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
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.