Yleisradio (Yle), founded in 1926, is Finland's national public-broadcasting company.Historically, Yle’s testing environment consisted of desktop computers installed on one rack and connected to the main switch to generate load when needed. Early on, Yle chose Apache JMeter as its main performance testing tool. Yet large scale distributed tests were a challenge, with issues in setting properties correctly. Tieto, a company tasked with Yle’s systems, was considering yet another change to its load generator machines, and it decided to look for a new way to tackle the problem. In early 2012 Tieto discovered BlazeMeter. It was exactly what Yle needed: a cost effective JMeter-compatible performance testing solution, capable of large-scale load testing.At first, Yle was concerned that using a cloud-based testing solution would be problematic because the load would be generated from Amazon’s EC2 Cloud located in Ireland - 3,000 kilometers away from Finland. Yet network latency proved not to be an issue.
During the vote count, Yle broadcasts a live television show. At the same time, Yle also provides live official counts on a public results service site along with results predictions. There are about 37,000 candidates in the election. The combination of real time results, an extremely high number of candidates and constantly changing predictions make it one of Finland’s busiest sites on Election Day. There are almost half a million different versions of webpages running through the vote count, with about 53 million database transactions.
Using BlazeMeter, Tieto conducted nine performance testing rounds, discovering multiple load and architecture issues that were resolved. In fact, Tieto was able to test a higher throughput than the real load generated on Election Day.
On election night, almost 700,000 people visited the Yle results site in the hours between 8PM and midnight, with over 15 million page views and 124,000 concurrent users. Overall, the results service was a great success for Yle and, despite the heavy load, the site worked without any issues. Today Yle uses BlazeMeter instead of its previous performance testing environment.