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  1. #1
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    Separating Load Generation from performance measurement


    It seems that virtual users are what makes load testing tools expensive. I am investigating the possibility of using a separate (and hopefully cheaper) tool for load generation (say 500 virtual users) and using LoadRunner to measure only about 100 in order to keep the licensing costs down.

    How important/indispensable are the performance measuring facilities of load testing tools.

    If one went the whole hog and eliminated the LoadRunner and like tools entirely,

    What are the minimum capabilities of an alternative performance measuring mechanism and what information would it need.

    Links to information, tools etc especially welcome.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Separating Load Generation from performance measurement

    wooks,

    Look at http://www.opensta.org for a useful FREE http load driver, which simulates actual Web users. Take version 1.2.2.

    Drop me a line if you want to use OpenSTA for a 'commercial' project and I should be able to help you further.

    agoodyear@yahoo.com

    Regards

    Ian



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  3. #3
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    Re: Separating Load Generation from performance measurement

    1 - Will the tool generate the traffic accurately? If the tool you are using to generate the load doesn't replicate the traffic that the 'real' clients will, then the measurements that you do collect will be faulty. Suppose the the tool generates all the traffic in a single-threaded fashion, but the real client does things in a multi-threaded way? The test tools traffic will be less traffic on the server than the real life scenario will be. This could lead you to delivering results that are better than what is really going to happen when the system goes live. I wouldn't want to be the one who gave false results just to save a few bucks and still have wasted time.

    2 - Can the tool help you narrow down the specific user experience for the virtual users on the system that were experiencing errors. Will the tool even report errors? Can these errors be traced down to the specific data that a virtual user was passing to the server?

    3 - When using two tools in conjunction with one another, how are you going to correlate the results? This alone can take a huge chunk of time. Time that you may not really have if your company is like every other company I've been to. Results are wanted NOW and they want the results to be accurate.

    Rather than going down this path you may want to consider 'renting' virtual users for the short term needs that you have. There are different services that can give you the load testing you need without having to buy all the virtual users that you need. It may be that for the most part you only need 500 users, but on occaision you may want to run as high as 5000 users, but not frequently enough to justify purchasing the users. Use the link below if you want more info on renting these kinds of services....

    ------------------
    James Soderborg
    http://www.ameliortech.com
    jamesso@ameliortech.com

    [This message has been edited by jamesso (edited 10-05-2001).]

  4. #4
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    Re: Separating Load Generation from performance measurement

    jamesso,

    i feel a bit guilty now, for not clarifying that I propose to generate the load through the applications GUI. Still useful stuff to bear in mind.

    Ian,

    Unfortunately this is a client server app. However I will as a result of your post take a look at OpenSTA as a point of general interest.

 

 

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