Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Sunday, October 21, 2018
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Tricentis Acquires Load Testing Startup 

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Given the amount of buggy software out there and shrinking software release timelines, demand is growing for automation tools used for continuous testing of software. That requirement may be reaching a tipping point as established players in the DevOps sector begin snapping up innovative startups.

Case in point: software tester Tricentis announced this week it is acquiring Flood IO, which specializes in helping DevOps teams perform continuous load testing of enterprise software. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Load testing is used to determine system performance under normal and peak loads conditions. Flood IO's approach is designed to allow DevOps teams to test how applications scale as users around the world place heavy stresses on the underlying software. Tests can be defined using open-source tools or specified on the Flood test platform.

Tricentis casts the acquisition as boosting its ability to offer on-demand load testing that scales. "Old performance testing approaches are too late, too heavy and too slow for today's lean, fast-paced delivery pipelines," Tricentis CEO Sandeep Johri asserted in announcing the deal. "Releasing updates without insight into their performance impact is incredibly dangerous…."

Among the complaints heard from DevOps teams are that load and performance testing suites are expensive while many of the features are irrelevant to everyday development tools. Flood IO touts its testing approach as more relevant to what DevOps teams are up against each day.

Among the advantages is the ability to identify software performance issues early in the load testing process when they are easier to fix. Previously, load testing was often deferred to until the later phases of the software release cycle using legacy load testing tools to validate performance prior to release. "Now that teams are incrementally releasing new functionality weekly, daily, or hourly, that traditional approach creates a process cadence mismatch," Tricentis noted in a blog post.

Flood IO's upfront testing capability is seen as critical as DevOps teams seek to become more agile in how they manage application life cycles. Hence, performance testing is said to be "shifting left," meaning DevOps teams test load performance early and locally so they can spot and fix designs sooner.

Flood IO's testing platform is based on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) cloud scaling capabilities that allow testers to generate the exact load needed for a particular test.

The acquisition comes as the automated software testing market continues to boom, reaching an estimated $34 billion this year, according to industry estimates. Earlier this year, Tricentis announced a $165 million funding round the company said would be used to expand access to its Tosca automated testing suite.

CEO Johri is a former vice president at Hewlett Packard. Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and VMware (NYSE: VMW) acquired Johri's previous startups. Tricentis has so far raised at least $174 since 2012. The company is seeking to wrest the software testing market from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) as they move away from DevOps tools.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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