Migrating from Loadrunner (to...?)
Has anyone here migrated from Loadrunner to another set of tools? I would very much like to hear of your experiences.
We are having some issues with HP and are looking for possible alternatives to Loadrunner. The performance testing unit here was set up from the get go to use Loadrunner, and we have had great success with it for several years. Now it might be time to move on unless we can resolve some key issues.
A couple of years back we added ProxySniffer as a means to generate very large web loads without having to go the extremely expensive Loadrunner VUDs route. This has been working well for us but while ProxySniffer does what we need it to do in that context, it doesn't replace Loadrunner, which has great monitoring and analysis features.
There are some software packages that peak our interest: MS Visual Studio in particular, but also Silk Performer, NeoLoad and some other options. None of us has any recent experience with either of these, and having sales representatives come to us and demo their products is one thing, but it doesn't replace experiences collected from actual end users.
I should add that while we are mostly doing web applications these days, we also do a lot of testing on back end systems (batch executions, and so on) that we mostly monitor and measure. We also do performance testing on components (where we would use web service or Java vusers in Loadrunner to hook into the application(s)), so we need to be able to do that too.
Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.
Do you have someone you can trust to give you a vendor agnostic overview of solutions for you? A solution needs to factor in base costs for the testing tool, plus licensing, training, script conversion, and hardware requirements, while balancing the needs of the applications you need to test. The more mature testing tools have more support for various architectural platforms, but tend to cost more. The "newer" test tools tend to focus on web-based technologies, but also have a lower price point. If there is a need to test non-web based applications, you may need to switch to a comparable product with the level of maturity that LoadRunner possesses or consider a hybrid solution that uses a lower cost product in addition to LoadRunner or the like, with a reduction of licensing costs. I am not aware of any solution that will give you a complete replacement of LoadRunner; it's been around for a long time. But if you start to balance costs with the features you need, there are possibilities using a commercial product and even open source.
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Thank you for your excellent reply, Matthew.
We are currently looking into some of the available offerings, both commercial and open source, and we will most likely go with a combination of several tools for testing, monitoring and analysis. Training and getting the new processes in place will take some time and it is a big issue monetary wise as well, but I'm looking forward to it.
It is like the consultant said, ‘it depends’. Definitely you will need to layout your protocol generation needs and look to do evaluations of possible tools that can simulate the required traffic, and then look at your monitoring needs. For monitoring you may not get the bundling you get from LoadRunner but there are many good opensource monitoring tools out there that complement any load generation tool (correlating cause and effect with simple time series graphs).
Looking at your basic requirements, that you have related so far, I would look at two opensource tools to begin with for generating the load. I have used both these opensource tools and LoadRunner recently. They may or may not replace what you are currently getting from LoadRunner but if you have not used these tools for the past 4 or 5 years you will be surprised at the features offered.
Basically a Jython based mult-threaded framework that will allow you to make any Java API calls in concurrently running threads. This will allow many API, options. Grinder does have an http-client lib built in so standard http traffic can also be generated.
I would look at this tool if primarily you are looking at web work, although like the Grinder it does handle other protocols.
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