HP Performance Center
Here are detailed yet concise notes on using HP's Performance Center to control LoadRunner for load and stress performance testing. This is a companion to pages on Vu Scripting, performance monitoring, performance tuning, and reporting.
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Most people get HP Performance Center (abbreviated PC) when they want to simulate more Vusers than several LoadRunner Controller can run at the same time. HPPC enaables load testers, from a single central dashboard, to:
Performance Center does NOT:
Version 12 UI adopts the same "flat" design as other new sites around the internet.
Version 10 databases are integrated into ALM database.
Version 9.1 0 (9.10) docs are all dated June 27, 2008.
Version 9.0 became available July, 2007. It introduced use of IIS web services communication protocols with the Controller.
Version 8.1 became available May, 2006.
Version 7.8 became available Nov, 2004.
These 5 above can be installed on the same machine.
Performance_Center_Host machines can be configured to serve one of 3 purposes -- Controller, Load Generator, or Data Processor. (It cannot be installed on a machine with LoadRunner installed).
7. Load generators generate load on servers under test by running Vusers iterating emulation scripts based on scripts and instructions from the Controller. There can be any number of load generators for a given load test. There are Regular, Unix, and Standalone load generators. But Load Generators cannot be on a machine that has IIS installed.
Load Generators are installed Standalone within the same subnet as the Controller. Alternately, they can operate over a firewall which divides the subnet of servers under test from the Controller through a MI_Listener_Component for monitoring over firewall (MOFW) on a machine that does not have IIS installed. (The "MI" is for Mercury Interactive, so it's been around before version 8).
Each Load Generator can emulate 50-100 Vusers, depending on the complexity of the script, the size of parameter files in memory, and the amount of think time between requests.
8. The Data Processor host is used for publishing information to the Performance Center Dashboard, a feature LoadRunner does not provide.
13. Installing a Performance Center Host on a Terminal Server machine (before enabling the Terminal Server agent in Advanced settings) enables Performance Center to control (through Windows Remote Desktop Connection) several Windows-based single-user UFT/QuickTestPro (previously WinRunner) GUI Vuser Sessions at once (at 1 Vuser per terminal session).
"Admin" (Administrator) is usually the IT Security god who dispenses licenses, hardware, accounts, passwords. For some reason the company can only trust this person. Since most IT activities involve some level of trust, this position is usually the bottlneck to project progress. Because the company can only trust a very small number of people, this person has to multi-task among several projects. So most projects move only as fast as this person moves.
The table below cross-references tasks and which role performs them (similar to this segregation of duties for SOX compliance)
Getting common agreement to this is vitally important to avoid what I see as the major cause of frustration on large load testing projects.
Here are explanations of the steps to a clean, hassle-free installation. This list in a Microsoft Project file.
C:\Program Files (x86)
Within its bin folder is the globals.ini file.
To quickly get at this LoadRunner installation folder, create an environment variable named "PC" (or whichever you prefer) so you can use a quick command such as
To get at this folder quickly, I created a batch file named "pc.bat" in the cmd's default C:\ root folder containing this:
cd \Program Files\HP\Performance Center\binI created a shortcut to this file on my desktop and dragged it over Windows so that I can click into that folder from anywhere. The pause command ensures that the command window does not disappear automatically. Alternately, from within a command window I can just type "L" and press Enter.
Monitoring UNIX MachinesBefore starting a run on Linux, check to make sure that rstatd monitors are active. If rstatd services are dropped when a server becomes too busy or is restarted, LoadRunner 7.8 does not attempt to re-acquire information from rstatd. The work-around is to exit and reinitialize the Controller again.
MI Listener for HTTPS/SSL TrafficWhen agents send HTTPS traffic (through port 443) from behind a firewall, it uses the "Monitoring over Firewall Component" and the Controller communicates uses a symbolic name for the agent through Mercury Interactive's MI Listener Machine (through port 50500) outside the firewall. Monitoring of Windows machines through a firewall use TCP port 139.
This application was not written to use IE7 tabs.
The Host Runs Tab lists runs by Duration hours.
Keep Run IDs short.
Allocation is to a Pool .
The Allocation maximum is 5 for the maximum number of concurrent operations.
"Ping to Host" by the Administration server
is not available for Load generators over firewall, which uses
Each controller or load generator host can be assigned to only a single pool.
Performance targets are not copied when you copy a load test.
Several pools (typically each in a different location) can be assigned to a particular Project.
In the User Notes field for each Load Test Result, use codes to distinguish among various tests during searches.
Performance Center remembers the last filter used by each project for each user.
Pools can be nested (reference other pools) to construct a merged pool.
When defining Projects, instead of taking the word literally, specify the type of performance test (single-user longevity, multi-user stress, multi-user/multi-function contention, etc.).
The Load Test Details page only differentiates whether a run suceeded.
It would be better if it also lists the peak running vusers, how many iterations, errors, etc.
I prefer the Classic Schedule over the Real-life Schedule. because it gives more control since each Vuser group can have its own run-time settings.
The Performance Center Dashboard does not offer the goal-oriented scenario approach to automatically ramp-up the number of vusers.
The number of Vusers assigned to each Vuser group gets reset to a default of 10 Vusers when you switch from a schedule by group to a schedule by load test.
Actions for a schedule are replaced by the default set of actions for the new run mode when you switch from one run mode to another.
HP does not allow use of Windows Remote Desktop Connection (RDC).
Performance targets are not copied when a load test is cloned (by clicking Save As).
Before a load test's results are published, the load test must be enabled for publishing to the Dashboard.
The Web Testing Handbook (S T Q E Pub, Jan. 2001) by Steven Splaine, Stefan P. Jaskiel, Alberto Savoia is a good overview introduction, but does not make you an expert.
HPPC's 6 reports are not much more than filtered lists from the database. The simple filtering mechanisms provided become less useful as the number of values increases to the volume typical such systems manage after many months. Search conditions cannot be saved and reused again another day. The sort sequence cannot be changed. The sequence and appearance of columns are fixed. Filtering is peformed only from the left-most characters, not by regular expression (please correct me if I am wrong). The information is not presented in the context of a job role workflow.
If you are an expert (or have the time to become an expert) in Excel, you can export the data to an Excel spreadsheet and manipulate the data yourself. But if you have to do all that, why were you charged so much money on the software?
In the descriptions below, I have added the need for extented queries. PLUG: I can write web pages and SQL to answer questions that simple filtering cannot address.
Site Users Report
Concurrency vs. License Report
Timeslot Usage Report
Resource Summary Report
Resource by Duration Report
Resource by Runs Report
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