Cloud Assault: a Sledgehammer for Your APIs

There's a difference between knowing and hoping your API can handle any traffic you send to it. The premise behind the new Performance Testing service Cloud Assault is that testing scale should be part of development. The service has the Cloud Assault API to enable coders to do just that.

Adam Schepis and Andy Caola believe Continuous Deployment means continuous load testing:

Traditional load testing has been used as a pre-ship, end-of-cycle instrument for verifying the throughput of an application. However, the expectation for an Internet services company or website today is that you ship early and often. That holds true whether you ship code or content. Process improvements like Continuous Integration and continuous deployment, along with movements like the DevOps movement have made this type of velocity possible, but we still need to fundamentally change the way we think about verifying the scalability of our solutions.

Cloud Assault charges 3.5 cents per concurrent user for up to an hour of testing per user, with a maximum of 10,000 users. Provide a URL and the assault from the cloud begins. "The service is basically a sledgehammer," Schepis said. "It does brute force load testing."

The graph of concurrent sessions and latency updates continuously. Once complete, you can retrieve results of your tests and even compare them to previous tests.

The service can also be used for basic HTML-only website performance testing, but it's really meant for APIs. There are many APIs that are services themselves, which is why Cloud Assault has focused here. For example, every mobile application likely needs an API to communicate user details or gather data to match its user needs. Cloud Assault also is seeing interest from e-commerce and mobile ad companies.

Cloud Assault is part of an API performance tuning trend we wrote about last July.