Analyzing the Application - LoadRunner

The first step to load test planning is analyzing your application. You should become thoroughly familiar with the hardware and software components, the system configuration, and the typical usage model. This analysis ensures that the testing environment you create using LoadRunner will accurately reflect the environment and configuration of the application under test.

Identifying System Components

Draw a schematic diagram to illustrate the structure of the application. If possible, extract a schematic diagram from existing documentation. If the application under test is part of a larger network system, you should identify the component of the system to be tested. Make sure the diagram includes all system components, such as client machines, network, middleware, and servers. The following diagram illustrates an online banking system that is accessed by many Web users. The Web users each connect to the same database to transfer funds and check balances. The customers connect to the database server through the Web, using multiple browsers.

Identifying System Components

Describing the System Configuration

Enhance the schematic diagram with more specific details. Describe the configuration of each system component. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How many users are anticipated to connect to the system?
  • What is the application client’s machine configuration (hardware, memory, operating system, software, development tool, and so forth)?
  • What types of database and Web servers are used (hardware, database type, operating system, file server, and so forth)?
  • How does the server communicate with the application client?
  • What is the middleware configuration and application server between the front-end client and back-end server?
  • What other network components may affect response time (modems and so forth)?
  • What is the throughput of the communications devices? How many concurrent users can each device handle?

For example, the schematic diagram above specified that there are multiple application clients accessing the system.

Describing-the-System-Configuration

Analyzing the Usage Model

Define how the system is typically used, and decide which functions are important to test. Consider who uses the system, the number of each type of user, and each user’s common tasks. In addition, consider any background load that might affect the system response time.

For example, suppose 200 employees log on to the accounting system every morning, and the same office network has a constant background load of 50 users performing various word processing and printing tasks. You could create a LoadRunner scenario with 200 virtual users signing in to the accounting database, and check the server response time.

To check how background load affects the response time, you could run your scenario on a network where you also simulate the load of employees performing word processing and printing activities.

Task Distribution

In addition to defining the common user tasks, examine the distribution of these tasks. For example, suppose the bank uses a central database to serve clients across many states and time zones. The 250 application clients are located in two different time zones, all connecting to the same Web server. There are 150 in Chicago and 100 in Detroit. Each begins their business day at 9:00 AM, but since they are in different time zones, there should never be more than 150 users signing in at any given time. You can analyze task distribution to determine when there is peak database activity, and which activities typically occur during peakloadtime.


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