Israeli startup BlazeMeter, a load testing in the cloud compatible with open source Apache Jmeter, has recently raised an undisclosed round from Yoav Leitersdorf’s YL Ventures. I’ve contacted Blazemeter’s CEO Alon Girmonsky, to learn more about the product and the load-testing market.
VC Cafe: In very simple terms, what is BlazeMeter and what do you enable customers to do that wasn’t available before?
Alon: BlazeMeter is the first testing cloud with a sole focus on load testing, designed to simplify performance and load testing for developers and QA testers.
BlazeMeter provides developers and QA tester’s self-service tools to build failure resilient applications by providing an out-of-the-box testing environment that dramatically reduces time-to-test from days to minutes, provides enterprise grade reporting and extra-large testing scalability.
B.B. (Before BlazeMeter) Large-scale load testing was complicated, expensive and time consuming. A.B. (After BlazeMeter) With BlazeMeter it is very easy, low-cost and still enterprise-grade.
For example-Users can begin running tests that simulate 10,000 simultaneous users in less than 5 minutes and still enjoy the benefits of the comprehensive scripting and the wide protocol coverage provided by existing JMeter scripts.
While traditional cloud testing vendors target the enterprise market, BlazeMeter plans to revolutionize the load testing market in the same way AWS/EC2 disrupted the virtualization market by introducing a self-service low cost cloud and Heroku pioneered the first Ruby cloud.
VC Cafe: The load testing market is pretty crowded. Where do you consider yourself better or different than the competition?
Alon: The market is crowded with testing-as-a-service (TaaS) vendors.
Until BlazeMeter, there was no self-service and comprehensive load testing solution, especially in a cloud format (i.e. do-it-yourself, full control over testing resources etc).
While today’s market is shared with a few companies like SOASTA, Keynote and Gomez who all offer testing as a service for larger enterprises, it is not adequate to meet the demand for a self-service solution.
The average Joe Developer/QA professional seldom opts to use one of the aforementioned vendor’s solutions, preferring to use a self-built solution, usually based on open-source JMeter. But, these homemade solutions often prove limited and tend to consume a lot more time and resources than originally anticipated.
BlazeMeter closes these gaps by allowing users to build their own testing environment on an out- of-the-box, testing solution, fully compatible with JMeter providing extra-large testing capacity using dedicated resources.
With BlazeMeter, the user gains complete control over all their testing resources without the need for downloads, training or external sources (i.e. added costs).
Users simply select dedicated testing servers from various types, sizes and multi-geo locations. Users can select when to start, stop, restart and re-size extra-large capacity tests at their sole discretion. Users can upload existing JMeter scripts and edit them in the cloud.
The do-it-your-self solution not only saves a lot of money and setup time but also enable the user to practice load testing on a regular basis. It’s quick, it’s on demand, it’s inexpensive – there is no longer a need to compromise on quality.
In terms of pricing, a user can start testing from $8/server hour – that’s it. $8 represents a load of 300 simultaneous users for a single hour. Want to run a one hour, 6,000 simultaneous users test? It will cost you about $160.
VC Cafe: Several hacking techniques create sever overload to bring down the site. Can BlazeMeter’s technology also be applied to protect the site if an attack occurs?
Alon: Excellent point! BlazeMeter can be used to simulate such attacks very easily and with extra-large capacity. A website can train itself and immune itself against such attacks using BlazeMeter.
VC Cafe: Like any enterprise business run out of Israel, the challenge is distribution. How are you planning to sell Blazemeter? Do you have any key partnerships with ISPs or enterprise software houses?
Alon: BlazeMeter targets the developers and QA testing market. We aim to sell through direct internet sales. Our marketing efforts are focused on content marketing and SEM. We will introduce open API so we can easily integrate to complementary products and allow them to integrate with BlazeMeter. We will partner with existing vendors of dev-test suites and obviously cloud providers.
We do have two business partnerships in IL, one in the US and one in the Far East. I can name Tescom and Tesnet in Israel.
BTW, most of the leading Israeli websites were tested for performance by our tool during BlazeMeter’s garage operation.
VC Cafe: Congratulations on the round by the way. Can you share how much funding you have raised so far and how do you plan to allocate the proceeds of this round?
Alon: The total round is 1.2M$. We plan to invest this in R&D and the continued development of tools that will enhance the JMeter and load testing community.
VC Cafe: You have quite a rich background in the Israeli high tech industry. Did you do anything different in Blazemeter as a result of that experience?
Alon: a lot :)
Back in 2000 I followed the traditional VC trail, raised a lot of money to build (with a cofounder) one of the first interactive advertising companies.
Today I know that any entrepreneur that believes in his idea, should be able to develop it into a product and bring it into the market on his own before going out to raise capital (if ever).
An entrepreneur should be able to sustain most of the risk (technology and market) on his own before involving VCs or investors. This is basically what I set out to do and was able to accomplish with BlazeMeter. Prior to this round of financing we had a product that was fully functioning and had an established paying customer-base including big names from North America and Europe, all self-service paying via the Internet. During BlazeMeter’s garage operation 1,500 users joined and registered. Close to 100 are paying and using our cloud on a regular basis. Some of our paying customers include banks, government agencies, TV channels, online newspapers, gaming and more.
Only after reaching that pivotal point, did I feel comfortable enough to go out and raise money in order to expand the business.
VC Cafe: Tell me about a technology that excited you recently.
Alon: I’m a strong advocate and evangelist of cloud and open-source technologies. I think the two are changing the world as we speak- it’s a revolution!
VC Cafe: What advice do you have for early stage entrepreneurs coming out of Israel?
Alon: Well .. the usual..
1. Money usually runs out much faster than anticipated.
2. Focus, focus, focus … and don’t forget .. focus.
3. Don’t even think of taking this path if you are not in it for the long haul – i.e. money in the bank, supportive family and friends ,etc.
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