Wednesday, July 8, 2009

HP Software Universe (HPSU): Performance Highlights

I want to thank all who came this year and made HPSU successful. Also I hope those that were not able to come this year will be able to attend next year in Washington D.C. Yes! Next year HPSU will not be in Vegas.

My week started out on Monday with our Customer Advisory Board (CAB). This all day session with 9 of our best performance customers was great. We received a lot of feedback with our current releases and some good ideas for the future.

There were 3 themes that I noticed throughout most of my meetings, whether in the CAB, One on Ones, or round tables, customers are looking for:
  1. Better ways of testing Rich Internet Applications (RIA)
  2. Getting developers or scrums involved in the testing process
  3. Ways of thanking us for the WAN emulation. (Really customers are loving this)

When it comes to the new web sites, RIA is the winner. For some reason companies want better end user experiences. So with these new technologies comes performance testing challenges. We understand. We have been coming out with protocols and features to help tackle these challenges, such as AJAX Click & Script, and our Flex protocol. But we also understand that this is not enough. You guys are looking for easier and more scalable solutions. I can't say what we are doing, but I can tell you that we are on it and we are making fantastic progress. I've seen some of the early work and you guys will LOVE what we are coming out with (some time in the future :) ).

So now developers are trying to get into the testing game. I have heard where where some customers are saying just let the developers performance test the app. There is no need for a performance testing team. I don't get this. Would anyone ever want to get rid of the functional QA? Do people think that Functional QA does not provide value? Of course not. So why is there this push for developers to do all performance testing? I understand that they may want to do performance sanity checks. That makes sense, but to give all the performance testing to developers makes as much sense as having them do all the functional testing. You can't have the fox guard the hen house. That just will not work overtime. Ok, I'm done with my rant.

Let's get back to development performance testing. There is a need in Agile, SOA, and for sanity purposes to start performance testing earlier and more often. Hearing this over and over again at HPSU was very interesting feedback. Over the past year or so we have noticed Performance Center is more and more being utilized by development communities. Unlike other testing tools including LoadRunner, the developers do not have to have their own load testing machines. They do not need to have controllers or load generators. All they have to do is create scripts, upload them to PC and then run the tests on the performance infrastructure that exists. All they need is intranet access and a log in. To be honest, this wasn't one of the use cases for creating Performance Center but this is a benefit that has been popping up recently with many of our customers. And it does correlate with what we heard at HPSU this year. Developers have different choices for performance testing, but when they use PC those scripts can then be reused by the performance team. This reduces the time is takes to develop scripts by allowing reuse and brings the performance testers closer to the developers. And really we are all about bringing people closer together.

Finally, we heard many people talking about WAN emulation. In case you don't know, LoadRunner and Performance Center have an integration with WAN emulation software created by Shunra. We released this integration in our latest version 9.5 and the feedback has been wonderful. Customers are telling us that they can now do types of testing that they have never been able to do or they can do it so much easier. With this integration all the setup of the WAN emulation can be done through LR or PC. You do not have to work with the Shunra application directly. Now you can emulate usage from all over the world with the load generators that you have in your test lab. Shunra's WAN emulator is sold separately and only through Shunra. But if you need to understand system performance from different points on the globe and you don't have the LGs there, then this integration is something that you need to look into. And from what I heard at HPSU, there are many of you that need to look into it.

It was a good week. Actually better than expected. I thought because of the economy we wouldn't have as lively of a show. But I was wrong (this is a rarity). I thrive on getting feedback and information from customers. At events like this I get so much information. But of course it is never enough. I would like you to also provide me feedback on my products. If you would like to, you can always email me at Also if you would like to set up a phone or face to face meeting just let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment