Web Performance
Web Performance, Inc. is the creator of the Web Performance Suite web load and stress testing software. Clients include Airbus, BlueCross BlueShield, Deutche Bank, eBay, France Telecom, Goodwill Industries, General Dynamics, Lufthansa, Motorola, Paypal, Polaroid, Toyota, Wells Fargo and Xerox, along with U.S., France, and Canadian governments, state and local governments and numerous universities. For more information, visit


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Michael Czeiszperger
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