Performance Center Review

We've caught multiple bugs before production, we're able to more confidently release software

What is most valuable?

Performance of load test applications, reliably, and with good reporting.

How has it helped my organization?

We have high confidence that the results are reliable. It's helped catch multiple bugs before they've gone to production. And we're able to more confidently release software into production, just more confidently release code.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see better reporting, ultimately, and analysis. I'd like to see the analysis more accurately pin-point where these issues are; a little more feedback immediately in terms of the anomalies that we're seeing during the testing, so we can get alerted much quicker, instead of blowing a whole bunch of our day to test data during a test.

The reporting could be a lot better. It's cumbersome. The VuGen takes a long time to load up, and edit and execute things off those. So a lot of the basic infrastructure.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had a few crashes, but overall they seem to be more of the aging architecture, the hardware's not as reliable. A few software bugs in there, which we have to work around. But overall, it's been pretty reliable when you think about how much load goes through it and the number of people using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've scaled it up to, well, to our limits at least. A good 1500 users and some 10 million transactions, or something like, that per hour. It's generally handled that pretty well. We're looking forward to moving into StormRunner next.

How is customer service and technical support?

The tech support seems to be pretty good. There have been a few problems that they haven't resolved, but they've led me in the right direction to eventually figure it out on my own. It's very difficult for them to understand all the wide range of applications we use. So I'm really impressed with how ultimately knowledgeable they are, given that they don't actually use all these applications that are out there.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved in the initial setup but I've been involved in all the upgrades. They've done it multiple times. Each upgrade seems to be adding a lot more features. It seems like the pace of development has picked up in the last couple years especially, and we've been impressed with the direction that the product's going.

The upgrades actually were fairly complex for my team. The last one, they were actually giving up for a while. It turned out that there were some database versions that were incompatible. Eventually, once we were able to get connected with the support, we were able to get most of it worked out.

There was a big upgrade with the 12.5 version that was a little slower. But everything else has been very smooth since then. Still, it's difficult. Everybody's come to count on that software being at a certain version.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are, I suppose, support, and the reliability in the industry.

They have a good road map for moving forward. It's going to be integrating with a lot more other products that the DevOps world is starting to push upon us.

It's not quite perfect. It's still the best in the market. It holds up to a lot of the scrutiny that the developers constantly throw at us.

There have been a few issues, especially around the scripting and the IDEs, handling of some of the protocols, that still don't perfectly match with what we have in production. But overall, we're able to pretty well defend it. You can almost always reliably pull up the application, and the response times seem to match what we have coming out of LoadRunner.

I would definitely advise looking at Performance Center, it's still the best in the breed. Just make sure that you have a good team in place that can implement it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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