Appendix A. Web Performance Product Lists and Reviews

The following is a list of the major commercial tools using in monitoring, load tests, tuning, or other tasks that someone who reads this book might do. I’ve tried to isolate most commercial products to this chapter.

Problems with Commercial Tools

Most web performance tools have the same flaws. They do useful things and I’d love to get those benefits, but I have to work around these common problems:

  • Most of these tools have GUIs that will not go away. This is especially true for tools that run on Windows. These products literally do not run without the GUI. It is better to deal with a command line and ASCII log files.

    I often need to run tests on the other side of one or more firewalls and get the results. Don’t even try to run some Windows GUI-based application remotely through a firewall. You’ll waste your time. Even if it used X, it wouldn’t work because firewalls by nature will say no to most protocols and ports, including X. Even if the tools include “headless” virtual clients, their controllers are still Windows GUI applications.

  • They concentrate on the desktop, which is too far from the server room. You just can’t effectively test a server through a low-bandwidth high-latency connection. The network becomes the bottleneck.

  • Most commercial tools like to save your work in a compressed format, to put it nicely. To be less generous, I might say that they lock your test and monitoring data into a proprietary format. I want ASCII ...

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