Acutest launch Load Cannon Testing Service

Acutest have announced the launch of their new load testing service: the Load Cannon. This is a performance testing service for websites and web-enabled applications. Hosted in the UK, it is a fusion of performance testing tools; load generators; monitors; structured testing methods; risk-based testing techniques and experienced performance testing consultants.

Acutest found that many organisations wanted to check how their web applications performed under a heavy load of users or when processing a high volume of transactions. This was usually triggered by an upcoming new web-site launch, enhancements to a web-based system, or changes to the infrastructure ahead of a significant event or seasonal peak. But they were deterred by the cost of performance testing tools; the expertise needed to conduct a performance test and analyse the results effectively; and the length of time it took to perform the testing. All of which led to them do little, if any, performance testing.

The current difficult economic conditions have restricted performance testing further. Cost constrained, many organisations just live with the risks of performance failure (ironically, in a marketplace where the performance of web applications can be a key competitive differentiator and business lifeline). Sometimes their web systems work as they hope. Other times, they don’t.

“We were approached by an organisation that had enhanced its website services ahead of a seasonal peak load. Costs had been reigned in and they did no performance testing. When the peak load arrived, the website collapsed with a significant adverse impact on the business,” said Ian Coe, the Head of Load Testing Services at Acutest. “The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is all very well, but if the ounce costs too much people will take the risk of needing a costly cure. We decided to come up with a cost-effective load testing version of that ounce: our Load Cannon Testing Service.”

The load testing solution is designed to be robust, quick to operate, capable of both onsite and offsite deployment and scalable. The pricing has been designed for the current economic climate. There are no testing tool license costs or restrictions such as rental periods. There are no additional costs for simulating high volumes of users, or transactions, in a test scenario. And you only pay for what you use.

A risk assessment is carried out at the start of the assignment and the testing is prioritised by business impact and likelihood of failure so organisations can match their budget with the level of risk they want to mitigate. This enables them to choose the level of performance testing they want, ranging from a simple benchmark load test to a comprehensive set of performance tests for a complex web-enabled system. So now organisations no longer have to live with the untested risk of performance failure.

“It’s easy to cut testing costs by simply doing less but this increases risk and the potential for high recovery costs, not to mention loss of business and reputation. We set ourselves the challenge of creating new testing solutions with the constraints of the current economic situation in mind. Services which cut the costs of testing whilst managing the risks,” said Barry Varley, Managing Director of Acutest.

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