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. 

Friday Oct 16, 2009

Changing the Way You Look at Storage - Free Startup Webinar

Join our rock star, Angelo Rajadurai, in this free webinar that will focus on ZFS. ZFS is a new kind of file storage subsystem that provides simple administration, transactional semantics, end-to-end data integrity, and immense scalability. ZFS is not an incremental improvement to existing technology; it is a fundamentally new approach to data management. ZFS also combines, Disks, DRAM and Flash into one storage subsystem easily providing the best overall price performance for storage. Come learn about ZFS and its benefits. See a demo of how easy it is to use and administrate. Hear from a startup on their experience with ZFS.

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Time: 8:00 am PDT / 11:00 am EDT / 4:00 pm UK / 5:00 pm CEST / 8:30 pm India (New Delhi) (check timezone)
Speaker: Angelo Rajadurai, Sr. Technical Evangelist, Sun Startup Essentials

Register Now

Sunday Feb 15, 2009

MySQL Performance Blogs - Some Top Tips


A compiled list of helpful performance related posting around MySQL on multiple platforms, and issues. I hope this helps.

Turbo Tagger

Tuesday Nov 04, 2008

Scale your Solaris web stack by using the right tools

Dear startups,

scale your Solaris based solution to any level you need to with the right tools. Our engineers are maintaining the"Solaris Performance Primer" with all freely available Solaris tools on the web. Bookmark this page if you need to know:

  • how do I monitor entire farms of systems with a freely available tool like dimstat
  • which process is overruning the disk and which file is it accessing?
  • Do I have enough threads and process to be able to exhaust our massive parallel T-class systems?
  • Am I overloading my network interface?
  • how to visually monitor Solaris systems for all the key parameters?


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


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