Are you planning to perform load testing for your website and are you looking for the best tools to do so? Or are you reading blogs of open source load testing tools versus commercial load testing tools? This blog will break it down for you.
Load testing is a type of performance test in which it tests the performance of your website in high traffic conditions. An expected load is generated using load testing tools and various performance benchmarks are measured. Load test data and reports help identify bottlenecks and potential issues that degrade website performance and the scope of optimization. Load testing and trace fix help improve the speed, stability, and scalability of the website.
Why use open source load testing tools?
When you decide to perform load testing, which you should do, the first question that comes to mind is what tools to use for load testing? This is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make because choosing the right tool is the key to successful load testing and optimizing your website/app performance. Every tool, whether open source or commercial, has its pros and cons, but you should always consider all factors like accuracy, ease of use, ease of scripting, reliability, scalability, reporting, monitoring and cost, etc. before choosing one.
Open source load testing tools are often maintained by some of the big developers and are free to use with their source code available to customize as required. You can use the open source tool and extend its functionality for internal use. Some of the popular open source tools are JMeter, Gatling, The Grinder, Locust, Tsung, and WebLOAD. The following are some of the pros and cons of using open source tools that you should research carefully before selecting any tool:
Advantages of using open source load testing tools
- No initial investment is needed, as it is free to use.
- The source code is available to extend the functionality based on internal use cases.
- Managed by top developers and open source communities.
Cons of using open source load testing tools
- You need to invest in hardware to run open source tools on your servers.
- Building and maintaining the load-testing infrastructure would require additional labor and IT costs.
- Virtual users (upload) are generated on your internal servers, leading to unrealistic conditions and misleading results, as end users come from different devices and geographic locations.
- Open source load testing tools have limited support, which means that if you face any challenges in implementation or maintenance, you’re pretty much alone.
- Security is a major concern with open source load testing tools.
- Getting the open source load testing infrastructure up and running takes time.
- Open source load testing tools can affect your project schedule due to the challenges and management needed.
- CPU and memory issues can arise when you run large load tests.
- Scaling is difficult as the application and users grow.
Popular open source load testing tools
JMeter is by far the most widely used and popular open source load testing tool that offers many features comparable to commercial load testing tools. You can record your test scripts and understand the reports very easily. It is actively maintained and updated frequently to support new technologies.
Locust is also a popular open source python-based load testing tool. You can easily define user transactions and test them thoroughly. One of its significant advantages is that it has a very friendly user interface so that you can understand performance metrics quite easily with graphs, exceptions, glitches, and other related information.
Grinder is an open source Java-based load testing tool based on Jython. It is useful for testing the load of your Java APIs. You can also use the closing language to write test cases in Grinder.
When to Use Commercial Load Testing Tools
While we talk about open source load testing tools, let’s consider when to use commercial load testing solutions. Based on your business goals, project schedule, and feature requirements, you can explore some of the best commercial load testing tools available on the market. The following are some of the pros and cons of these tools:
Advantages of Commercial Load Testing Tools
- Regular updates and extensive support
- Relatively easy to set up and use.
- It supports multiple protocols and browser-based load testing.
- Real-time monitoring and advanced reporting.
- These can be easily integrated into the CI/CD pipeline.
- Multiple geolocation supports for realistic conditions.
- Easily scalable without additional overhead.
Cons of Commercial Load Testing Tools
- These tools can be expensive to use.
- Load generation is usually limited to the plan/license you are subscribed to.
- The decision on the development of additional functions depends on the provider.
LoadView: The Practical Alternative to Open Source Tools
LoadView is a cloud-based load testing tool that allows you to start testing your website/app load quickly. It uses real browsers and devices to generate a load of users from multiple geographical locations, giving you the most realistic conditions for the accuracy of the results. Included is the EveryStep Web Recorder that allows you to create test scripts with point-and-click functions.
Even if you have no programming experience, you can use it efficiently and make the most of it. LoadView also allows you to adjust your loads in real time for exploratory testing for capacity planning and scalability identifications. LoadView generates advanced reports that contain detailed performance information in an orderly fashion so you can easily understand and identify bottlenecks to eliminate them quickly.
Summary: Open Source Load Testing Tools: Advantages and Disadvantages
Load testing is a must to analyze the speed, stability, and scalability of your websites, applications, and APIs. There are commercial and free load testing tools available in the market that you can choose from based on your requirements. While open source load testing tools don’t require an upfront investment, they come at the cost of building and managing your own infrastructure with limited features. Commercial load testing tools like LoadView offer great functionality and features for accurate results and ease of use. Read more about how LoadView compares to other load testing tools on the market.
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