Blitz.io is a self service load and performance testing platform. It's a new offering from Mu Dynamics, leaders in the application testing space, and we're thrilled to make Blitz instantly available to CloudFlare customers right now as a CloudFlare App.
Command Line Utility, with Visual Reports
This CloudFlare App appeals mostly to developers, but even less technical members of the CloudFlare team (like me) enjoyed learning about Blitz.io's capabilities and running some tests. There's a reason Blitz.io calls testing Play.
Blitz.io offers a developer-friendly command line user experience. This interface deliberately isn't point and click, since keyboard control gives savvy customers an efficient way to run familiar commands with the power of Blitz at their fingers. The reports, though, are presented visually, for full pattern-recognition power -- see examples below.
How We Found Each Other
We learned about Blitz.io because an early Blitz.io customer tried to load test a site on CloudFlare. Our security throttled and blocked the test automatically, which protected our customers. However, we believe in services which make a website owner's job easier, and load and performance testing are part of the toolkit. So, after an exchange of tweets and emails, we agreed to work with the Blitz.io team to make their new service an integrated option for CloudFlare customers.
How It Works
Turn on Blitz.io in your CloudFlare dashboard, and follow the link to Blitz.io. You'll be automatically signed in, and ready to play. We're starting with a free plan, for testing up to 500 concurrent users. Higher volume paid plans are coming soon.
If using Blitz load testing to test a site protected by CloudFlare, note that Blitz load testing ("rushes") will need to be directed to your origin server, so you can learn the real baseline limits of your application. These results will not reflect CloudFlare acceleration, nor will CloudFlare security block the test.
Once you discover the limits of your application, you can be confident that CloudFlare will improve its performance from that baseline. CloudFlare's delivery of static content from its global network frees up server resources and connections for use by your application, so you can wrangle more performance out of the same setup.
These two screenshots of Blitz.io reports show a rush for a single image (same one in both tests) from Blitz.io's California region, with the origin server in California. The first one is without CloudFlare, and hovers around 300ms. The second is with CloudFlare, and is less than 20ms. This isn't an application, but still interesting results.
With Blitz's command line interface, no scripting is required. You can run your tests from multiple continents. Finally, Blitz is easy to integrate in your deployment process: there's a robust API, with support already available for Ruby, Java, Python, node.js and more.
We encourage you to use Blitz.io to make performance testing fun and easy.