When it comes to load testing, there are two main methods of executing a test: cloud-based load testing and hardware-based load testing. This article will look at each method and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. While some people believe that one method is always appropriate, this isn’t the case—sometimes it’s preferably to use one type of load test or another. With that said, let’s dive in and take a look at why!

When to Use Hardware-Based Load Testing

Hardware-based load testing is typically less expensive than cloud-based load testing if you already own the server hardware that you’ll be using for the load test or have already rented the hardware for the month, which may be the case if you’re paying a hosting company for the use of a VPS or dedicated server. In this situation, you may have some cost savings over running a cloud-based load test where you have to pay for the instantiation of the cloud servers.

In addition to paying for the instantiation of the servers, you typically also have to pay for their management and other fees which can add up to a relatively high amount of cost with some providers. Additionally, when you’re load or stress testing internal components that aren’t public-facing, like servers behind firewalls or software, hardware-based testing will be your best approach.

When to Use Cloud-Based Load Testing

When you’re testing a website, web application, or something that’s live on the internet and you don’t have access to hardware, it’s generally the cheapest to use cloud-based load testing from a provider such as LoadView. The great thing about cloud-based load testing is that you only instantiate as many servers as you need for the test, so you aren’t stuck in a situation where you have a minimum number of cloud servers to commit to.

With cloud-based load testing, you also have no hardware to maintain or store. This can be extremely beneficial because load testing hardware costs electricity, takes up space, and can be expensive to maintain.

Deciding What’s Best for You

In order to choose the best type of load testing tool for your situation, you need to look at your budget, your requirements, and then determine whether a hardware or cloud-based load testing tool is the right choice. Again, for people who own hardware or are already renting it and plan on running an internal test, hardware-based load testing may be the best option. For people who want to test a website, web application, or something public-facing and don’t have access to hardware, a cloud-based load test is probably the better choice.

About the Author

Glenn Lee is a Web Performance Engineer and Technical Writer who has worked at Dotcom-Monitor for 5 years. He is passionate about the technology industry, how it progresses rapidly, and meets varying global development needs. Glenn focuses on web performance advancement.