I am currently working on implementing SLAMD Distributed Load Generation Engine in favour of JMeter for performance testing. JMeter has served us well and given us some very quick results to work with. Unfortunately we are now finding JMeter rather limiting since we need to test a networked application with several different custom built servers. We need to be able to monitor system load, such as CPU, memory and network load, in combination with tests data. SLAMD comes with such functionality out of the box.
SLAMD was initially developed at Sun to test LDAP servers (ldapd) but has since been open sourced and further developed to support different networked applications such as HTTP, SMTP, IMAP and POP.
It is an old and in certain aspects a very dated code base though. As an example the HTTP servlet presentation tier uses no JSP. Instead it creates all the view code in the servlets or servlet helpers.
Yet it does seem to be the best tool available on the market. It ships with web administration and reporting interface, test client performance monitoring, application server monitoring and extensible APIs.
Right now I am working on extensions that maps well to our domain and hope to have a running performance test system up soon with custom test jobs that are easy to administer and maintain. It is good to be back in the coding trenches again after to much manual performance testing using JMeter. And to be able to automate what was previously done manually is always a good feeling.
If you have any previous experience working with SLAMD that you would like to share, please post a comment/link.