Running remote tests with increased user loads



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Overview of this article

In a typical scenario, to load test a Web application, you identify the various scenarios by well-defined test plans. During a load test, a meaningful user that loads breakdown to multiple test clients is often desirable. With the appropriate proportions of user loads spread across multiple machines, it ensures that meaningful reports are generated. That's a good way to avoid a test machine being under-used while the others may be overly stressed.

This article explains considerations for effectively breaking down user loads easily without affecting the test scripts previously recorded. You'll learn how to run remote tests with increased user loads, including setting up remote machines for distributed load generation. The essential sections of this article guide you through these steps for setting up distributed testing by installing software on the client machines.

  1. Install and set up software on the client machines:

    1. Install Rational Agent Controller.
    2. Install IBM Rational License Server.
    3. Import the floating license key into the license server on the workbench machine.
    4. Refer remote machines to the license server.

  2. Configure and run tests

    1. Configure the test schedule to run tests remotely.
    2. Run tests with user loads of 100, 500, 1000, and 2000.

An optional section at the end describes how to deploy the DayTrader sample application if you want to use it for testing. If you prefer, you can create the test against your application that you need to test for performance, instead.



Be sure to work through Part 2 before you start this article, because you use the same sample applications in both. It's also important that you have learned the basics of using Rational Performance Tester for load testing from that article, so that you can proceed to the more complex activities in this one.

The workbench machine should be used only for workbench activity, such as creating tests and distributing the performance load to run on remote machines.

Please ensure that your system meets these prerequisites:

*The trial version of Rational Performance Tester allows only five concurrent tests of users. To test more than that, you need to purchase the license. The IBM® Rational® Software Delivery Platform V7.0 - Desktop Product Activation site has information about how to get licenses and the activation process. You can download both IBM® Rational® Agent Controller and IBM® Rational® License Server from the IBM Software Access Catalog. See Resources for links.

IBM Rational License Server manages floating and named-user license keys for Rational products. The floating license key is required if you want to run more than five virtual user tests. In this example, the license key is imported into the license server, which resides on the workbench machine and serves the key to all remote machines. The remote machines point to the license server.

The IBM Rational Agent Controller needs to be installed on all remote machines, to enable distributed testing. The workbench machine would have the Rational Agent Controller installed when installing Rational Performance Tester.

Figure 1 shows the setup that you need for the exercises in this article.


Install and set up the necessary software

Performance testing an application also includes user load testing. Here, you'll run the same test from Part 2 of this series with 100, 500, 1000, and 2000 virtual users. To do this, you'll create additional user groups and run them at distributed locations, which provide more resources for the load, such as CPU power and memory.


Install Rational Agent Controller

  1. Extract the files named Rational Performance Tester_Agent_Controller_V7.0_Part1.zip and RPT_Agent_Controller_V7.0_Part2.zip into a temporary directory called C:\temp. When extraction is finished, you will find two extracted folders called disk1 and disk2.

  2. In the disk1 folder, click the launchpad.exe file to start the installation. Select Install IBM Rational Performance Tester Agent

  3. Accept the agreement and click Next.

  4. The IBM Installation Manager will be installed first. Accept the default location for the IBM Installation Manager, and click Next.

  5. Click Install to install the IBM Installation Manager. Click Finish when the install completes.

  6. The next screen will display the tester agent packages to be installed. Ensure that IBM Rational Performance Tester Agent Version 7.0.0 is selected

  7. Accept the license agreement, and click Next.

  8. Accept the default shared resource installation directory, and click Next.

  9. Accept the default Rational Performance Tester installation directory, and click Next.

  10. Click Next twice until you see the Features screen.

  11. Ensure that the Tester Agent is selected, and click Next.

  12. Select Typical installation for the Installation type, and click Next.

  13. On the summary information screen, click Install

  14. When the installation is successful, start the DCI monitoring

  15. Repeat these steps, 1 to 15, to install Rational Agent Controller on all remote machines.


Install IBM Rational License Server

The Rational License Server manages floating and named-user license keys for Rational products. In this example, the license server is installed on the workbench machine and serves license to all remote machines.

  1. Extract the license server zipped file to C:\Temp, and then click the setup.exe file.

  2. Click Install IBM Rational License Server to install

  • Click Next until you see the Product Warnings window.

  • Disable antivirus software running on your machine, and then click Next.

  • ClickAccept to accept the license agreement, and also accept the default installation folder on the next screen.

  • Click Next until you reach the Summary window, and then click Install.

  • When the installation completes, click Finish.

  • Repeat the license server installation on all remote machines.


    Import the floating license key into the workbench server

    1. On the workbench machine, double-click the floating license key (see Figure 9).

    2. The License Key Administrator will open. On the Confirm Import screen, click Import.

    3. After the key is successfully imported, click OK.

    4. When you are prompted to restart the license server, click Yes.

      After the license server restarts, it will show the key


    Refer remote machines to the license server

    1. On the remote machines, start IBM Rational License Key Administrator.

    2. In the License Key Administrator wizard, select Point to a Rational License Server to get my licenses.

    3. On the next screen, enter the license server name or IP address, and click Finish.

      The License Key Administrator will display the keys served by the license server name or IP address

    4. Repeat the previous steps on all other remote machines to ensure that they point to the license server.

      Alternatively, you can configure the license key by using the License Key Administrator menu:

      1. Click Settings > Client/Server Configuration.

      2. In the Client/Server Configuration window, select Use License Server, and then click Add Server.

      3. Enter the license details for Server Type, Server Name, and Port, and click OK when you have finished


    Configure the schedule and run tests

    To delegate the test run to three remote machines, it is preferable to create three user groups, with each assigned to run on one remote machine.


    Configure the test schedule to run tests remotely

    1. Add two more user groups to DayTraderSchedule

      The red X symbols that this screen capture shows on each of the two servers being added will be removed when you complete and save the setting.

    2. Select User Group 1. From the Schedule Element Details > Group size section, select Percentage, and enter 40 for the value. Repeat this step for User Group 2 (value 30) and User Group 3 (value 30). The combined size of all three groups should total 100%

    3. Add DayTraderTest to User Group 2 and User Group 3.

      Add a remote location to each user group:

    4. Select User Group 1.

    5. Under Schedule Element Details, click Run this group on the following locations.

    6. Click Add New below that to create a new remote location.

    7. Add the detailed information for the first remote machine, and then click Finish. Each user group will be assigned to a different remote machine. The Deployment Directory will be created on the remote machine to store the runtime information

      After this information is added successfully, the remote machine will be listed in the location table

    8. Repeat these steps to add remote locations for User Group 2 and User Group 3.

    9. When you have finished, use CTRL+S to save all settings and changes.


    Run tests with user loads of 100, 500, 1000, and 2000

    1. Before running the DayTraderSchedule test, navigate to Schedule Element Details and change the Number of users to 100

    2. Type CTRL+S to save the changes.

    3. Ensure that DCI monitoring is started on all machines, and then run the test:

      1. Right-click DayTraderSchedule.
      2. Select Run As > Performance Schedule.

    4. When the collection completes, save the report by exporting it to HTML format as Part 2 of this series explained.

    5. Next, repeat the previous steps to run the test with 500, 1000, and 2000 virtual users. Export each report to HTML for comparison.


    About Part 4: Reports

    In this article, you learned how to run tests in a distributed environment with 100, 500, 1000, and 2000 users. To learn more about other Rational Performance Tester features and use, visit the Rational Performance Tester InfoCenter and the links provided here in Resources.

    Part 4 is all about reports. We will explain how to examine, diagnose, analyze, and interpret various analysis reports that Rational Performance Tester provides. For example, a Web application can be broken down into various components, such as Enterprise Java™Beans (EJBs), servlets, Java™ Database Connector (JDBC), and Web services for analysis. We will also explore the default reports and describe how to customize them.