Eggplant Performance and Cisco Active Advisor: A Load Testing Success Story

Inventory monitoring service with 12,000 subscribers has zero reports of poor application performance since launch.

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Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Founded in 1984, Cisco pioneered the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. This tradition continues with the development of routing, switching, and other technologies such as application networking services, home networking, security, storage area networking, TelePresence systems, unified communications, video systems, and wireless.

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Technology giant, Cisco, is a worldwide leader in networking and shapes the Internet with its technology. In 2013, the company developed a cloud-based service that provides essential lifecycle information about an organization’s network inventory.

Available 24 hours a day, Cisco Active Advisor allows companies to quickly and efficiently gain visibility into the status of their products, reducing overall network risk and keeping them up-to-date with essential product information that may compromise the security or integrity of their network.

As with all cloud-based applications, effective load and stress testing was a key requirement for Cisco Active Advisor, which had some unique elements that made testing a challenging proposition. As a new product, the Cisco Active Advisor development team did not have an existing performance testing tool and searched for a solution that would suit the application’s specific requirements.

“We needed a tool that was capable of testing at lower levels than the web,” said Michael Whitley, Senior Engineering Manager, Cisco Active Advisor. “Load testing for Cisco Active Advisor had to cover much more than users, as the primary loads placed on the application came from the reports coming back to the system from automated systems providing network audits.”
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Eggplant Performance is capable of performance testing at every level from the network up to web level, and its open architecture and support for modern scripting languages meant it was capable of handling Cisco’s requirements with ease.

“We looked at other tools but were drawn to both the capabilities of Eggplant Performance to meet the unique testing requirements of Cisco Active Advisor as well as the services offered by Eggplant to help get our test organization up to speed,” said Whitley. “We were in a crunch to launch the product and urgently needed to know how it would perform at scale in a very short time.”

Eggplant provided direct support to the Cisco Active Advisor development team, initially helping them to load test the application and then working to train the test team on how to go forward using the software. During the initial testing phase, the Cisco team worked closely with the Eggplant implementation team, to deliver a system in a matter of days, which was then handed over to the Cisco Active Advisor team for ongoing use.

“We were very impressed with the professionalism of the Eggplant team and their commitment to delivering accurate and meaningful data,” said Whitley. “We were also very impressed with the initial report delivered by the team, which provided us with all the information needed to take things on ourselves.”

In June 2013, Cisco Active Advisor launched and currently has over 12,000 users. To date, Cisco has had zero reports of poor application performance, a testament to an effective performance testing regime.

“Eggplant delivered the quality software and services that helped us hit our launch on time and we have been extremely pleased with our engagement,” said Whitley. “The software continues to impress us and gives us a clear view of how the performance of Cisco Active Advisor improves with each release, both in terms of increased ability to handle concurrent audits and faster response times.” 
“We release our service in an iterative fashion and perform load testing every other release,” explained Whitley. “Eggplant Performance is easy to use and lets us get a detailed view on how key flows will perform under load.”
“Cisco works in an agile manner to deliver frequent updates to its Cisco Active Advisor customers with new functionality and updates,” said Antony Edwards, Eggplant CTO. “Every release is performance tested using Eggplant Performance, which is how they retain their excellent zero-defect status throughout their continuous delivery environment. What’s more, all this is handled by the team at Cisco because Eggplant Performance is simple to use and scripts are quick to maintain.” 
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