The Grinder

After getting into OpenSTA, we're switching to The Grinder for our opensource performance testing. Thought this was interesting:

1.1.3. How does The Grinder stack up against a commercial tool like Mercury Interactive's LoadRunnerâ„¢?

Here is an edited version of Tom Braverman's post to grinder-use.

A few reasons:

* The Grinder is lightweight

Compared to setting up LoadRunner or some other full featured tools, The Grinder is trivial to install and get running.
* The Grinder is a programmer's load tester

Too often, programmers defer load testing to some other group (e.g., QA) and don't test their own components for scalability. The Grinder is designed for people who understand the code that they're hitting - it's not just a "black box" with a set of associated response times.

Since tests can be coded - and not simply scripted, programmers get to test interior tiers of their application and not just response time via the user interface.
* The Grinder is free

I'm a consulting professional and I have to come up with solutions to deadlocks and slow downs. Sometimes I only have hours to recreate a problem and then attempt to resolve it. I can't count on my client having a given load testing tool and many (most?) development teams don't have any such tool (they defer this type of testing to QA as mentioned above). I can bring The Grinder in and set it up and apply load quite quickly.

Summarizing: I don't try and persuade my clients that The Grinder is a replacement for LoadRunner, etc. I tell them that The Grinder is for use by the developers and that they'll still want the QA team to generate scalability metrics using LoadRunner or some other tool approved for the purpose by management.

Story: One client was attempting to determine scalability based on LoadRunner. The LoadRunner team - with no understanding at all of the app - was telling them that some pages were giving response times of 30 seconds. The project manager knew this was patent BS since he could hit the enter key on his page and only count to 3 or 4 before the page displayed. The client spent many resource days attempting to understand LoadRunner numbers. Within a few hours, The Grinder was up and running and reporting numbers that appeared to track with the user experience. The Grinder became the gold standard that the client used to measure LoadRunner.

Its worth adding to this that many companies are using The Grinder for production load testing.