Coalition Networks is a consulting firm in the Bay Area that was contracted by Stanford University to calibrate the performance of their Student Housing Portal, a web-based application that all students use to select their residence options and apply for a residence. As might be expected, this can often lead to a usage peak in the hours leading up to the deadline, and Stanford RD&E IT wanted to make sure their servers were adequate for supporting up to a couple thousand simultaneous users.
According to Akin Ajiboye with CNI:
Our test plan called for generating a load of up to 2,000 users, which even at 100 user per computer would require 20 machines. Fortunately, Coalition Networks partnered with Aligned Technology and CapCal to get the job. With CapCal running on the Amazon EC2 cloud we were able to fire up as many servers as we needed in less than a minute. While the test was running we gathered all the relevant network and database statistics and were able to form a complete picture of the application's performance. We recommend CapCal with EC2 as a great way to get excellent results quickly.
As a CapCal partner, Hiroaki Ajari of Aligned Technology had this to say:
We’ve worked with CapCal since the earliest versions so we were very excited to see it become available on the Amazon cloud. Of course it was a great honor and a privilege to work with one of the finest universities in the world, right here at the center of the technology universe. This was our first time to see and use EC2 and experience scalability as required. It's such a luxury to utilize servers on demand, minimizing waste - resources, cost, total footprint. Amazon's EC2 is perfect for the cyclical nature of testing; especially to handle performance testing's environmental needs for generating and distributing load from the test servers.
Our joint efforts with Amazon, Aligned Technology and Coalition Networks provided Stanford a quantitative way to measure risk, triggering mitigation strategies that allow them to maintain first class service to their students and administrators.