There are a lot of commercial stress and load testing tools available, but in general they are really expensive, so buying one is probably not the best idea if you just want to stress-test a single web application for one time, like I did.
Instead, I checked out some Open Source tools and found Webload, an Open Source variant of a more comprehensive tool developed by Radview. The download can be found here (it’s not available on the official website any more).
The tool comes with a graphical user interface both for creating test scripts (Webload IDE) and for launching and monitoring tests (Webload console).
Scripts can be recorded by simply clicking links in your browser. Afterwards, the script can be used to create the actual test, consisting of an arbitrary number of virtual users that follow the actions defined in the script. Webload allows monitoring of any values you can think of, ranging from the number of executed requests to throughput in bytes per second.
Because of all those features that seem unique for an Open Source stress test tool, Webload is really worth a tip here at codingclues