Monday Dec 07, 2009

Affordable Load Testing

By Shanti Subramanyam

Commercial tools for load testing cost a pile of money, and free tools don't have the necessary functionality. Luckily, Faban solves both these problems. 

Faban is two things:

  1. A framework for developing performance and load tests.
  2. A tool to run these tests and view their results.

The former is called the “Faban Driver Framework” and the latter is called the “Faban Harness”. Although the two are related, it is entirely possible to run an arbitrary test developed outside of Faban using the Faban Harness. In fact, many benchmarks do just that. In this respect, Faban is rather unique.

The Driver Framework

The real power of Faban is unleashed only when you use the framework. The framework provides capabilities similar to other load testing tools, namely : emulate users, keep track of response times and other metrics, run monitoring tools etc. Some unique features of Faban include the ability to :

  • accurately measure server response times at the network layer
  • emulate a Markov model to realistically model web workloads
  • emulate a Poisson process for inter-arrival times
  • support hundreds of thousands of users with the lowest possible resource requirement

If that doesn’t convince you to try Faban, maybe some of the features in the Harness will. Please read on.

The Harness

The Faban Harness is a web application that queues and executes runs, displays reports and graphs from previous runs and in general serves to maintain the results repository. Some features of the harness include :

  • Gathering of configuration information across all the systems in the test configuration (including driver systems)
  • Automatic collection of system level performance monitoring data
  • Ability to run arbitrary scripts/commands to collect any type of monitoring data
  • Automated management of a wide variety of common server applications like apache, MySQL, glassfish etc.
  • Graphing of both workload and monitoring data for easier analysis

If a lot of these features sound like LoadRunner and other fancy, high-priced tools, they are (in fact these tools don’t even have all of the functionality I’ve listed above). And you get all this for free in an open-source tool !


So check it out. The easiest way to get started with Faban is using the Quick Start Tutorial. It gives step by step instructions on installing Faban and running a pre-built workload including screen-shots.

If you are ready to start creating your first workload, check out the Creating your first Workload Tutorial. For users new to Java, this step by step tutorial should make it really use to get started. 

Monday Aug 17, 2009

Free Startup Webinar: Tuning your Storage System for Database Workloads

Join us for this free webinar where our rock star, Angelo Rajadurai, will share tips and tricks for tuning your storage system for database workloads. Specifically, this webinar will address the following:

  • some of the performance issues we face today, and will provide some practical advice to easily incorporate these new technologies into your database storage tier
  • Sun's ZFS and Unified Storage platforms
  • practical steps for creating and tuning a hybrid storage solution that meets your data storage demands for a database workload

And you'll be able to ask lots of questions live to Angelo and other Sun experts! 

Date: Wednesday, August 26
Time: 8:00 am PDT / 11:00 pm EDT / 4:00 pm UK / 5:00 pm CEST / 8:30 pm India (New Delhi) (check my timezone)

Register Now

Tuesday Jul 28, 2009

Free Startup Webinar: Architecting Your Website for Scale and Availability with the AMP Stack and GlassFish

Reserve your seat today for this free webinar where you'll learn about a high performance, reliable AMP stack to run your web applications.

Specifically, this webinar will focus on how the Sun GlassFish Web Stack can:

  • Provide a low cost enterprise-grade support for popular open source applications such as Apache Web Server, Apache Tomcat, PHP and lighttpd among others
  • Run web applications at a high volume and scale
  • Easily manage updates and security patches to your AMP deployments
  • Monitor and manage your AMP components

Webinar Title: Architecting Your Site for Scale and Availability with the AMP Stack & GlassFish

Date: 08/11/09

Time: 9:00 am PDT / 12:00 pm EDT / 5:00 pm UK / 6:00 pm CEST / 9:30 pm India (Delhi) (check my timezone)

Speakers: Murthy Chintalapati, Engineering Lead, Web Tier Product Line, and Jyri J. Virkki, Chief Architect, OpenSolaris Web Stack, and Sun GlassFish Web Stack

Register today!

Thursday Jul 16, 2009

Sun Startup Essentials Insider - July 2009

What's Cool

Startup Essentials debuts live streaming video thru
Techcrunch's Real Time Stream Crunchup marked the beginning of a new page in SSE events. We streamed live on our channel and so far have had 20,029 Views. If you want to get a sense of the events Startup Essentials is participating in, definitely check this out! Our next live feed will be from Twiistup on July 30 & 31.

Zooppa Contest ends next Tuesday! is running a contest to create the most inspiring ads for our Sun Startup Essentials program. We're looking for videos, posters, and banner ads that communicate the value of this program. Total prize money is USD$5,000, and people from around the world can participate.

Can't get enough of the little blue bird? Wanna get all the hottest tweet news about startups? Then check out the Sun Startup Essential's Tweetmeme Channel

Offers & Resources

On-Demand Webinar: MySQL Performance Tuning Step-by-step 
Learn the basic steps the MySQL Consulting pros follow to tune a MySQL database server. Each step will be covered at a high level with one or two of the most critical parameters covered in detail for each step. Register here.

Unified Storage White Paper
Learn how to utilize open, simple, and scalable storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems. Read about the architecture of systems that can bring you ten times faster installation than competing systems, and require no special training to configure and use. Download here

Training: MySQL High Availability (3 Days)
This course is designed fro experienced database administrators and system architects who want to analyze and form a basis of understanding with different high availability options, including clustering and replication solutions within MySQL. Offered in Paris, Lyon, Hamburg, among others. Details here.


Facebook Developer Garage July 22, 2009

This month we're looking at Facebook Pages. We've got talks from two of the most successful UK case studies of successful Facebook Page use; the agency VCCP will be coming in to speak about their Compare the Meerkat campaign and how they reached almost half a million fans for a fictional character promoting a financial comparison website; and ITV will come in to discuss how they've used Facebook pages to promote all of their major TV shows, and the lessons they've learnt about using social media effectively. Register.

Also check out:
Twiistup: July 30 & 31. Streamed live.
London Open Coffee: Every Thursday from 10-12.

Our full calendar is posted on our blog (upper right hand corner).

Startup Of The Month

SearchForce is a Web software as service provider focused on maximizing ROI on search engine marketing (SEM). By offering to secure each client the best price per keyword to obtain a desired position on a designated search engine, and delivering real time data on cost-per-click metrics, SearchForce has developed a devoted customer base. Its innovative business model helps customers detect unanticipated surges or drops in online traffic, which in turn also creates a need for the company to commit to high-performance systems to help it lead in the burgeoning search engine marketing sector.

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Thursday Jul 09, 2009

The Scoop on Web Stack

Attention San Francisco Bay Area Startups!

We have two fabulous presenters at the upcoming Bay Area LAMP Meetup: Murthy Chintalapati, Senior Engineering Manager, and Jyri Virkki, Chief Architect. 

Presenting on: Sun GlassFish/OpenSolaris Web Stack - The Next Generation Open Web Infrastructure.

If you're interested in attending, the registration link will be live soon on the LAMP Meetup page:

Light dinner will be provided.

Date: Thursday, July 16
Time: 6:30-7:15pm
Sun Microsystems, Inc., 4030 George Sellon Circle, Auditorium building (2nd floor), Santa Clara, CA 95054   

Short abstract of presentation:

The OpenSolaris Web Stack is an open source project consists of popular open source web infrastructure (known as LAMP or SAMP) technologies, such as Apache HTTPd, PHP, Python, MySQL, lighttpd, as well as GlassFish and Tomcat. As a fully integrated in the OpenSolaris operating system, Web Stack delivers close integration with OpenSolaris innovations such as DTrace, ZFS, SMF and RBAC. OpenSolaris also provides a fully integrated PHP development environment with NetBeans. The Sun GlassFish Portfolio is the companion product offering which features the Enterprise Manager to manage and monitor diverse set of components. The Web Stack is optimized for scaling on modern multi-core systems. This session presents a technology overview of Web Stack, its ease of use, performance and monitoring.

Short bio of presenters:

Murthy Chintalapati (cvr) is a development engineering leader with two decades of building, leading and developing high performance teams in the fast-paced global environment. He specializes in infrastructure software products for enterprises deploying web 2.0 and open source technologies. He is responsible for Sun's web tier products, viz., Sun Web Server and the Web Stack. Murthy holds five U.S. patents and received Sun Microsystems Chairman’s Award for Innovation. He holds a M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology.

Jyri J. Virkki is the chief architect and lead of OpenSolaris Web Stack project and the Sun GlassFish Web Stack product line. He specializes in server software security technologies and performance. Jyri holds M.S. in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University.

Thursday Jul 02, 2009

Music Hack Day - Sponsored by Sun Startup Essentials 11/12th July 2009

Finally, a hack day based on the best industry to hack on, with the cleanest APIs and the most enjoyable content.

European music sites are revolutionising the music industry, not least with their eagerness to open up their data with APIs.

We will be running a Hack Day independent from, but working with the companies at the forefront of this movement. We hope you'll be able to join us.

We will be sorting tickets out soon, to be on the list of people who would like to attend then drop your details into the register page.

When: 11th - 12th July 2009

Where: Guardian Offices

Sign up now HERE 

Sponsored by Sun Startup Essentials

Tuesday Jun 09, 2009

FREE WEBINAR on Project Darkstar - MMOG Putting the "Massive" in Massive Multiplayer

FREE Darkstar Webinar on Wednesday, June 24th, 8:00am PDT / 4:00pm GMT. Reserve your seat here: Project Darkstar

The video games industry represents one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, and online games is its fastest growing segment. With this extraordinary growth comes the issue of building truly scalable, “massive multiplayer” solutions that are beyond what the industry deploys today. 

In this FREE webinar, Matt Hosanee will discuss how Sun's Project Darkstar meets many of the biggest challenges facing the development of future online games.  Project Darkstar is an open source platform for developing massively multiplayer online games.  It brings the same enterprise level scalability, performance, persistence, and data integrity that Sun's corporate clients enjoy.  It also provides new business opportunities because it is game and client agnostic, so browser, desktop, and console clients can play together.  

The presentation will be followed by your chance to ask specific questions on how Project Darkstar fits into your overall strategy.

We hope to see you at the live event!

P.S. Can make the live event? Sign up anyway and we'll send you a link to the replay after the event. 

Thursday May 21, 2009

Sun Startup Essentials Available in South Africa

Sun Startup Essentials is extending its reach and is now available in South Africa - in 34 countries total.  The list of countries is available on the program website. About 8,000 startups have applied to Sun Startup Essentials to-date.  The world is indeed an innovative place!

Tuesday Aug 05, 2008

Can a $14bn organisation help a startup ?

So hear from a customer of Startup Essentials, how Sun has helped support them from day one to grow and grow. Hear from Nic CEO and Founder of how by working with Startup Essentials he has launched, grown and scaled using Solaris and MySQL as his backbone, but also leveraging Startup Essentials engineering support, PR and dealing with a pro active company.

Startup Essentials Video Live 

Connecting the Startup Essentials community with all the events, information and resources required for them to grow and scale.


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