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Akamai CloudTest Alternatives:
LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor
Browser-based Load Testing

Ensure your customers get the web experience they expect and deserve.

Testing in Real Browsers

Test your sites and web applications using real browsers.

Powerful Script Recorder

Point and click through your applications as a user would.

Multiple User Simulations

Run multiple user simulations, from HTTP/S to real browser-based simulations.

Mobile Applications

Supports over 40 desktop and mobile browsers/devices.

Quickly script and execute load tests from a variety of geo-locations

Cloud-based load testing for web pages, web apps, APIs, and streaming media.

Features Akamai CloudTest Other Cloud Providers LoadView
No Additional Downloads/ Add-ons Required
No Scripting Knowledge Required
Scripting for Rich Internet Applications
Cost-Effective, Pay as You Go Pricing
Select from Various User Simulations
Offers Multiple Load Curve Options
Unused Resources Rollover Month-to-Month (Subscription Plans)

If you’ve been searching for an alternative to CloudTest from Akamai, take some time to read about the benefits of LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor. LoadView is a flexible, on-demand platform utilized for load testing websites, web-apps, mobile, and APIs – all from a single interface. The LoadView platform is entirely cloud-based, so there is no need to create additional cloud accounts or set up separate infrastructure. All the tricky parts are managed for you.

CloudTest from Akamai is a great enterprise level product and offers some of the same features and functionality as LoadView, but we’ll also cover some of the differentiators of each solution, so you have a better understanding as it relates to your specific needs.

LoadView: Real Browser Testing, On-Demand

In today’s face-paced culture, winning the online customer experience is key. When it comes to slow loading websites and applications, customers will quickly lose interest, become frustrated, and abandon what they were doing. A decrease in website performance is directly associated with loss of revenue and brand perception. They’ll quickly search for the closest replacement (aka, your competitor) and if their experience is positive there, they’ll likely never visit your site again.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. From Development and WebOps to Marketing and Sales, your organization has too much at stake to just simply ignore performance testing and hope for the best. Understanding how much traffic your website or application can handle is important, but it’s also vital to understand what specific elements are impacting performance. If you don’t know what needs to be fixed, you can’t improve it, which is where using a platform like LoadView is essential.

The LoadView platform is cloud-based and provides access to over 15 worldwide load injector servers.  Manually configuring and preparing load generators and agents is a thing of the past.  Engineers and developers can now spend their time on focusing on creating and executing load tests. Compared to other load testing solutions, where developers can only run protocol-based tests, which don’t take account the actual user activity (delays, mouse clicks, etc.), the LoadView platform can run both protocol-based and real browser-based load tests, giving teams better real-world data in return.

 

The EveryStep Web Recorder

The EveryStep Web Recorder is a scripting tool that provides users to quickly and easily script and record user scenarios and transactions. It’s as easy as navigating through your site or application as a user or customer would.  What’s great about the recorder is that it’s easy to use, there are no separate downloads, and previous scripting experience isn’t required.

The recorder is compatible with over 40 desktop (Chrome and Internet Explorer) and mobile browsers (iPhone, iPad, Google, Samsung, Blackberry, and more) and supports pretty much any program that runs in the browser, regardless of the technology used. The EveryStep Web Recorder supports the following technologies and much more:

  • AJAX
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • Flash
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • Silverlight

Launch the EveryStep Web Recorder Now!

 

Multiple Load Curves for Your Load Testing Requirements

The LoadView platform provides multiple load curves – Load Step Curve, Goal-based Curve, and Dynamic Adjustable Curve – depending on your specific load testing requirements.

The Load Step Curve is ideal for testing how your site or application handles surges in traffic.

Utilize the Goal-based Curve if you already know, roughly, the amount of visitors to your site over a given timeframe.

The Dynamic Adjustable Curve allows the ability to change traffic while the test is running. As you change the amount of load during the test, you also see how that affects your hardware or software.

 

Test Where Your Customers Are

Distribute user load percentages between geo-locations to match where your users are.  Choose from over 20 worldwide locations.

LoadView Pricing 

LoadView has subscription-based plans, starting at $199 per month.  With our subscription-based plans, unused virtual user minutes and load injector hours roll over and accumulate from one month to the next as long as your subscription plan remains valid.  Alternatively, you can also select from a pay-as-you-go plan. Pricing is calculated and displayed before you begin new test, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

LoadView Professional Services 

The goal of Dotcom-Monitor Professional Services is to have you running performance tests, analyzing your data, and adjusting your system without our engagement. Our methodology is tested, proven, and offered in unique à la carte fashion.  You pick and choose which elements you need assistance with, and our performance engineers will coach you through them.

Our engineers are also available to perform the entire testing exercise for you, offering consultation to optimize your code and infrastructure. The level of Dotcom-Monitor interaction is completely up to you.

 

 

CloudTest

Before we get into the specific features of CloudTest, let’s dive into a little background on the product itself. CloudTest is a load and performance testing solution that was first developed by a company called SOASTA. SOASTA was founded in 2006 and became a leader in the Digital Performance Management space. Akamai was founded in 1998 and slowly became a global leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) services. Beginning in the early 2000’s Akamai began a series of acquisitions to expand its footprint and scope of offerings. It wasn’t until early 2017 when Akamai acquired SOASTA. SOASTA now operates as a subsidiary of Akamai. CloudTest is just one of the many platforms now integrated into their Web and Mobile Performance Solutions.

CloudTest, like LoadView, is cloud-based and utilized to gauge performance of your web and mobile applications, APIs, and web services at scale. Akamai also understands the importance of the user experience and CloudTest is vital for ensuring applications and websites are performing as expected, regardless of the platform the customer is on.

 

Scripting and Recording with CloudTest

A test clip is a script that is comprised of a series of events, such as an HTTP/S script or a series of actions within a browser recording. They are the essential blocks that make up CloudTest. Users can create multiple Test Clips with different actions. For example, if you wanted to create three separate actions, such as a user landing on your homepage, a user shopping for a specific item, or a user browsing your site, you can create individual Test Clips for all of these actions. Like LoadView, users also have the option of adding delays to the script for actions that require additional think time or response time.

A collection of Test Clips is called a Test Composition. It’s these Test Compositions that are uploaded into their platform and then can utilized for load testing. One thing to note before creating test clips is that you must specify one Target (application, web service, website, etc.) and/or script. A Target also contains the relevant information to format and send messages to the web service, app, or protocol (for WebSockets-based sites).

Users have the choice of manually or automatically creating test clips using one of the methods below. One item to note is that CloudTest scripts are written in JavaScript, so if you do go the manual route, you will need to have expertise in the JavaScript programming language. If not, then the automatic method will probably suit your needs. Additionally, CloudTest is capable of importing existing JMeter scripts or configuring, editing, and running new JMeter scripts.

  • Mobile App (aka TouchTest) Recording
  • Browser Recording

Users must use the Firefox browser extension and the site must have a valid SSL certificate.

  • HTTP/S Recording

SSL certificate must be valid in order to record via the HTTP/S method. Recording HTTP, or packet-level traffic, is also available as an option for users. Just note that this requires the use of the Chrome Extension, which is a separate download.

One of the big limitations of CloudTest is that it does not support many of the Rich Internet Applications (RIA), such as Flash, Silverlight, Ruby, and PHP, like the LoadView platform does. Today’s websites are full of dynamic content, which users love, but can prove difficult for developers and engineers when it comes time to test performance. LoadView can easily automate the testing of these types of applications, giving developers time to focus on creating and running tests, rather than having to worry about and going through the effort of building complex scripts.

 

Executing a Load Test with CloudTest

Once you’ve got your script created and saved, you’re ready to go. Users begin by accessing any of their saved Test Compositions, which again, is just a combination of different types of user flows (visiting a homepage, shopping for an item, posting a comment on a form, browsing the store, etc.). As users create additional user flows, they become available within the CloudTest composition builder and from there, users can drag and drop them into the interface and add them to the cloud test server. From there you can specify the number of users you’d like for that particular activity and identify where you want the load to come from using the following cloud providers:

  • AWS
  • Google
  • Azure
  • GoGrid
  • Dimension Data
  • RackSpace
  • QingCloud

The last item that needs to completed is bringing up the servers, which is called “deploying a grid” in the CloudTest platform. A grid is a group of servers you want to use for a load test and setup time is relatively short and can take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Once the servers are ready, the test can begin. CloudTest is going to reach out to those different load generators and different locations, hand them the scripts with the specific user flows that were defined. Users can see the data come into the dashboards, in real-time as the test is underway.

One of the more visually impressive features within the CloudTest platform is the Dynamic Globe dashboard view. It’s a visualization that shows users how fast responses are coming back from the various locations, using specific color to represent multiple factors. For example, the width of the lines shows how much bandwidth you have, so you can actually see which location(s) is getting the most bandwidth and how fast the different responses are coming back from the locations.

Users can also set the color scheme of the arcs, depending on the response times. For example, you can set anything from 0-300 milliseconds to be a specific color and anything from 301+ milliseconds a different color. This allow you to visually see and differentiate response times between multiple locations.

Similar to the Dynamic Adjustable Curve feature within LoadView, users also have the option to change load on the fly through this dashboard in CloudTest. Adjusting the volume of users in real-time allows you to see how your site is impacted with as more visitors hit your site or application.

Once the test is running, users can access more detail within different CloudTest dashboards.

  • Collection Analysis

Shows not only the overall performance of each of the different scripts and user flows that are running, but within each user flow, you can look at how long the different steps or processes are taking. Metrics include average/minimum/maximum duration, standard deviation, 90th percentile, bytes sent/received, and errors

  • Average Collection Duration

Shows responses, over time, as the load test is underway.

  • Waterfall dashboard

Shows the different types of virtual users running and helps to identify what elements are slowing down the page, such as initial HTTP request, page resources, time to first byte, etc.)

  • Monitoring Combined Chart

Gives insight regarding what’s going on at the server level. Monitoring agents must be installed on the servers in order to pick up these server metrics. Metrics collected include CPU percentage/memory/IO, etc., utilized by virtual users

  • APM solutions

CloudTest also integrates with popular APM solutions, such as New Relic, AppDynamics, Dynatrace, CloudWatch, and Introscope

  • Error Analysis Dashboard

Shows virtual users vs. errors by type (over time), error analysis, and top five messages by error count.

CloudTest Pricing

Akamai doesn’t publish any pricing on their website, however, there are some sites that estimate the cost to be around $1,300 per user/year. Contact Akamai directly or contact a reseller or third-party, such as Azure or AWS Marketplace, to purchase a license or subscription.

 

Conclusion

LoadView and CloudTest are both very powerful performance testing platforms in their own right. Both give you the ability to test your web-based applications and services with as many real-world virtual users as you need. They also provide you with the metrics and reports that are essential when making an informed decision regarding capacity planning or adding additional hardware or software. With CloudTest, there are multiple, time consuming steps and additional extensions/add-ons just to get started. Additionally, users have to have extensive knowledge of the JavaScript programming language when creating scripts for rich web applications. It can become a very time-consuming endeavor for test engineers and developers. However, Akamai has an entire ecosystem that integrate with CloudTest and other products, making it a fit for larger enterprises and organizations.

When it comes to general ease of use with the platform and creating scripts for rich web applications, LoadView, along with the EveryStep Web Recorder wins here. There’s no experience needed when using the recorder, just move through your site or application, pointing and clicking as a customer would. Additionally, LoadView has great enterprise-level features, such as goal-based and dynamic adjustable curve tests. Additionally, the scripts that you create for load tests can be uploaded into their monitoring platform for ongoing analysis in production.

Try LoadView from Dotcom-Monitor

and get $20 in Free Testing Credits!