Load testing with JMeter and HP Load Runner
After you happily build your website it is important to do some load testing in order to have an accurate idea of the performance under different conditions and to have a road map for your server specs and upgrades. Also you won’t be surprised or shocked when the long-awaited-visitors arrive and you will be able to handle your website traffic .
After some googling, to do decent load testing, it turned out that i have 2 main solutions to use :
- HP Load runner
Here is my review and experience with both software :
I downloaded both software – HP Load runner in trial mode and JMeter the open source solution.
After the fancy HP forms and emails and links and download center visits and quite some waiting in the download queue since the software is 1.6 GB, I managed to get hold of the little thing. After reading the whole manual After just some playing around with it , I managed to find how to record user actions and build my test plans, it has quite a fancy interface and it can help you launch your browser and record stuff for you and generate script and all that stuff. In other words, it is worth its 1.6 GB.
But as all proprietary software, that trial license runs out and it was really hard to find that crack version on the whole bloody internet and since i am an open source enthusiast and a geek, I had to give the less “appealing” JMeter a good try and I am quite happy that i did !
Browse to your newly downloaded folder, go to bin and if you are still under windows double click jmeter.bat
If you are on some linux distro or osX you have a jmeter.sh file . Open it in your favorite editor – there is one line that says :
java $JVM_ARGS -Dapple.laf.useScreenMenuBar=true -jar `dirname $0`/Applications/jakarta-jmeter-2.3.4/bin/ApacheJMeter.jar “$@”
All you need to do is make sure to point the dirname to your correct download location ( desktop ? :P )
After that you launch it in your terminal and JMeter java GUI will come to show.
Don’t be tricked by its simplicity ! you can do a lot of interesting things there and quite fast once you get the hang of it.
JMeter is way faster to install – it is almost instant ( 5MB vs 1.6 GB) and easier to deal with when it comes to the GUI Interface, no fancy buttons, no fancy menus that you have to toggle – this can make your life way easier in case you are working on a remote computer and you don’t want to work thru screen and interfaces on a usually slower connection ( ok, maybe i am the only one that ever faces this problem since i live in a technologically challenged country ) .
On the other hand, getting JMeter to work through fairly simple tasks like processing browsing on site then login took some time – almost triple the time that HP Load runner took me, i had to read and understand those logic controllers, config elements, post processors and listeners…and oh boy, like many open source projects , that documentation was spread across blogs, forums and in documents here and there… so it was not the fastest thing to do.
It is still early to judge both software and have a favorite. But when it comes to small to medium load testing, JMeter will be my tool of choice cuz :
- i am a cheapo who doesn’t want to pay more licenses
- me likes open source and would be happy to contribute scripts and experience for ppl using JMeter
- me likes small software that doesn’t eat my connection quota, doesn’t fill my hdd and doesn’t overload my processor and rams. Those resources will be needed when i am load testing aka overworking my poor laptop
- me likes fast, simple user interfaces with more manual control – despite the fact that it can be quite a pain to learn what everything means .
I leave it to you to download both software and try them. Next post, i will share how to load test a moodle installation ( browsing , login , content viewing , exporting and analyzing results and all that stuff )
Till then, happy load testing and no DOS attacks on people websites (6) , mafhoum ? !