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Software performance glitches translate into decreased user satisfaction, employee productivity, and brand reputation, as well as lost revenue. A recent research proves that users would only wait 4 to 6 seconds for a page to load before they abandon a session. To prevent companies from losing customers and earnings, in our software development and testing projects, we focus on thorough performance and load testing. Having tried out numerous performance testing tools and frameworks available on the market, we searched for the one that would let us run varied tests and balance reliability and costs. Luckily, we found one.

What’s RedLine13 and how it compares to other load testing tools

RedLine13 is a platform for building and running load tests. And it’s their approach to testing that made our QA team try it out and eventually switch to it.
The platform allows using popular open-source testing tools like Apache JMeter, Gatling, and Selenium WebDriver in the cloud, thus solving scalability issues and dramatically cutting overall testing costs.
Let's look at an example to see how it does that. Simulating load with, say, Apache JMeter alone, it’s quite difficult to scale. Even though the tool allows you to run numerous distributed tests, a master node often becomes a bottleneck when you go beyond 500 simulated users. The test setup process is quite complex, too. First, you need to start up the required number of servers, then install all the needed packages to each server, configure a scheduler for the tests to start at the same time, set up a quick way to terminate testing on all servers to prevent a complete shutdown and finally collect the output and compile a test results report. RedLine13 spares you the effort — it automatically creates the required number of AWS instances and runs tests on them, showing test results in real time. And once testing is completed, the platform terminates the instances and provides a convenient final report. This solves the scalability issue and allows you to easily simulate thousands of users and generate tens of thousands of requests. Running load testing with RedLine13 is inexpensive, too. The testing cost is made up only of AWS’s charges for instance usage and the cost of your subscription.

Advantages of the RedLine13 load testing tool:

  • The possibility to run both web and API tests
  • The capability to simulate an unlimited number of users and run an unlimited number of tests
  • JMeter plugin support
  • The opportunity to write tests in a range of languages, including Python, PHP, and Node.js
  • Tests backup and the possibility to easily rerun them
  • Real-time reporting and convenient test results dashboards
  • Integration with CI/CD engines and visualization tools, like Jenkins and Grafana
The only limitation we’ve faced so far is the lack of built-in integration with configuration management and application performance management tools. The latter, however, can be compensated with PerfMon, a JMetrer plugin that allows monitoring more than 75 server performance metrics, including CPU, memory, and disk I/O.

Load testing with RedLine13: real-life examples

One of our customers, an ecommerce platform owner, struggled with the platform’s response time and downtimes, so their bounce rates went up and sales decreased. And since the platform performance directly impacted the performance of their business, the customer turned to us to identify the platform’s operating capacity and detect bottlenecks. To do that, we used RedLine13 to run JMeter tests on AWS servers. We configured the tool in a way that allowed us to simulate the behavior of thousands of users in real locations for more accurate testing results. In less than an hour, we got a comprehensive test results report and determined the platform’s response time, the number of users the platform can handle without service degradation, and the load at which the application started throwing errors. Another example is testing an online photography platform for a company that planned to increase the number of users from around 1,000 to 40,000 and needed to make sure that the system handles the load. We applied RedLine13 to test the application and the alternative servers simulating tens of thousands of users in real-life locations.
We carried out about 25 tests over the course of 4 days with a load of 10 to 8,000 users, and it cost us only $2.53.
We determined that the current server crashed with around 3,000 active users and provided recommendations on how to improve the app performance.

Bottom line

With software performance being the key to success among users, load testing will continue to stay in focus. If you continue to lose customers and revenue due to long response times or suffer from shutdowns, contact us for assistance in performance testing. And RedLine13 will help us test fast while retaining ultimate test results reliability.

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