Performance Center Best Practices

Posted by Abdul Rahim
August 24th, 2012

For Performance Testing we have started using HP Performance Center due to many advantages it provides to the testing team. We have listed out some of the best practices which can be followed when using Performance Center.

Architecture – Best Practices

  • Hardware Considerations
    • CPU, Memory, Disk sized to match the role and usage levels
    • Redundancy added for growth accommodation and fault-tolerance
    • Never install multiple critical components on the same hardware
  • Network Considerations
    • Localization of all PC server traffic – Web to Database, Web to File Server, Web to Utility Server, Web to Controllers, Controller to Database, Controller to File Server, Controller to Utility Server.
    • Separation of operational and virtual user traffic – PC operational traffic should not share same network resources as virtual user traffic – for optimal network performance.
  • Backup and Recovery Considerations
    • Take periodic backup Database and File System (\\<fileserver>\LRFS)
  • Backups of PC servers and hosts are optional.
  • Monitoring Considerations
    • Monitor services (eg. SiteScope) should be employed to manage availability and responsiveness of each PC component

Configuration – Best Practice

  • Set ASP upload buffer to the maximum size of a file that you will permit to be uploaded to the server.
    • Registry: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w3svc\Parameters
  • Modify MaxClientRequestBuffer
    • create as a DWORD if it does not exist)
    • Ex. 2097152 is 2 Mb

  • Limit access to the PC File System (LRFS) for security
    • Performance Center User (IUSR_METRO) needs “Full Control”

  • We recommend 2 LoadTest Web Servers when
    • Running 3 or more concurrent runs
    • Having 10 plus users viewing tests
  • The load balancing needs an external, web session based, load balancer
  • In Internet Explorer, set “Check for newer versions of stored pages” to “Every visit to the page”
    • NOTE: This should be done on the client machines that are accessing the Performance Center web sites

Script Repository – Best Practice

  • Use VuGen integration for direct script upload
  • Ensure dependent files are within zip file
  • Re-configure script with optimal RTS
  • Validate script execution on PC load generators
  • Establish meaningful script naming convention
  • Clean-up script repository regularly

Monitor Profile – Best Practice

  • Avoid information overload
    • Min-Max principle – Minimum metrics for maximum detection
  • Consult performance experts and developers for relevant metrics
    • Standard Process Metrics (CPU, Available Memory, Disk Read/Write Bytes, Network Bandwidth Utilization)
    • Response Times / Durations (Avg. Execution Time)
    • Rates and Frequencies (Gets/sec, Hard Parses/sec)
    • Queue Lengths (Requests Pending)
    • Finite Resource Consumption (JVM Available Heap Size, JDBC Pool’s Active Connections)
    • Error Frequency (Errors During Script Runtime, Errors/sec)

Load Test – Best Practice

  • General
  • Create new load test for any major change in scheduling logic or script types
  • Use versioning (by naming convention) to track changes
  • Scripts
  • When scripts are updated with new run-logic settings, remove and reinsert updated script in load test
  • Scheduling
  • Each ramp-up makes queries to Licensing (Utility) Server, and LRFS file system.  Do not ramp at intervals less than 5 seconds.
  • Configure ramp-up quantity per interval to match available load generators
  • Do not run (many/any) users on Controller

Timeslots – Best Practice

  • Scheduling
    • Always schedule time slots in advance of load test
    • Always schedule extra time (10-30 minutes) for large or critical load tests
    • Allow for gaps between scheduled test runs (in case of emergencies)
  • Host Selection
    • Use automatic host selection whenever possible
    • Reserve manual hosts only when specific hosts are needed (because of runtime configuration requirements)

The above mentioned solutions will help you to make use of Performance Center without any issues and will also save you a lot of time by avoiding some issues which might arise because of not doing some of the above mentioned practices.

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