In the many projects, developers usually may not consider much about the various non-functional feature from the start. They frequently focus on functional requirements only and skip the non-functional requirements until the project goes into QA phase. I've seen that a lot of problems n the heavy load condition were found in the late phase of development and these drove development crazy. I think an important reason why the such problems occur is that there are no easy way to verify the non-functional requirements(especially performance) in the middle of projects.
nGrinder was created with the goal to make performance test cost 0 from birth. I can observe many people install and use nGrinder in their own PC. In this case, it is difficult to say that the performance test cost is 0. It would not be a very low cost because you must provide enough PC machines for agents and prepare prerequisite like Java.
However, if someone in your organization already installed nGrinder to be shared by whole teams, it would make dramatically decrease the difficulties in performance testing. When other people already installed nGrinder, what they need is simply to open a web browser. I can say the cost of performance testing is 0 practically. NHN operates nGrinder in that way. NHN all developers is able to log in nGrinder instance automatically using SSO if they type only http://ngrinder.nhncorp.com simply. Then Just typing server target URL in the front page makes the performance testing started.
Problems found by nGrinder can not be found easily in the other ways. These issues might be discovered only when the user traffic is flooded after release projects. However, it's very easy to find such a problems through nGrinder. The following is the feedback we got from nGrinder user in our company, NHN.
When we used Performance Center, we took times to get the feedback due to complex procedure incluging reservation. Howver with nGrinder we can get the really fast fail and fast feedback. It was a lot of help in improving development speed.
Is not that what you already saw somewhere else? TDD? It is exactly same with TDD if we replace Performance Center into a tester, performance into function and finally nGrinder to JUnit in above sentences.. It's just like finding the better solution by step by step development. I'd like to call this Performance Driven Development.
If you're already nGrinder user, please make installed nGrinder used by the others. It will dramatically reduce the performance testing cost and you may find the same pleasure I have.