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Free performance test tool from SOASTA: CloudTest Lite

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Today SOASTA announced CloudTest Lite, a free, enterprise-class performance test tool for Web and mobile performance testing in the cloud. I spoke with SOASTA’s CEO, Tom Lounibos, and the well-known performance test trainer, coach, founder and CEO of PerfTestPlus, and SSQ contributor, Scott Barber.

The world has changed and these days everyone uses the Web and mobile devices continually. “People are far less tolerant of the status quo,” Barber said of users who won’t tolerate slow performance. “The bar to entry [for performance test] in terms of financial investment has been so high that people were willing to accept a lot of risk,” he said, but “now that financial bar has been lowered to almost nothing.”

Barber, who participated in the SOASTA Early Access Program for CloudTest Lite, is impressed with the usability of the product and the fact that the low cost has now made performance testing feasible.

Barber said that while he likes open source solutions, they have their limitations. None of them can do everything, and they have limited support and training.

Barber said of the SOASTA announcement, “As a trainer, they’ve given me a platform where I can train people without them having to own some very expensive tool in order to try it out during a training class.” He went on to explain that using CloudTest Lite allows teams to do performance testing and debugging throughout the software development lifecycle for free without having to share licenses, controllers or other resources. Once they’ve gotten the tests fine-tuned, if they need more concurrent users, they can easily get the on-demand upgraded version of CloudTest for the time they need to run their tests. He explained:

You pay for what you need instead of having a million dollar tool sitting on the shelf nine months of the year.

I asked Lounibos whether or not a Service Level Agreement (SLA) was needed when performance testing was done in the cloud. He answered:

SLAs don’t come into play, nor does data security. We’re using test data versus live data, for example.

When asked whether CloudTest was ever used for post-production performance monitoring, Lounibos said that while they didn’t provide monitoring, they extracted data from monitoring tools. He pointed out, as he did when we talked last year about the uTest and SOASTA partnership, that the OLAP data engine was a key differentiator that SOASTA offers over competitors:

When we say enterprise-class, it’s really at the data level that you get a very sophisticated, multi-dimensional view of performance metrics unlike any other technology out there because we extract from multiple sources and aggregate and correlate them in memory.

SOASTA CloudTest Lite is immediately available as a beta version, with general availability on Sept. 1, 2011.

For more information or to download CloudTest Lite, please go to or contact SOASTA at 866-344-8766.