The new version of Scalable Test Platform (STP) makes it much easier to test the performance of Linux applications.
In the past, STP was used solely to test the Linux kernel. The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has made various changes in STP version 3.0 so that it can now be used to test Linux applications.
OSDL has invested more than $15m on the testing system, which it provides to developers online and free-of-charge. Developers can test their application against different versions of Linux, and see the effects on performance of different patches, as well as of different hardware configurations, including expensive systems set-ups such as eight-way CPUs.
Simon Riggs, a developer for open-source database PostgreSQL, said on Monday that STP 3.0 has been used to test the latest version of PostgreSQL. "This is a brilliant tool," said Riggs. "I can now run a three hour performance test on an eight CPU server. If I had to do that at home, I would need more than £100,000 worth of kit and four weeks to set it all up."
Riggs said that testing is vital when developing software for complex business applications. "Testing is a critical part of the software development process. STP will help open-source developers build high-performance systems for enterprises."
The results of the performance tests are also publicly available, which Riggs believes is another advantage that Linux has over proprietary databases.
Riggs said: "The database world is very closed. Not only is Linux software freely available, but the information about Linux performance is freely available. I think this will tip the edge for people thinking about Linux."