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Compuware Ships Load Testing On Steroids

Compuware is now shipping a new load-testing offering that is expected to reshape the market. Compuware Gomez 360° Web Load Testing leverages testing solutions--Gomez Web Load Testing and dynaTrace Test Center Edition--to find and fix performance and scalability problems across the entire application delivery chain. The company says the integrated solution accelerates time-to-market by identifying user experience performance problems and isolating the root cause down to the line of code.

In July, Compuware paid $256 million to acquire fellow application performance management developer dynaTrace Software. dynaTrace 4, the first new APM platform release in two years, was announced just weeks after the acquisition. The company had 400 customers, while Compuware has more than 7,000 customers and revenues of $487 million for fiscal 2011. Compuware shelled out $295 million in 2009 to acquire Gomez, a leader in Web application experience management.

"It's the industry's first load-testing solution that allows you to find and solve problems across the entire application delivery chain--from the first mile to the last mile,” says Jeff Loeb, VP of product marketing for Compuware’s APM business unit. It combines high-volume cloud-based load with geo-based realistic load from Gomez’s network of more than 150,000 last mile locations, and uses dynaTrace’s PurePath Technology for transaction-pure detail, complete with code-level context. "Organization’s will now be able to test their web, mobile and cloud applications from the customer’s point of view, find problems anywhere along the application delivery chain, and determine the exact line of code that is the root cause."

This is a very attractive combination that does work to support operations as well as dev and test, and is easily linked to business stakeholders--especially once more of the Gomez offering is in play (for example, competitive benchmarks), says analyst Dennis Drogseth, VP, Enterprise Management Associates. "So, it is a good thing."

However, the new solution is not as unique as Compuware claims, says Tom Murphy, research director (Testing/QA, ALM), Gartner, who points to Micro Focus' SilkPerformer Diagnostics (with dynaTrace technology) and the partnership of SOASTA and Wiley. "Now, what is different with Gomez and Micro Focus is that Gomez has the full dynaTrace, where the MF licensed piece is a smaller subset and Gomez has its abilities run across more browsers, devices, end points. So they are broader in technology coverage today and the first to really cover from a single-vendor solution perspective."

Murphy expects to see continued acquisitions and product development as people look to bring better information out. "I think that in general this puts more pressure on HP [the general market share leader in load/stress and performance testing] as well as IBM and others in the field, because with complex applications today it is hard to get from what I experience on the glass to what is going on behind the scenes, and delivering correlated data that enables developers and operations staff guidance to correct the issue. That also fits in with the movement toward devops and will be part of a continued trend as companies try to figure out how to be more agile, make use of cloud technologies and reduce costs."

Drogseth says Compuware has made some very smart acquisitions, with Gomez and then dynaTrace being the key pieces. "I think the impressive speed with which this package was delivered given the dynaTrace acquisition speaks well for Compuware, and competitively does have especially rich resources for examining that 'ecosystem' world of Web, Web 2.0 and cloud where partners, SPs, possibly supply chain relationships, etc. form a cohesive fabric."

According to EMA, Gomez 360° Web Load Testing doesn’t pretend to be the whole story. For instance, the functionality from what had been the Compuware Vantage line of solutions is not a part of this integration. And the Gomez SaaS offering is, as the name implies, targeted at load testing, even if with the dynaTrace integration this is, at minimum, load testing on steroids.

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