Quest Benchmark Factory for Databases Simplifies Testing with New Workload Replay Feature

Quest Software has announced the addition of a wizard-based workload replay feature to its database performance testing tool, Benchmark Factory for Databases, enabling users to easily and cost-effectively capture production workload and replay it in a testing environment.

"It is a solution that is really made very easy for the user so they can use it at any point in the process but ideally we would see it used before changes are deployed out to production so they can get an idea of what the effect of those changes will be," Joe Faherty, product manager, Quest Software, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

The capture can be run before making changes to a database to establish a base line, explains Bert Scalzo, domain expert and Oracle ACE at Quest Software. Users can then make their changes, hopefully one at a time, so cause and effect can be measured. Then they can replay the captured workload and observe what those changes caused to occur - positive or negative.

While the product itself is cross-platform, supporting SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, Sybase and other databases via ODBC connectivity, the workload replay feature is being rolled out in a phased approach and at this point  is only available for Oracle, says Faherty.

The new feature supports all Oracle databases, including 8i and 9, which is important, says Scalzo, because some customers who are still on older database versions and considering moving to more recent releases are looking at making two major database jumps in one migration and concerned about the process. The tool can help them with such as scenario, he says.

Benchmark Factory also gives DBAs more flexibility and customization by giving them the option to capture isolated workload, instead of the entire database workload. With the ability to filter by processes or transactions within the database activity, "they can take out certain things that they don't feel is relevant to the capture or replay," says Faherty. Users also have the ability to run "what if" scenarios to determine how a single variation, such as user load, will affect a real transaction. For more information or to download the trial version, go here.