RealTime IT News

Mercury Interactive Launches Hosted Load Test Service

Mercury Interactive Tuesday launched ActiveTest, a hosted Web-based e-service designed to help organizations optimize Web site performance.

ActiveTest simulates high-volume Web site traffic to identify bottlenecks and pinpoint capacity constraints (i.e., on the network vs. server ends). It provides customers with interactive, real-time graphs and reports so that they can identify and fix problems before they result in users switching to faster, more robust sites.

ActiveTest's underlying technology is LoadRunner, a capacity testing technology developed by Mercury Interactive (MERQ). LoadRunner is designed to predict system behavior and performance by integrating real-time monitors that enable organizations to minimize test cycles, optimize performance, and accelerate deployment.

Enterprises participating in the beta program and already using ActiveTest include Athletesfoot.com, BitLocker, DHL, Maxime, Oshmans.com, Sportsauthority.com, Travelocity, and Xircom.

One advantage of using a hosted service, according to Zohar Gilad vice president of marketing for Mercury Interactive, is that by using one, an enterprise launching a site does not have to invest in the hardware and software necessary for testing.

ActiveTest's initial test seeks to "bring the site to its knees" to determine its breaking point according to Gilad. Data bandwidth of up to 1 Gbyte per second is tested, along with transaction loads of 4,000 transactions in a single second and 96,000 in a day. Web server loads of up to 3 billion hits per day by more than 100,000 users are also tested. Subsequent tests are conducted on a regular basis, at a minimal cost, to ensure the site is optimized for the desired capacity in cases of infrastructure changes or increased traffic through promotions.

ActiveTest's pricing starts at $15,000 for e-load tests scheduled in advance. Pricing for emergency, 24-hour turnaround e-load tests starts at $30,000. Maintenance rerun testing begins at $2,000.