Case Study: Cisco Systems + LoadUI Pro

Cisco Deploys SmartBear LoadUI Pro to Help Cable Operators Manage Video Content Delivery

About Cisco Systems + LoadUI Pro

Founded in 1984, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. The company seeks to change the way the world works, lives, plays, and learns through solving customer business challenges and by delivering intelligent networks and technology architectures built on integrated products, services, and software platforms. As of Q2 FY’13, Cisco revenues totaled $12.1 billion, and the company employed 73,460 people worldwide.

Based in Israel, Eran Kux is a Performance Testing Engineer for the Cisco Systems business unit that offers service provider video software and solutions. He recently met with SmartBear to discuss the benefits of LoadUI Pro. With a visual, drag-and-drop interface, LoadUI Pro allows Cisco to create, configure and redistribute application load tests interactively and in real-time. Following are insights from Kux into just how much LoadUI Pro helps Cisco.

What irst prompted Cisco to consider LoadUI Pro?

In 2011, the Cisco Video Software and Solutions business unit here in Israel formed a new application testing team. We wanted to equip the testers with advanced tools, and one of the key solutions we turned to was LoadUI Pro from SmartBear.

Why did Cisco choose LoadUI Pro?

We were already familiar with just how well SmartBear solutions work, having relied on SoapUI Pro for several years. We also considered other Load Testing tools but liked how easy it is to use LoadUI Pro and how it integrates seamlessly with SoapUI Pro. For load tests, we can adopt the same testing scripts used by our developers during the application development stage.

"Strong performance for our video-device applications is a must. That is why we created a specific team dedicated to test performance. Without LoadUI, we would not be able to as effectively simulate the loads our applications face. Now that we have an accurate idea of just how much user-traffic the applications can handle, we have been able to better stabilize our components. Ultimately, SmartBear is helping us ensure we deliver on our commitments to our customers."
Eran Kux, Performance Testing Engineer

Current Situation

How long has Cisco relied on LoadUI Pro and how many internal users depend on the solution?

We have relied on LoadUI Pro for approximately two years, and two testers on our QC team utilize the tool.

What role does LoadUI Pro play in your daily operations?

Our business unit manufactures systems that allow cable television operators to deliver video to their consumer customers via televisions, PCs and smart personal devices. Along with those systems, we develop software so the cable operators can ensure the security of their content. They can also monitor the performance of their video delivery services so subscribers can be assured of accessing the content they pay for. We rely on LoadUI to enable us to simulate the stress loads that can be placed on our software within these systems. Our cable operator customers typically have millions of customers, Cisco Deploys SmartBear LoadUI Pro to Help Cable Operators Manage Video Content Delivery so the load can sometimes place a big strain on our applications. LoadUI Pro helps us make sure we build applications that hold up under all the traffic.

LoadUI Pro Features

What have been the most useful LoadUI Pro features for your business?

LoadUI Pro provides several useful features:

  • Allows us to run tests at the application component level so we can properly pinpoint the exact source of any issues.
  • Enables us to import our SoapUI projects into the SoapUI Runner component within LoadUI Pro so we can immediately start performance testing without having to rebuild the scripts.
  • Provides the ability to easily distribute load tests to any desired number of LoadUI Pro agents by simply dragging and dropping tests as required—making it much easier to simulate traffic loads.

LoadUI Pro also gives us the flexibility to perform regression test-ing. We are not yet capitalizing on this feature, but it would allow us to determine where issues occur during the application build and versioning processes.

Did you customize LoadUI in any way?

Yes, we added the capability of automatically running monitoring scripts on remote computers during the tests. The ability to customize is another key feature LoadUI Pro offers. The software comes with most of the capabilities we need in Load Testing, but it’s helpful that SmartBear gives us the freedom to customize the software for our particular testing environment.

Relationship with SmartBear

How would you say LoadUI differs from other Load Testing tools?

One key differentiator is real-time and interactive server monitoring. LoadUI Pro makes it easy for us to analyze server performance and find application service bottlenecks. We can also monitor a range of performance indicators, including CPU and RAM usage as well as database performance and resource utilization. LoadUI also makes it easier for us to compare results of one test to another after we apply changes. Through the interface, we can just click to access any analytics we need. All the stats are in one place as we manage application tests in real time. We can now more easily track improvements and find new bottlenecks.

How would you measure the ROI Cisco receives from its relationship with SmartBear?

Strong performance for our video-device applications is a must. That is why we created a specific team dedicated to test performance. Without LoadUI, we would not be able to as effectively simulate the loads our applications face. Now that we have an accurate idea of just how much user-traffic the applications can handle, we have been able to better stabilize our components. Ultimately, SmartBear is helping us ensure we deliver on our commitments to our customers.

Business Challenges

  • Test performance of applications that help cable operators secure and monitor video delivered to television and smart device customers.
  • Conduct application performance testing at the component level.
  • Deploy Load Testing tool that provides additional capabilities, such as regression testing.
  • SmartBear LoadUI Pro Solution provides customization flexibility to further enhance robust baseline capabilities.
  • Imports SoapUI scripts to accelerate process for creating, configuring and redistributing load tests
  • Facilitates test creation and planning with intuitive interface and easy-to-use features.

Measurable Results

  • Enables component-testing simulations under the stress of millions of users.
  • Streamlines testing processes through seamless integration with scripts created during application development.
  • Facilitates automatic running of test scripts on remote computers and distributes tests to any desired number of agents to simulate heavy load traffic
  • Generates easy-to-interpret reports for comparing different load-test results so the impact of application changes can be accurately assessed.

All company names and/or products referenced herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective trademark holders.