In recent days I had been hearing from the field about a news item from HP last week regarding LoadRunner in the Cloud. With HP Performance Center on SaaS already introduced and popular with our Software-as-a-Service customers, many people were asking about how these offering are similar, and how they differ. I took their questions, and some of mine, and spoke to Dan Scheib, HP PC on SaaS Product Manager. What I learned was that the solutions are neither complementary, nor competitive. And in fact, the conversation I had with Dan was so helpful to me, I decided to post my notes here, because I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to learn more about SaaS, Cloud, and the solutions HP offers to address customers requiring one or the other. Here’s what I learned:
(Jim) We’ve been hearing a lot about LoadRunner in the Cloud but I know that HP has had another testing capability in the Cloud for years, HP Performance Center on Software-as-a-Service. Why two solutions? Can you explain LoadRunner in the Cloud as it relates to HP PC on SaaS? (Dan Scheib) Well, they are similar in several ways. LoadRunner in the Cloud makes HP LoadRunner available for on-demand cloud-based load testing via select partners. PC on SaaS makes HP Performance Center available for on-demand cloud-based load testing either through a partner or through HP directly.
(Jim) Similar, yet sounds like the two solutions are really a response to two different types of customers… (Dan Scheib) You’re exactly right. LoadRunner in the Cloud is really an entry level offering targeted at SMB and Commercial customers who want to run small on-demand load tests by the day. This will most likely be individual engineers or project teams who want to swipe a credit card and start testing. HP PC on SaaS also targets SMB and Commercial customers but also targets Enterprise customers with requirements ranging from single projects to large COE’s, TaaS providers and customers requiring large scale load tests or surge capabilities up to hundreds of thousands of virtual users. So PC on SaaS is a great upsell for LoadRunner in the Cloud customers as their project requirements grow.
(Jim) Can you give a couple more specific examples of how PC on SaaS addresses SMB and Commercial customer needs? (Dan Scheib) Sure. PC on SaaS provides load testing in an on-demand, pay-as-you go model, which is ideal for project-based load testing. While not designed for load testing by the day with credit card payments like LoadRunner in the Cloud, we can provision a PC instance with load generators in the cloud and make it available to the customer within 48 hours of receiving the PO; so PC on SaaS customers can begin their load testing projects very quickly. HP SaaS also offers very flexible licensing terms to ensure HP PC on SaaS is a good fit for any size or length project. For example, we have a 1 week offering, primarily for partners but also available to experienced customers, that combines a 1 week Controller with Virtual User Days (VUD’s) and 10 free protocol agnostic Virtual Users (VU’s). This is our closest offering to LoadRunner in the Cloud but it has some significant differences as well. We chose not to create a daily offering because customers often encounter problems, either with the load testing scenario or the Application Under Test (AUT), which can cause delays while these problems are sorted out. Our offering provides the flexibility to run the load test at any time during the 1 week term and the 10 free VU’s can be used to validate the scenario and AUT prior to starting the test without consuming any VUD’s.
(Jim) And these customers can purchase additional 1 week terms whenever needed… (Dan Scheib) Correct. Not only can they purchase additional 1 week terms, they can purchase 1 month, 3 month and even 12 month terms based upon project requirements. They can continue to use VUD’s or they can purchase individual protocol packs for the term of the project. In addition, they could decide that load testing is so critical to their business that they want to begin building a Performance Center of Excellence (PCoE). We have experience helping many customers make the leap from short, project-based load testing to full PCoE’s. We have extremely flexible offerings for PCoE customers as well but that is probably a topic for another discussion…
(Jim) Plus, I wouldn’t be a marketing guy if I didn’t make a note that PC on SaaS has the added benefit of being a proven provider in the Cloud for over a decade, too! (Dan Scheib) That’s right. Customers are often surprised to learn that HP Software-as-a-Service has nearly 1000 deployments of SaaS and over a decade of experience. The HP PC on SaaS was our second offering following our extremely successful BAC offering (*now Application Performance Management on SaaS).
So as Dan said, in the end, it both LoadRunner in the Cloud and HP PC on SaaS represent just another example of how HP is responding to our customers’ requirements. They are not redundant or complementary, just another couple of choices from HP Software responding to different customer needs.