Performance testing company Mercury Interactive has released a product that it claims can test and tune up live systems.
ActiveTune can be used on websites, customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems without the need for them to be switched off.
The service, which can either be run remotely over the web or onsite, builds on a load testing service that identifies bottlenecks or scalability potential by checking each system tier and component. From the results, the system is then tuned to optimum operation.
"We have been running [similar product] ActiveTest for about two years," said Kevin Francis, Mercury Interactive's European field marketing manager. "In that time we've run about 2,000 load tests and found the average performance of a website was 15 per cent of expected capacity. This was usually resolved by throwing hardware at the problem."
But he said that in 98 per cent of cases performance could have been doubled without any extra hardware.
Ovum senior analyst Graham Titterington agreed. "It's a natural progression for Mercury Interactive," he said. "There are lots of tools that monitor live systems but there is little out there for active management. This has been held up by technical limitations because the need has been there."
However Titterington did warn that there could be security problems involved in such a system using this type of service, especially when conducted remotely.
"It is one thing to allow monitoring from a remote source but another to allow downloading, particularly of executable files," he explained. "[But] we're getting to the stage where companies have trusted relationships with their service providers; as long as there is this trust it should work."
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