Top 5 Load Testing Tools for 2018

Load and Performance Testing was for a long time a minor business priority. Nowadays, users are in the driver seat and quickly abandon using a slow website because so many competitors are offering similar services. Organizations have realized that along with availability and accuracy, speed of their applications is a very burning topic. Major players demonstrated that a performance push can lead to 10 % increase in sales which pays their performance investments several times back. Don’t miss those opportunities in 2018 and make performance part of your development chain.

In this post, I will give you insights about how to compare load testing suites and shine a light on the top 5 tools in this discipline.

What makes a good load-testing Suite?

Many companies are not satisfied with their load-testing solution because ROI and usability are bad, maintenance efforts are high and re-use of automated testing scripts is extremely limited. Based on my experience an outstanding performance-testing platform fulfills several key requirements such as:

  • Ease of use: Create a script and run a load test within minutes
  • Technology support: Support capture and replay of the top Browser, Mobile devices, web2.0 techniques, Java, Citrix, SAP and .Net based applications
  • Realistic user simulation: Provide protocol, headless and full browser based user simulation techniques
  • Reusability: Use automated user interactions for performance test and application monitoring on production stages
  • Support community: Knowledge base and professional support which provides guidance to fix automation or tooling issues
  • Maintainability: NoOps, close to zero tool maintenance effort
  • Costs: Simple and flexible pricing model such as pay-as-you-go
  • Self-monitoring: Distribute load across injection machines and built-in features to avoid that overloaded machines falsifies load test results

Read my top 5 list below to get more insights about the leading load and performance engineering suites.

The Top 5


LoadView is a fully SaaS based load and performance testing solution hosted in the cloud. There is no need to deploy your private load injection machines. You can create your account and immediately start with test automation and execution.

LoadView is everything else than complicated. It’s fully Web based UI and intuitive design let you create test scripts and execute tests within minutes. You won’t require coding skills to automate your complex user interactions.

LoadView addresses the challenge of realistic user simulation techniques and offers both, API level to real browser based testing. Furthermore, LoadView calibrates your automated scripts, distributes those across load generation machines and automatically avoids that an overloaded injection machine falsifies your response times.

Online reporting features give engineers insights to actual response times during a test execution. Once the test execution has completed it will collect all results and through preconfigured dashboards key performance metrics will be highlighted

LoadView provides a high degree of flexibility and comes up with a closed loop testing approach enabling you to re-use testing scripts for production monitoring.

No matter how much load you will put on your system, LoadView allows you to simulate ten-thousands of concurrent users. Last but not least, the pricing model is attractive because of its pay-as-you-go charging model.

Trial Account Link is here: Link


SilkPerformer from Microfocus is a good solution for dedicated performance engineering teams which deploy this suite on their own data center. It’s a powerful Windows desktop application which supports a broad range of different technologies.

Microfocus provides a on-premise and on-demand editions of SilkPerformer which can be also combined in a single load test execution. There is no web based user interface available so that engineers have to use their personal machines for test implementation and execution.

Load pattern simulation is very accurate in SilkPerformer due to their goal based testing approach. There is a real-time monitoring of response times and load injector health during your test execution.

SilkPerformer comes out with a simple license model which is linked to your application stack. For web-based applications you can go with their entry level package. The premium package includes all supported technologies.

Deep integrations to all kind of monitoring tools, re-use of unit level tests and recycling of load testing scripts for SLA monitoring makes SilkPerformer a sound platform. The flipside are the efforts do maintain your own load injector suite, quite complex features and the costs of this platform.

Trial Account Link is here: Link


Radview is pushing their load testing solution primarily as a replacement of LoadRunner. They are offering both, on-demand and on-premise based platforms. WebLOAD provides a broad technology support for Oracle Forms, SAP, API testing and real browser based user simulation. Open-minded business can utilize the SaaS based solution of WebLoad. For those who are not ready for a cloud based testing platform they have also WebLOAD on-premise in their offering.

WebLoad let you collect metrics across a broad range of monitoring tools, functional testing solutions or open source tools. Reporting features are flexible and let you share performance metrics across your teams. You have more than 80 reports at your fingertips.

Their license model is quite complex but they also provide a free version for up to 50 concurrent user simulations.

Trial Account Link is here: Link


Since Microfocus has acquired HPE, they have also LoadRunner, one of their competitors, in their offering. LoadRunner was one of the first players on this load and performance testing market. They’ve dominated this discipline for many years and all major organizations used this solution. Obviously, it was a good cash machine. Those days are gone and LoadRunner is more and more left behind for several reasons.

However, it’s a powerful scripting and load simulation tool which supports a broad range of simple as well as complex technologies. Historically speaking, LoadRunner was already in several hands which resulted in a mix of different products stickled together. A performance engineer needs to deal with VUGen for script implementation, Controller for scenario generation, Load Generator for load agent configuration and Analysis for test reporting. This makes LoadRunner a complex solution and very error prone.

Script recording and customization is sometimes time consuming because their default C based scripting language is extremely outdated and not so handy than modern scripting languages.

The pricing of LoadRunner is on the top-level segment. Many small license packages and add-ons make this solution quite expensive.

Trial Account Link is here: Link


Neosys, a Firm in France, has put NeoLoad for several years on the market. It’s a commercial product and customers can leverage it fully in the cloud or deploy it into their own data centers.

Their user simulation support is a bit limited because they don’t have a real browser based testing option. NeoLoad has a script recorder which captures clicks of a tester and converts the client-server communication to a virtual user testing script. Parametrization of dynamic data is supported by wizards. However, complex web2.0 applications can lead to a high scripting effort because parametrization gets too difficult.

They have good DevOps integration plugins for Jenkins, Bamboo and TeamCity which helps organizations to make performance part of their development chain. A limiting factor is often that under high load situations some stability issues occurs and test results are not always reliable.

Trial account is here:

Load Testing Tool Hitlist

I’ve used eight categories which seems most important to make load and performance testing a success and rated the mentioned tools accordingly. 4 is the highest rating while 1 means that the solution has left behind the other players in this category.

This table below demonstrates the rating of my top 5 load testing solutions for 2018. LoadView is one of the rising stars and has left on-premise based solutions such as SilkPerformer behind.


Based on this comparison the hit list of our top tools is

  1. LoadView
  2. SilkPerformer
  3. WebLoad
  4. LoadRunner
  5. NeoLoad

It seems that LoadView utilized the acquisition of HPE and moved into the forefront of our load and performance testing hit list.

Call to Action

Unrealistic load patterns or user interactions will result in completely wrong assumptions. The over dimensioned pattern will point out bottlenecks which will never occur in real live and the under sized user volume will give you the false confidence that all performance requirements are fulfilled.

Execution of load and performance tests during development and QA stages is highly recommended and gives you confidence that your new application can handle production user and transaction volumes. Nevertheless, user, content and data volumes will change over time and can lead to serious reliability issues.

Performance is more a journey than a destination and businesses should permanently monitor end-to-end response times on production stages. Ideally, you select a platform which is flexible and let you re-use load testing assets for application monitoring at production. Continue doing the good things and integrate performance into your development chain.


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