With the release of its new LoadRunner in the Cloud application load testing solution, HP aims to provide the flexibility of software-as-a-service in tools that traditionally entailed substantial investments to implement.
LoadRunner in the Cloud will function similarly to the company's legacy LoadRunner application performance validation tool, but will now be available in SaaS format and support as many as 250 simultaneous users. The cloud format provides the ability to submit application specifications via a web browser and quickly receive results.
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Using a partnership with reseller Orasi Software, risk mitigation firm Genilogix and application life-cycle management vendor J9 Technologies, HP developed LoadRunner in the Cloud to accommodate smaller organizations that needed to test newly developed applications but lack the financial freedom and manpower to implement a fully functional on-premise package.
Matt Morgan, global senior director of product and solution marketing for HP's IP solution business unit, says the best way for HP to get involved with an evolving marketplace was to adapt its products to fit within its environment.
"The idea is that that area of the market needed a different way, and frankly there have been changes in how that area of the market likes to acquire tools and technologies," Morgan says.
Essentially, LoadRunner in the Cloud customers "could be executing load tests against their applications the same day they decide to actually embark on a performance validation effort," Morgan says.
The new venture brings HP into a market that is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33.1% through 2015, according to IDC. Citing growing enterprise familiarity with cloud services and the increasing use of applications for mission-critical processes, as well as the advent of new services from HP, IDC forecasted the market to reach $1 billion in revenues by 2015.
Melinda Ballou, program director for Application Life-Cycle Management & Executive Strategies at IDC, does not believe Morgan was exaggerating when he claimed HP was entering a "hyper-growth market" for cloud-based load testing software, simply because she believes customers will be excited about the benefits of its SaaS format.
"Cloud testing is a hyper-growth market because it makes sense. Given the spikes in demand for load testing, why own it all?" Ballou says. "Having those capabilities on demand is key."
This rapid rate of growth has long been developing, Morgan says. With the growing reliance on application-based mobile web use, the market hasn't showed signs of slowing down.
After having seen enterprise application use evolve from the initial rise of enterprise-owned web-facing applications to mainstream consumer adoption of mobile apps, Morgan says the market is reaching a point at which development tools need to become as scalable and flexible as the organizations using them.
"It's a completely different world, but at the same time all of these applications have the same issue - they have to perform when end users log into the website or download a mobile app or attempt to use these applications," Morgan says.
Entering the cloud-based market for its application testing products is a step in the right direction for HP, Ballou says. Being the current leader with 39% of the market the release of LoadRunner in the Cloud broadens its stance in a new sector that appears set for consistent growth in the coming years.
HP's success in this initiative, though, will rely on how well it plays with its new partners, Ballou says.
"This is a good move for HP to address an area of the market so far mostly untapped by them as an enterprise provider," Ballou says. "The price points are attractive for the partners to enable them to build out offerings for their customer base. The key determining factors will be how well the partners execute in delivering the solutions, how they build out their augmented offerings, and the resulting benefits and expenses to the clients served by the partnership."
Colin Neagle covers Microsoft security and network management for Network World. Keep up with his blog: Rated Critical, follow him on Twitter: @ntwrkwrldneagle. Colin's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.