Cloud-based load testing company BlazeMeter has announced a $1.2 million Series A funding from YL Ventures and launched a cloud service for enterprise-grade load and performance testing.

The platform is based on the Apache JMeter open source project and is delivered as a self-service web application for developers. In making the announcement, BlazeMeter reported figures from research firm IDC predicting that the automated software quality (ASQ) market will approach $2.6 billion in the next two years—an indicator of developers’ need for self-service tools like BlazeMeter that allow them to create failure-resilient applications that can handle real-world enterprise environments.

BlazeMeter described the open-source load testing tool JMeter as an excellent automation tool with more than 1 million downloads in 2011, but one that it is challenging to deploy and is limited in scalability for the requirements of enterprise and high-traffic web sites. BlazeMeter reportedly overcomes those limitations through a self-service load testing cloud that provides unlimited testing capacity, interactive real-time reporting and sophisticated result analysis and recommendations.

On CNET’s “Software, Interrupted ” blog contributor Dave Rosenberg cites the founder of BlazeMeter’s reasons behind the development of the platform and the significance of its utility:

 BlazeMeter’s founder and CEO Alon Grimonsky told CNET that he built the BlazeMeter cloud in response to the requests from developers who weren’t in the market for the existing expensive and complicated (to the point of needing professional service engagements to deploy and maintain) load testing solutions like HP LoadRunner and Gomez … And while there are other load-testing solutions out there delivered as a service, such as SOASTA, LoadStorm, and BrowserMob, Grimonsky claims they cannot handle complex testing simulations, unlimited testing capacity, interactive real-time reporting, and sophisticated result analysis and recommendations … And while I can’t claim that load testing is the most thrilling of technologies, as more and more commerce is conducted online, the need to test applications to ensure availability is more important than ever.

BlazeMeter’s beta testing period attracted 1,500 registered users and close to 100 paying customers, according to the company. The platform is available in pay-as-you-go format for $8 per server hour, or on a subscription basis. A free load test is available here.