However, that may be overkill for what an immediate team needs as well as to run smaller levels of stress tests that are not as all-encompassing. Another challenge is that, if you don't have performance testing skills, you may find it a challenge to getting those skills or getting people to give you the time to train on those skills. The good news is that you can start doing performance testing with a small amount of data and practice getting a handle on the skills that you want to learn. JMeter is a great place to start with this. It's free, it has a small footprint (relatively speaking) and it is friendly to running on smaller, more isolated environments.
JMeter is a well used and well-known tool that has a broad user community and active developer support. JMeter can also work with tools like Fiddler and Charles Proxy to help construct tests and control the responses.
This is a good reminder that testing with JMeter need not be a big involved process and can actually be fun.