Load Testing with LoadRunner

Modern system architectures are complex. While they provide an unprecedented degree of power and flexibility, these systems are difficult to test. Whereas single-user testing focuses primarily on functionality and the user interface of a system component, load testing focuses on performance and reliability of an entire system.

For example, a typical load testing scenario might depict 1000 users that log in simultaneously to a system on Monday morning. What is the response time of the system? Does the system crash? To be able to answer these questions and more, a complete application performance testing solution must do the following:

  • Test a system that combines a variety of software applications and hardware platforms

  • Determine the suitability of a server for any given application

  • Test the server before the necessary client software has been developed

  • Emulate an environment where multiple clients interact with a single server application

  • Test an application under the load of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of potential users

The LoadRunner suite allows you to create load tests, which emulate the real life behavior of your application.

The LoadRunner Solution

Traditional or manual testing methods offer only a partial solution to load testing. For example, you can test an entire system manually by constructing an environment where many users work simultaneously on the system. Each user works at a single machine and submits input to the system. However, this manual testing method has the following drawbacks:

  • It is expensive, requiring large amounts of both personnel and machinery.

  • It is complicated, especially coordinating and synchronizing multiple testers.

  • It involves a high degree of organization, especially to record and analyze results meaningfully.

  • The repeatability of the manual tests is limited.

LoadRunner addresses the drawbacks of manual performance testing:

  • LoadRunner reduces personnel requirements by replacing human users with virtual users or Vusers. These Vusers emulate the behavior of real users operating real applications.

  • Because numerous Vusers can run on a single computer, LoadRunner reduces the amount of hardware required for testing.

  • The LoadRunner Controller allows you to control all the Vusers from a single point of control.

  • LoadRunner monitors the application performance online, enabling you to fine-tune your system during test execution.

  • LoadRunner automatically records the performance of the application during a test. You can choose from a wide variety of graphs and reports to view the performance data.

  • LoadRunner checks where performance delays occur: network or client delays, CPU performance, I/O delays, database locking, or other issues at the database server. LoadRunner monitors the network and server resources to help you improve performance.

  • Because LoadRunner tests are fully automated, you can repeat them as often as you need.

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