Tutorial: WebPageTest Private Instance with Google Cloud Compute (GCP)

Bulk test isn’t available in public WebPageTest offer.
I’ve quickly made the tutorial which you can reuse to create your own instance, for a price starting from $1 per month if you are careful 🙂

1/ Setup the main server

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 1-2 CPU
  • persistent (non persistent ok only for agents)
  • SSD – 10 GB
  • Add public SHH key
  • Allow HTTP traffic
  • Create instance
  • Connect to ssh using Google Cloud Console and paste:
    • bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/WPO-Foundation/wptserver-install/master/gce_ubuntu.sh)
  • Leave empty – hit enter
  • Save location key
  • Save wpt_data metadata

2/ Setup agent template

  • Launch Google Cloud Shell and paste:
  • bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/WPO-Foundation/wptagent-install/master/gce_image.sh)
  • Leave wpt-agent as is.
  • Paste wpt_data metadata saved when creating server

3/ Start an agent in the desired location

  • Click “Create an instance”
  • “New instance from VM” (left panel)
  • Select wpt-agent
  • Continue
  • Name = informational.
    • Use something which helps to identify in which Area where it will be hosted
  • Allow HTTP trafic (did not test without this option)
  • Create the instance

4/ Start a test

  • Access http://$Public_IP_of_The_Server/
  • Select test location
  • If no test location, restart the main server (not the agent)
  • Bulk testing is now available.

How much it cost ?

Traffic cost is close to 0$ / month, excepted heavy usage.

If you don’t shutdown or close the server, it will cost:

  • Agent: $15 / month / in US based datacenter ($0,021 / hour)
  • Main server: $50 / month / in US based datacenter ($0,068 / hour)
    => $65 / month
  • For entreprise needs, with daily monitoring:
    • We cover all regions available
    • The main server & agents are never stopped
    • 25 regions x 18$ on average
    • 1 main server at 50$
    • a bit of storage + backup
    • Then add variable cost.
    • => Around $600 / month

Official documentation is here: https://docs.webpagetest.org/private-instances/gce_server/

Here is what ChatGPT can tell you about this idea of putting WebPageTest on a private instance:

A Webpagetest private instance is a locally hosted version of the Webpagetest platform that allows organizations to run performance tests on their own servers, behind their firewall. This provides added security, control, and flexibility for the organization to customize their testing environment to their specific needs. The private instance can be configured to run on dedicated hardware, virtual machines, or cloud-based infrastructure, and can be customized with additional features, plugins, and integrations to extend its functionality. Overall, a Webpagetest private instance provides a comprehensive solution for organizations to monitor and optimize website performance, from behind their own firewalls.

Not bad ! 🙂


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