With the rise of PaaS as the one of the highest areas of innovation in the cloud, we’re seeing more and more point solutions being created for PaaS players. Case in point: blitz.io. Blitz is a product of application testing vendor Mu Dynamics and it combines Mu’s cloud-based application load and performance testing service, with major PaaS, CMS and application acceleration offerings. The idea of the integration is that it enables developers to quickly, easily and affordably test the performance of the cloud applications without leaving the workflow of their PaaS, CMS or web management applications.

Blitz is integrating with a number of services including PaaS providers EngineYard, Heroku and AppHarbour, commercial Drupal offering Acquia and  website performance tool CloudFlare to allow developers to run load testing directly within those platforms. It’s an area of real growth and Blitz aren’t alone here – they’re going up against vendors like Soasta, Cloudsleuth and Loadstorm. Blitz sells itself on being;

  • Cost-Effective – Utility-based, tiered and low-cost pricing makes it accessible for development organizations and platform providers, large and small.
  • Fast and Easy – Eliminates the expensive and tedious script creation process. Developers can instantly load test their APIs and cloud apps without creating complex test scripts. With the Google Chrome extension and integration with Google Analytics, Blitz brings load and performance testing into the development cycle, enabling developers to simply launch a load test of their application anytime, anywhere.
  • Integrated into the application development workflow – Blitz is integrated into the most popular platforms and development environments, with more signing up every day.

I asked blitz how they’d differentiate themselves from other load testing tools, their answer, while certainly differentiating from traditional load testing tools, is similar to the proposition espoused by the other cloud testing players;

Traditional load testing tools tend to be “heavy” and require extensive scripting, high degree of user expertise, and are expensive.  To address the needs of developers building cloud solutions, Blitz does not require scripting, be flexible enough for making changes all the time and is easy to use without any training. We also have API clients for Ruby, Node.js, Python, etc as this enable Continuous Integration, something that is important for cloud application developers. Blitz pricing is also offered such that users can perform as much testing as possible without worrying about users credits, data throughput costs, etc. while being extremely affordable.

While load testing is undoubtedly a valuable service, I’m not sure about the value of integrating blitz with, in particular, CMS and Application acceleration offerings – while there are no doubt developers using those tools, the vast majority of users won’t be particularly interested in load testing. The PaaS integrations however make sense, developers using PaaS solutions will be attracted to a built-in service that allows them to stress test their application in-situ. Below is a (strangely silent) video showing how blitz performs load testing – it’s not the most exciting 1:49 you’re ever going to spend but it shows how the solution works.

Blitz has a pricing model that combines users with duration of load test – they have a cool interactive pricing page for users to work out what their particular situation will cost.

 

 

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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