Performance Testing, LoadRunner Tips&Tricks

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General: Planning for Load Testing - Analyzing

This is the stage where it intertwined with the monitoring. At this stage, similarly to Monitoring, it is important to have a sound knowledge of the server or database internal workings. With that you will know what to further investigate and what the graph represents.

A graph looks great with the lines flying up and down but that is information. You will need to have a lot of experience to translate that information to useful knowledge. This will be done with merging and correlating of the load generated against the utilization of resources. You must be able to “see” the trend and identify possible bottlenecks.

I would recommend acquiring lots of information of the server (either the software or hardware perspective) you are monitoring as this is required for your analyzing. You can refer a previous consolidated article, "Content Page - General" which provides a proportion of basic information that will be useful to you in facilitating the analyzing.

Other than the knowledge, you will have to refer back to the initial requirements set down by your clients. They can comprised from a top-down interest/approach such as transaction response time to a bottom-up technical interest/approach such as the utilization of the server/network resources. In any case, show them what you've gathered in their best interest.

From there, you will know what to look out for in the graphs, such as amount of users that were actually generated and if the application was able to support the defined transaction response time. Or the utilization across all servers met (either under-utilized, over-utilized or unevenly balanced).

Some combination of graphs that will be useful in analyzing are as followed (but not limited to the list):

Vuser - System Resource (Windows or Unix) or any other resource graphs

Useful in determining/describing the capacity that the resource (server) can work with the generated load.

Vuser - Transaction Response Time

Useful in determining/describing the transaction response time over time when vusers are generated into the application. This will determine the point or amount of users that the server can handle with respect to the defined transaction response time.

Vusers - Transactions Per Seconds

Useful in determining/describing the amount of transactions that were generated with respect to the amount of users generated.

Vusers - Errors

Useful in determining/describing the breaking point of the application where transactions start to fail (consistently) with respect to the amount of users generated.

Vusers - Errors - System Resource

Useful in determining/describing if the resources (servers) are experiencing difficulties handling the generated load with respect to the amount of errors.

Transaction Response Time (Percentile)

Useful in determining/describing the overall performance of the transactions in terms of percentage.

System Resource - System Resource

Useful in determining if the resources (servers) have been properly distributed in load. Usually, I will also ask my clients to verify the load balancer logs and the application logs on the activities.

Please feel free to add or comment if you have a good combination of graphs!

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