Performance Testing, LoadRunner Tips&Tricks

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Products: Diagnostics

The Mercury Diagnostics Software is a standalone software of its own that is functional by itself. Its main functionality is to profile the J2EE, .NET or ERP/CRM application and allowing drill down of the modules to understand the actual problem cause (depending on what you’ve purchased and installed).

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The discussion here will be specified to performance testing (LoadRunner/Performance Center) and J2EE.

The Diagnostics setup comprises of the Probe/Profiler and the Server (Commander). Note that Probe and Profiler will be use interchangeably in this article. Previous version of Diagnostics, 4.2 and earlier have the Probe/Mediator/Commander however that was been incorporated into just the Probe and Commander. Note as of this writing, the latest Diagnostics is 6.5

The Profiler/Probe is also able to function on its own by collecting data of the instrumented application server. This can be displayed via the browser via port 35000 by default or the Java Profiler application. Built together with the Diagnostics Server, the data collected are sent to the server for reporting and display.

In order to make them work, the application server must be instrumented for the modules to be profiled. This is done by adding an additional code in the startup script for the application server. Instructions are detailed for each type of application server (e.g. BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, etc). A further description of how they work is detailed in the vendor website here.

So with Diagnostics, how does it complement LoadRunner? LoadRunner does not report specified/drill down to module level, or provide information of problematic modules (that are causing the bottleneck). It only reports system bottleneck in a bigger picture, such as CPU, Memory or Disk usage. With Diagnostics, you can profile modules that are causing the bottlenecks and determine the next course of action.

Significant limitations to note, Diagnostics can report only modules/calls that are made on the Application Server. Therefore, Store Procedure Calls on the Database Servers will not be reported during the profiling. However, note that this is not the only limitation listed.

Prior to the instrumentation, enquire the support level for the probe with the Application Server with Mercury/HP support. They will be able to advise if the instrumentation is supported or not supported. But having said that, the instrumentation and support level is quite dependant on the type of JDK that the Application Server is running on (point to note).

Also, most of the time, when the Probes are not reporting any data, it would most likely be due to the application script not being instrumented properly. In such events, review the startup script of the application servers again.

To start been familiarizing the Diagnostics Software, it will be good to spend a day or two to download a J2EE sample application server and instrument it. BEA WebLogic is a good source that provide sample application server.

The licensing is bounded by the number of probes that can be installed and the number of Diagnostics Server that is been implemented. This license should not be confused with the one associated with LoadRunner/PC. In order for Diagnostics to work with LoadRunner/PC, a separate license called Diagnostics Module License is required. This will allow the reporting of the Diagnostic server to be incorporated into the load test result.

When working with LoadRunner/PC, always ensure that the Diagnostics setup is fully functional before adding the Diagnostics Module into the LoadRunner monitoring. This will at least scope the problem cause when troubleshooting.

Lastly, in previous version of LoadRunner, Java Performance Monitoring was offered to the user. However the installation as described in the documentation is inconsistent. Moving forward, J2EE Diagnostics is to “replace” its processor, Java Performance Monitoring.

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1 Responses to “Products: Diagnostics”

  1. # Blogger syed razool

    Can you throw some lights on how to configure (or) instrument points to monitor the performance of the application, which is running in WAS 6.1 ? I tried gave base class path(For Eg:- com.mycompany.myproject.modulename) in the class field and !.* in method and signature field. But I am not getting any productive results still. Could you please help me?  

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