Last year we did a very large project that has made RunSignUp the most scalable and high performance registration system available. We were able to test our system registering 50,000 runners in 7 minutes (total time from first page thru credit card payment and confirmation). See technical details of our scalability project here.
One of the challenges we had was how to emulate 50,000 users going thru a complex registration process. Commercial tools were too expensive (it costs about $2,000 to test 50,000 users for an hour), and there were no good free tools that ran in the cloud effectively allowing for this type of scale. So we built our own. The Load Agents run on Amazon AWS Cloud “spot instances”. We are able to have 200 servers emulate the 50,000 users for an hour for less than $2.00. That is a 1000X savings, and made our work feasible.
Recently, we decided to share our load testing in the Amazon cloud for free with the rest of the world. We’ve created a separate company, RedLine13, LLC, to bring various technological innovations to market in a low overhead way. RedLine has no sales people or marketing. The idea is to make functional software available for free or very low cost in the cloud. Since we need to do the development for ourselves at RunSignUp, why not share it with the rest of the world?
And we all know from the experiences of some of the large races over the past couple of years there are many registration systems who could use a little free testing. This does replace the former offer we had from RunSignUp, and hopefully since it is free and has been made self-serve others will figure out how to use it.