Service Virtualization vs. Mock Services: Which is Right for You?
March 22, 2023

Service Virtualization vs. Mock Services: Which is Right for You?

Service Virtualization

Service virtualization has played a vital role in software development and testing ecosystem for over 20 years. By simulating the behavior, data, and performance of dependent systems, service virtualization can speed up testing and reduce the costs associated with access to live systems.

But traditional service virtualization also comes with an array of challenges that makes it less suitable for organizations looking to shift left. Due to these challenges, service virtualization is no longer a proper fit for the agile-embracing enterprise.

This blog will make a direct comparison between service virtualization vs. mock services and show how intelligent mocks present a more lightweight, cost-effective, and efficient virtual services option.  

Background: Service Virtualization and Traditional Mocking & Stubs

Testers and dev teams often struggle to find the right tools to run sufficient performance and stress testing for their applications. Traditionally, teams have utilized mocks and stubs during the development and testing of their mobile apps.  

Mocks act as a response to external dependencies that are part of the application’s flow (databases, mainframes, etc.) but are not pertinent to the test at hand. Teams have used mocks so that developers can focus on their code’s functionality and not get sidetracked with these external dependencies.  

Yet, traditional mocks and stubs and limited. Instead of focusing on external dependencies, traditional mocks are limited to providing a simple response to the external dependency to keep the testing moving along.

Service virtualization has since stepped in to test these dependencies more in-depth, but still does not provide a satisfactory solution. Let us better understand why, and how intelligent mocks, also known as mock services, address the challenges of both service virtualization and traditional mocks and stubs.  

Related Reading: Learn why enterprises are embracing agile mock services >>

Service Virtualization vs. Mock Services

To effectively compare service virtualization and mocking, this blog will focus on four different areas: cost of ownership, on-premises vs. cloud, setup needs, and compatibility with shift-left testing.

Let us get started:

Cost of Ownership

One of the major challenges that come with legacy service virtualization is how much it costs to own. Testing against these expensive, more complicated services can prevent the CI/CD pipeline from running as smoothly as possible. 

With mock services, developers can virtualize the parts of the system that are not under test or are unavailable because they are still in an early development stage. This sufficiently isolates the areas where testing needs to happen and enables teams to get discrete insight into the quality and performance of the component under test. 

Even when teams do not have access to the full environment, they can benefit from the realistic responses provided by Mock Services. Testing can continue uninterrupted and more comprehensively, all at a much lower cost than using legacy service virtualization. 

On-Premises vs. Cloud 

Another critical challenge that comes with service virtualization is the fact that most of these solutions are on-premises only. Without a cloud-based option, making software updates is both costly and time-consuming. 

Mock services, on the other hand, can be used both on-premises or in the cloud. Mocks from BlazeMeter uniquely offers lightweight, HTTP-only virtual services that helps teams scale both horizontally and vertically. Organizations can use pre-built specifications from Swagger or WSDL to avoid duplicate work and speed up the mock creation process. 

Setup Needs

Most service virtualization tools are also inherently complex. These solutions require experts to set up and coordinate the creation of virtual services, creating a major bottleneck.

Alternatively, the ability for mock services to be used in the cloud means that organizations do not need to worry about complex on-prem setup or ongoing software updates. Plus, the cloud enables multiple teams to benefit from mock services simultaneously, no matter how distributed.

Compatibility With Shift-Left Testing

Legacy service virtualization solutions also do not complement teams that are looking to do shift-left testing. Some factors that contribute to this notion include:

  • Incompatibility with third-party components.
  • The requirement to test only on physical devices when developing mobile applications.
  • Storage and memory constraints.
  • Extensive training requirements.
  • Limits creating services to a central team.
  • Difficulty of sharing virtual services throughout the organization.

Alternatively, mock services offers compatibility with third-party components. Plus, the fact that mock services can be cloud-based takes away storage and memory limitations, as well as extensive training requirements. Additionally, mock services are stateful and data-driven by nature, so responses can be more realistic and dynamic.

Furthermore, BlazeMeter Mock Services offers an Asset Catalog feature, which is a central catalog to store all service virtualization-related artifacts for collaboration. With the Asset Catalog, developers and testers can share and reuse testing artifacts.

Having easily accessible resources that are user-friendly for testers and developers alike is not only useful but also fosters the increase in team-wide collaboration needed for shift-left testing.

Service Virtualization vs. Mock Services Comparison


Mock Services

Service Virtualization

Cost of Ownership






Easy to Set Up



Shift-Left Compatibility



Whether it’s legacy service virtualization or mocking, neither option is compatible with organizations looking to shift their testing left. 

On the other hand, BlazeMeter Mock Services   offers a top-notch solution with lower cost of ownership and greater ease of use that solves the leading problems of traditional virtual service solutions.

Experience BlazeMeter Mock Services in action with a free trial or by scheduling a custom demo with an expert. 


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