Saturday, December 24, 2011

LoadRunner | Holiday Readyness

Most large B2C enterprises perform, holiday readiness to make sure the site remains stable and can handle the holiday web traffic smoothly. As a part of the exercise multiple load test runs are performed  and usually  monitored in a performance environment with production data and any bottle necks and performance issues found during this are fixed.

Important Analysis pointers:
Java Garbage collection: If there are increases in response time in bursts. it can be attributed to Garbage collection.
The graphs for hits per second should follow a similar pattern to Throughput otherwise there is something in
Correlating failed transactions with errors.

Monitor CPU/IO/Memory during load tests: It is a good idea to run this every 30 seconds for the duration of the load tests. This is for App server and DB server.

vmstat - reports information about processes, memory, paging, block IO, traps, and cpu activity
iostat - Used for reporting CPU statistics and input/output statistics for devices, partitions and network filesystems (NFS)
Load Runner has 3 main components:
VU Gen (Virtual User Generator)
--Load generators are installed on multiple machines to spread the load for generating the traffic.
--Depending on the traffic required, this could change but usually 3-5
Load Runner Controller (Console)
--This is the main terminal that can be used to connect to consoles , Load scripts and run load runner tests.
--This is used to view multiple charts and graphs for analysis data points from tests run.

Some Key Terminology when using Load Runner:
Virtual User & Distribution of virtual users: Virtual users are used to emulate the behavior of real users.
Transaction Mix:  This is based on business scenarios. Usually this is divided among-st various scripts based on traffic patterns from web analytics (Omniture\Google\CoreMetrics, etc any of these)
Ramp up\Ram down:  The load on the performance site is gradually increased and gradually decreased. Gradually increasing helps with cached pages for accurate test results.
Load is usually gradually increased and usually a 2-3  interval is provided to add virtual users.
Thinking Time: This is the time between 2 actions. In trying to emulate human behavior, it is the time, human takes to think between page clicks.
Total Duration of test = RampUp+Duration of load test+RampDown

Key Analysis parameters:
Response Time per Transaction: Time taken for the application to complete a transaction or a business scenario. This time includes Network Transmission+ Network Latency+Web Server processing time+App Server Processing time+ DB server Processing time.
This is very helpful parameter to determine during peak loads, who the system would really behave
Hits/Second: Number of requests hitting webs server per second. This is helpful in conjunction with transaction time to see, how the performance of the site behaves as the number of hits/sec increases.

Through Put: Is the amount of data in kilobytes received by a user per second

HTTP Response Counts: Most valid responses are 200, 303 (redirection) and It is a good idea to keep the tab on 403 (forbidden), 404 (page not found), 500 (Internal server error)

Error count: Keeps track of error counts, this is a good measure to make sure there are no application server errors, This is really helpful, if the correct build and database changes are not present in performance.


  1. Good information.Tahnk you very much.How controler works in Loadrunner? any idea?

  2. Controller is one of the core components of Load Runner and is used to design the load scenario (Creating and configuring different kind of scenarios manual/goal oriented), Control Virtual users, invoke/stop the tests (runs), monitor the runs. This was more of a high level view, if you want to go into details. Please find the link below:

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