I've never needed to work with commercial load running tools before, as our test infrastructure is pretty immature here and I've used internal tools in the past. We're working on a .NET technology stack using Visual Studio TFS as our main development environment / source control, and will be needing to do load testing in the near future. We'll be load-testing the system at a number of levels - DB, client applications (e.g., what happens when X many instances of the client application hit the back-end API at once?), and so on with browser-load testing on a web application as one of the lower priority forms of load testing. I see two clear options (but am open to others):
- Purchase a tool like LoadRunner
- Expand the infrastructure I've built for testing to run load-testing user simulations on multiple machines at once using AWS for the machines and the simulated users (our IT department is overworked, under-funded, and bad at communication; they can't be expected to provide good support or hardware for VMs)
What are the pros and cons of buying a load-testing tool vs. developing your own for load testing? What are pitfalls I should watch for if developing my own tools? Also, what commercial options for general load testing are there besides LoadRunner, and what price ranges am I looking at?