Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Using Remote Load Generators


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Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Using Remote Load Generators

  1. 1. Avoiding the Pitfalls of Using Remote Load Generators Better Enable Your Network Application Testing
  2. 2. What is a Remote Load Generator? <ul><li>Remote Load Generator : An agent deployed in a location removed from the datacenter and/or application servers for the purpose of load testing a software application. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From Wikipedia : Load testing is the process of creating demand on a system or device and measuring its response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Typical remote load generators are either: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software agents installed on existing hardware at remote locations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-configured systems (HW + SW) that are shipped to remote locations for installation </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Why Deploy Load Generators Remotely? <ul><li>To understand how applications will perform over the wide area network </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing over the production environment is an accurate representation of what will happen once the application is deployed </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Problem: Accuracy <ul><li>Insights drawn from performance using remote generators is not valid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing is rarely run during business hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Performed in off-hours on off-days </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Off-hours performance of a network doesn’t mirror the performance during peak times / business hours </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You are wasting your time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposed fixes involving the network cannot be tested without making real-world changes to infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly understanding the effect that changes in bandwidth and class of service will have is just not practical </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Problem: Cost <ul><li>The process for testing deployment can be complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires significant personnel and resource coordination - can’t be done quickly or “on the fly” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Installation and maintenance of remote controllers is cumbersome and time-consuming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transporting hardware is expensive and risky </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring that remote systems are configured correctly, up-to-date, and available creates additional overhead and risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need to ensure these highly orchestrated testing “events” go off successfully </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example:  if all remote controllers aren’t running the same version of load testing software, a test can not run. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: if a remote controller is not responding, what do you do? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Problem: Shortcuts <ul><li>Insights are limited to locations where it’s possible / practical to deploy remote generators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not account for performance from every location or connection type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zero accounting for performance over wireless connections, e.g. satellite, cellular, etc - because you can not deploy controllers there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminating swaths of your user population’s perspective because you can’t deploy a controller there doesn’t make any sense, does it? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Problem: Analysis <ul><li>Application analysis at the packet level typically relies on production sniffers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doing this requires a bridge between departments that typically does not exist - QA and production / NOC operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You are missing out on a host of insights that only present themselves when an application is exposed to production conditions AND the data is captured </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Insights into how the network is behaving are difficult / impossible to get </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless production monitoring tools are being run and correctly analyzed during the test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if that’s the case, it’s extremely difficult to correlate application and network performance using separate, unintegrated tools </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Solution: VE Desktop for HP Software <ul><li>Accuracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real world conditions can be measured with VE Network Catcher and then accurately emulated with VE Desktop. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;We've found that that accuracy of the Shunra emulation tools is at least 95% of our real world network. This accuracy, and the speed at which we are able to get the data, is critical for success and it is something we couldn't get from any other tool.&quot; – Keith Lyon, Technical Lead for Enterprise Test Center, the technology center for a Fortune Global 500 consumer products company </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Solution: VE Desktop for HP Software <ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No coordination issues with remote hardware or staff! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VE Desktop for HP Software is directly integrated with HP LoadRunner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>VE Desktop agents installed on Load Generators emulate the production environment for the virtual users. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tests are isolated to the performance lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tests can be run, reconfigured, and run again without impacting the production network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have you ever had a load test bring down a production link? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adds power and simplification to the test lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Empowers testers to design more creative and robust tests </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Solution: VE Desktop for HP Software <ul><li>Shortcuts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlimited variations of networks can be emulated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounts for performance from every location or connection type </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries of known – and projected – network profiles can be stored and reused </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VE Desktop for HP Software can capture application data on the Load Generator and then perform protocol level analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This provides host of insights only available when an application is exposed to production conditions AND the data is captured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some insights include: application turns, network bottleneck analysis, individual application turn response timing, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TCP efficiency analysis, etc… </li></ul></ul>