Faithful readers will recall our search to enter the Guinness World Book of Records for running the first million user load test. We had a few takers but none with the kind of infrastructure it takes to handle 100,000, much less a million simultaneous users.
Meanwhile, SOASTA has announced a million user load test using 587 EC2 instances, a feat that is quite remarkable considering that it would require each instance to generate almost 2,000 users. It's possible to do this if you make the time between pages VERY long because normally the upper limit is half of that or even less due to bandwidth issues. The real challenge for such a massively large test is getting the instances to begin with - it's not that you can't but you have to get permission and often schedule it in advance. Here at CapCal we've run tests with as many as 420 instances and lately we ran a four million user test over a two hour time period.
But since we can no longer get our name in the Guinness Book for the first million user test I sent an email to Brad Johnson at SOASTA congratulating them on the accomplishment. He replied cordially and said that it's an exciting time to be in the testing business, to which I heartily agree! Cloud computing is the ultimate game changer in this space, and the field is wide open. It's good to have competitors like SOASTA because it makes us aim even higher to be the best in the eyes of our customers.