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Legion: Status, and Future Plans

Over the past two years, my employer, Web Performance, Inc, has supported my
work on the Legion Load Testing Framework when my other duties permit. The result has been a very flexible suite of software that has given us the ability to take on work that would otherwise be beyond the scope of our usual tools.
That being said. Legion remains experimental. Legion may be most appropriate for the unusual edge cases: proprietary, eccentric, or unusual protocols, or project requirements that other tools can’t handle, or if you want to write your load test using your own Node.js client APIs.
Legion absolutely … Continue reading »

Introducing the Measurements extension for MuseIDE

The Measurements extension is a free (and open-source) project extension for MuseIDE and the Muse Test Framework that adds evaluation of performance criteria to a test.  This initial release adds two new capabilities:

Collect and store the durations of steps in the test, for later analysis.
Compare the duration of steps to performance goals and record a test failure when the goal is exceeded.

The extension is available for installation directly within the MuseIDE: after opening your project, go to Extensions and switch to the Available tab. The Measurement extension can be installed into your project with the click of a button:

Each … Continue reading »

The Case for Legion

What is Legion?
Legion is a distributed, protocol-agnostic load testing tool. You can learn more or get started with Legion on the legion-starter-pack GitHub page.
Why does it exist?
I wanted to create a tool that would solve the most challenging problems I’ve
encountered in my seven years of helping clients improve the performance,
capacity, and risk exposure of their network-enabled applications.
Those problems include:

Complexity of the use case or test design,
Unusual or proprietary protocols,
Requirements to scale beyond one million concurrent users,
Difficulty understanding or trusting the results of a test, and,
Difficulties with training new people on a given tool.

My hope is that Legion will eventually … Continue reading »

Case Study: Load Testing a Raw TCP Service

Last updated November 2017. You can also read this article on legion-starter-pack GitHub page.
A customer approached us wanting to load test a network service via a proprietary binary TCP protocol. The customers use case involved thousands of simultaneous connections from mobile IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
We decided that this was a perfect opportunity to use Legion.
Requirements
The protocol called for sequential request/response communication with no pipelining or interleaving of messages. There were multiple request and response types which had varying sizes and some fields of every request needed to be unique or dynamic. There seemed to be at least some … Continue reading »

Load Testing is Not an Academic Problem

For Rowan University, ensuring that their students can get registered for classes is not an academic problem. If errors or system crashes prevent students from getting into the classes they need, it can have a serious impact on their academic careers, potentially even resulting in additional educational costs. So when the IT wizards at Rowan were planning significant upgrades to their hardware and the Banner 9 software from Ellucian to ensure the best possible experience for their students, they knew load testing was an essential part of the project.

Load Testing the New York Marathon 2017

The New York Marathon is coming up on Nov 5th, and for the 5th year in a row we completed a large load test to prepare their site for race day.   Last year 51,394 people ran, and each one of them conceivably had relatives and friends who would want to check on their progress.

Load Testing for the 2017 Eclipse

It has been 99 years since a solar eclipse has crossed the entire continental US, coast-to-coast. 14 states will be treated to 2½ minutes of total darkness by the August 2017 eclipse. I remember watching the partial solar eclipse of February 1979 in my school playground. I am (obviously) a little bit of a science geek, so when I got the assignment to load test the Eclipse Live 2017 site, I was excited. Besides the prestige, it’s really fun to be associated with a project that will be seen by millions, even in a minor role.

NASA hosts much of … Continue reading »

Server Monitoring Instructions for Services Customers

 
What Are You Installing?
For general information about the monitoring software check out the product information. The software is designed to be installed on production systems, and does not modify the registry or anything outside of the installation directory.  The downside is that on Windows the software is not a service and must be started by hand before the test. There are two modes of working– either the statistics can be collected by hand from each server and emailed to our engineers, OR the firewall has to be modified to open two ports to connect to the monitor.  Note that each server … Continue reading »

Cannot record with Chrome 58 (Common Name support dropped from SSL certificates)

When Load Tester record a testcase, it impersonates the website – the browser thinks it is talking to the website but it is actually talking to Load Tester’s recording proxy. For this to work with SSL, Load Tester has to provide a certificate that impersonates the website. These are auto-generated on demand and stored within the project workspace.
Starting in version 58, Chrome has dropped support for the Common Name (CN) field in a certificate. In this case, the Common Name field tells the browser what domain name the certificate applies to. This field has been deprecated and replaced by the … Continue reading »

How to Convert Selenium Scripts to Virtual Browser Scripts

Web Performance has discontinued direct support for Selenium/WebDriver in Load Tester. One of the limitations of load testing with Selenium/Web Driver is that it takes lots and lots of cloud machines to generate load. Virtual users, on the other hand, are very efficient, cheaply simulating up to millions of users. This blog post shows one possible option, playing back your selenium scripts directly into the Load Tester recorder where they can be edited and played back with lots of virtual users.
Install Load Tester
Download Load Tester and install it on your Windows machine if you haven’t already.  Double-click on the … Continue reading »

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