Performance testing tools take a simple automation script and run it through hundreds or thousands of machines to simulate how an application will perform under load. These tests are typically expensive and are run less frequently than functional automation tests. Performance testing is particularly important for cloud applications and there are two main types to consider:
  • Pure Play
  • Extension Tools
This list represents both pure play and extension tools, each of which has its pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between the two types of tools:

Pure Play Performance Testing Tools

  • Typically cheaper
  • Creates less friction during purchase and implementation processes
  • Offers faster development with best of breed tools
  • Supports more integration and open source use
  • Requires separate scripts/languages to train and maintain

Extension Performance Testing Tools

  • Allows for reuse of past automation scripts
  • Uses familiar languages
  • Offers a single vendor relationship across multiple tools
  • Follows slower, less focused development
  • Provides a closed ecosystem that limits access to best of breed tools
  • Typically more expensive and geared toward large organizations
  1. Automation Anywhere Testing Anywhere

Summary:  Uses robotic process automation to automate any type of testing and offers cross platform support for mobile, web and desktop. Automation Anywhere can convert scripts into load scripts and allows for machine learning and analytics. Features:
  • Offers easy conversion from automation
  • Less expensive but similar to HP
  • Includes a TestLab to control testing devices
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: Automation Anywhere is a lower end competitor to HP that offers some test case management capabilities as well as more robust automation capabilities. For more information: Check out their automation RPA solution. Reviews: Head over to or to read a few reviews.  
  1. BlazeMeter

Summary:  Runs open source-based performance tests as well as scalable load testing. BlazeMeter is compatible with Apache JMeter, offers real-time reporting and mobile capture, simulates network conditions and allows developers to create and edit performance tests. Features:
  • Scalable
  • DevOps ready
  • Uses open source and AWS
  • Offers strong support for APIs and customization
Tool Type: Pure Play What you really need to know: BlazeMeter is a growing player in the cloud performance testing space. Although it has limited use cases and does not offer monitoring or post-production capabilities, it is popular with developers. For more information: Checkout the BlazeMeter performance testing solution. Pricing: Free plan available, but paid plans start at $99 per mo with 3 pricing tiers. Visit their pricing page.
  1. Borland Silk Performer

Summary:  Offers unlimited scalability to simulate any size load as well as a variety of network technologies, including mobile. Silk Performer also provides visual diagnostics and stress testing with pattern detection. As part of Borland’s larger Silk Central platform, Silk Performer also includes a wide variety of supporting capabilities. Features:
  • Offers cross-platform support
  • Mature
  • Well-integrated into Silk Central
  • Integrates with monitoring tools and IDEs
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: Borland is a robust competitor to HP (although it does offer similarly high prices), with strong cross-platform support and cloud load capabilities. For more information: Checkout Silk Performer load and stress performance testing. Reviews: Head over to to read a few reviews.  
  1. CA Technologies Application Test

Summary:  Automates testing and embraces the shift left. The CA Application Test tool allows for functional, regression and user journey testing in addition to performance testing. The tool is workflow-driven and works with mobile devices. Features:
  • Offers robust mainframe support
  • Allows for reuse of LISA test cases and infrastructure
  • Creates a load on an internal network with few resources
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: CA Technologies is mostly focused on competing in the mainframe space and testing desktop applications and complex infrastructure using LISA. For more information: Checkout CA Technologies website.  
  1. HP LoadRunner, Performance Center & StormRunner

Summary:  HP offers a combination of three tools for performance and load testing. LoadRunner provides comprehensive load testing with interactive simulations and root cause analysis capabilities, while Performance Center creates a center of excellence for reusing best practices and resources across testing for multiple applications. Both LoadRunner and Performance Center support continuous and mobile testing. Finally, StormRunner extends testing capabilities to the SaaS world.   Features:
  • Robust and mature tools
  • Supports legacy and newer technologies
  • Cloud enabled
  • Offers record and playback or scripting
  • Allows for reuse of Unified Functional Testing tests
  Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: With both LoadRunner and Performance Center as well as StormRunner to extend to the cloud, HP is a leader in this space. For more information: Checkout the StormRunner LoadPerformance Center and LoadRunner sites. Reviews: Read LoadRunner reviews here, StormRunner Load hereand Performance Center here. Pricing: LoadRunner/StormRunner Load is priced at $.56 per virtual user per day, but they have a free edition as well. Visit their pricing here.  
  1. IBM Rational Performance Tester

Summary:  Offers code-free testing and real-time reporting as well as root cause analysis tools. IBM Rational Performance Tester also compares test results to SLA targets, integrates with IBM Rational Quality Manager and includes a test recorder. Features:
  • Robust and mature tool
  • Supports legacy and newer technologies
  • Cloud enabled
  • Offers record and playback or scripting
  • Allows for reuse of Rational Functional Tester tests
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: IBM Rational Performance Tester is cloud enabled and offers web and desktop support, but its mobile support is extremely weak. For more information: Checkout the Rational performance test automation solution. Reviews: Head over to to read reviews.  
  1. Neotys NeoLoad

Summary:  NeoLoad uses an intuitive GUI for use case creation, target identification and test execution. It allows you to simulate load locally or using the Neotys Cloud Platform, supports web and mobile and monitors all servers during load testing. Features:
  • Provides end-to-end testing
  • Offers cross-platform capabilities
  • More affordable pricing than legacy solutions
  • Cloud and on premise enabled
Tool Type: Pure Play What you really need to know: Neotys is a small but fast-growing player with cross-platform support for web and mobile (via NeoLoad) and post-production monitoring capabilities (via NeoSense). For more information: Visit to learn more. Reviews: Visit to read reviews.  
  1. Parasoft Load Test

Summary:  Provides performance, stress and concurrency testing with the ability to simulate various loads and test from different locations. Parasoft Load Test can also enforce Quality of Service metrics and run tests using tests previously created in Parasoft. Features:
  • Supports legacy applications
  • Mature tool
  • Allows for reuse of other tests created with Parasoft
  • Offers performance monitoring capabilities
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: While Parasoft Load Test does allow for reuse of test cases under load and provides performance monitoring and desktop and web support, it does not have any mobile capabilities and is not cloud enabled. For more information: Learn more about Parasoft load testing. Reviews: Visit the Parasoft review page on and ITCentral  
  1. Radview WebLOAD

Summary:  Simulates a variety of load conditions for an unlimited number of users and distributes the load across any number of machines. Radview WebLOAD can also monitor server performance and offers cross-platform support for web, desktop and mobile (via PerfectoMobile). Features:
  • Mature tool
  • Some cross-platform support
  • Some open source support (supports Selenium)
Tool Type: Pure Play What you really need to know: Radview is a fledgling player in performance testing that was previously publicly listed but has since been delisted and is not performing very well currently (it has scaled down from 100 employees to about 25). For more information: Checkout Radview performance testing Reviews: Visit to read Radview reviews. Pricing: Plans start at € 1,990 per license with 3 pricing tiers. Request pricing here.  
  1. SmartBear LoadComplete

Summary:  A desktop tool for load, stress and scalability testing that works with both HTML sites and rich internet applications. SmartBear LoadComplete can generate load from virtual machines, on premise computers or the cloud and offers record and replay capabilities, visual programming, a test cost simulator, distributed load testing, analytics and functional test reuse. Features:
  • Mature tool
  • Offers performance monitoring capabilities
  • Allows for easy deployment of tests both on desktop and in the cloud
  • Lower priced than HP
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: LoadComplete is a core SmartBear product and extension of TestComplete. It offers web support, is cloud enabled and provides monitoring capabilities, but it has no mobile capabilities. For more information: Learn more about LoadComplete performance testing. Pricing: Offers a free version with plans start at $230 per year and 5 pricing tiers. View pricing here.  
  1. Soasta CloudTest

Summary: Offers continuous load testing at any scale with real-time analytics. Soasta CloudTest also has embedded user monitoring capabilities and allows users to build tests using RUM-based data and application-specific scenarios. Features:
  • Offers cross-platform support
  • Innovative tool
  • Ties in directly with performance monitoring
  • Enterprise-ready
Tool Type: Pure Play What you really need to know: Soasta is the largest player in the pure play space, with more than $75 million in funding to date. It provides cross-platform support with CloudTest for web and TouchTest for mobile (which also provides mobile automation) and offers post-production performance monitoring with mPulse. For more information: Learn more about Soasta CloudTest load and performance testing. Reviews: Read CloudTest reviews on Pricing: Offers a free version with plans start at $2500 per year and 2 pricing tiers. View pricing here.  
  1. TestPlant eggPlant Performance

Summary:  Provides cloud-based, distributed load simulations with dynamic test controls and standard scripting languages. It also provides application-level virtual users for more complete test coverage. TestPlant’s eggPlant Performance tool is part of the larger eggPlant range of testing tools. Features:
  • Offers cross-platform support
  • Allows for reuse of functional tests as performance tests
  • Can traverse various layers of applications including UI, API and command line layers
Tool Type: Extension What you really need to know: eggPlant Performance can support web, desktop and mobile testing as an extension of eggPlant Functional. For more information: Learn more about TestPlant eggPlant. Pricing: No prices listed, but view licensing and pricing information here.