If you haven’t taken AppHarbor for a test drive, you should. While you’re there, check out the various 3rd party add-ons. Without fail, they are useful, easy to use, and have free usage tiers that allow you to do interesting things without divulging your credit card number. This is how I stumbled upon Blitz.io.
What is Blitz?
Load testing is a strange addiction to develop but many would be load testing junkies are turned off by the complexities of simply hammering a server with a bunch of requests. Blitz.io makes this as easy as clicking a button. Seriously. Within seconds, you can have an army of load agents at your disposal, ready to pound your servers from Amazon’s public cloud.
What will Blitz.io do for me?
Glad you asked. Blitz isn’t going to solve all of your performance problems. In fact, it’s beauty lies in its simplicity, so don’t expect an “enterprise” product with thousands of features. However, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve used it to:
- Verify my basic CDN configuration is working
- Verify my load balancer is working as expected
- Verify my application cache performance is decent
- Verify application performance is tolerable in general
- Find and fix a performance issue
What Blitz hasn’t done for me:
- Collected perf counters from my server – you should be doing this anyway, right?
- Told me how to fix my problems
Blitz makes load testing fun
As odd as it sounds, watching production servers sweat as they get pummeled by Blitz is pretty entertaining. One of my new office past times involves having Blitz on one monitor and Splunk on another and watching how well the latest build performs in production. The Blitz UI is easy on the eyes. See the screenshot below. Better yet, take 5 minutes and try it out yourself.