I was introduced to these forums a couple weeks ago and have found them to be very insightful. I'm a QA analyst and have been recently assigned to a new project dealing with an area I have very little experience in - performance/load testing.
The project till involve testing a large volume of concurrent users on a downloadable client that uses a custom stateful TCP protocol - any insights would be much appreciated!
Re: Looking for a performance/load tool suggestions
Step 1: Go hire the most seasoned performance test professional you can find. Make sure that they are proficient in custom protocols - this alone will eliminate a good 95% of anyone with a performance testing label on their resume. Do not pass GO. Do not collect 200 dollars.
You have a daunting task that has been rather unfairly dumped upon you. You will need to evaluate the tools available on the market to see which ones will support your custom protocol and which ones your team is capable of using successfully. If your team comes from a similar background then you will need to hope and pray that there is an intersection between those two sets of tools.
This evaluation of a match to your interface exercise needs and match to your team's skills is completely independent of the licensing or cost model for the tools. If you are extremely fortunate you will have several items you can choose from with which your team can be successful.