We have finally got our hands on an interesting tool called Blazemeter. As is the case with other engineers, we are always trying to extend our knowledge. First time I heard about Blazemeter was a year ago in a seminar video, while I was trying to expand my knowledge on test recording and performance report analysis. At that time JMeter was more than enough to run our basic performance tests and based upon it’s results we were able to give good suggestions to our clients on improving their systems. As we started to test large systems we were starting to notice some weak spots of JMeter. In my opinion there are two weak spots of JMeter which slow down our work. One is the maintenance of a JMeter testing cluster. Before every testing you have to be sure that every machine is up, that all of the services are working correctly, that the network connection between the machines is ok, and of course you have to run a simple test to double check things, because sending wrong data to a client is not an option. The other thing is reporting. It’s a bit hard to create a user-friendly reports in JMeter, and usually you have to rely on an external tool to create them. As I read about Blazemeter’s function on their site I saw that Blazemeter has good scalability and nice reporting functions, and their site claims that it is an “Instant” load testing platform and you can start testing right away. We thought we should give this application a try.

To make the trial more interesting I started with a simple JMeter test script which just loads a search engine and searches for a word, gave it to our least experienced member and watched how much time he needed to run a performance test. I was surprised it took just a couple of minutes for him to complete a performance test without any instructions.

I asked him to write down his experience and impressions about the process, and to explain the most useful functions. Here it goes:

To start you just have to click on Add Test in the header. In JMeter you have to go to properties on Upload Files and upload your test file(s) from your computer.

Script Upload

The required fields are as following: Test Name and JMeter version. The listed/supported versions are: 2.9, 2.8, 2.7, 2.6, 2.5.1, 2.5.0, 2.4, 2.3.4, 2.3.2. After uploading the script, setting the name and selecting the version you have to click on Save and the test is almost ready to run.

If you want to change simple configurations you can do it in the Blazemeter settings panel, without opening up the script on your local machine.

There is a very useful and helpful option beside the script upload window – “Concurrent User” window. Here you can Override Script Properties per each JMeter Thread Group (Beta). This function is still in Beta, but working well and it is easy to change the script parameters without opening it. This can decrease the setup time during the performance test sessions.

You can change the concurrent user number, the Ramp-up time, the number of iterations for each variable and duration for each variable.

Script Upload

In the JMeter Engine window you can specify the engine parameters.

Settings

The options are the same as described above for Concurrent Users.

Next to these options there are many other options, like:

  • User Experience Monitoring with Selenium – This section is used to automate Selenium to launch real browsers and visit the provided landing pages during the load period.
  • JTL Properties – Certain JTL properties can affect JMeter memory consumption and cause the test to break under a heavy load.
  • Network Emulation (Beta) – Emulate various network properties of real devices over slow networks
  • Advanced Test Properties – here you can request email notification when the reports are available, setup a Scheduled start, add additional JMeter command line arguments…

Settings

When finished with the settings, click on Save and a View of the added test will be displayed. To start the testing, just click on Start in the header.

The test started quickly, we just had to wait for several seconds. To test much larger loads the best strategy is to schedule them using the test scheduler.

When the tests are finished, just click on “Test & Reports” in the header and choose the reports that you want to analyze.

You can easily Share the results on Twitter or Print them, by clicking on the icons in the right top corner of the report.

Let’s see how the results were displayed.

The reports can be downloaded in JSON, CSV or ZIP format.

Load results and CSVsample.jtl

Report

The displayed graph is very clear and it can show ALL element or just selected one. The left and the right side can be combined freely. Under the Graph an Agregate Report is displayed.
Load result

Load result

The next Report is the Waterfall. This report represents a waterfall breakdown of the traffic for a single user session during the load period.

Waterfall

The next one is the Monitoring tab. Here you can follow the performance changes during the testing.

Monitoring

Logs – there is no need to describe how important having logs is. Here you have Network information and the JMeter log file.

Logs

Logs

The last tab is the Load Report.
This function is still in Beta, but it works ok and gives very useful informations. Looks like it is fully configurable.

Click on Full View/Public Link and the Load report will be displayed on the whole page width.
Here you can easily combine the following: Users, Respons Time, Latency, Hits/s, KB/s, Errors, wich components(or all) wants to be displayed in graph…

When the graph is displayed you can easily get informations about a ceratin point by moving the mouse over to a point of your interest. The details of a selected point will be displayed in a small popup window.

Load Report

Load Report

Load Report

All in all we are quite satisfied with Blazemeter. It fulfills our performance team’s needs. The short learning curve of the application spares my nerves.

To try out the application yourself, you just have to register for a free account (http://blazemeter.com). By watching some of their beta functions I think there are a lot more goodies coming. Another useful thing is their blog, there are a lot of good references there to learn basic and advanced stuff about performance testing, so don’t forget to check that out too.

We will suggest to our existing clients who use Jmeter to start using the enhanced options of Blazemeter.

Posted By Tihomir Turzai

    2 Responses to “Loadtesting with Blazemeter”

  1. Daniela says:

    Hi Tihomir.

    Thanks so much for your great post covering how easy it is to load test using BlazeMeter. Thought you might also like to try out <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/blazemeter-the-load-testi/mbopgmdnpcbohhpnfglgohlbhfongabi BlazeMeter's new Chrome Extension for load testing.

    Best,
    Daniela
    http:/blazemeter.com

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