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Testing Auto-Scaling Servers with Load Tester 5.1

One of the easiest ways to create a system that keeps up with sudden increases in demand is to use auto-scaling systems offered by many cloud providers. The concept of bringing new systems online to handle demand is nothing new: this has also been used by CDNs for years to replicate high demand data to edge locations. Testing this type of system, however, can become more challenging when the auto-scaling relies on updating DNS records in order to route new users to new servers.
In Load Tester 5.0 and earlier, Load Tester could be set to Continue reading »

Internet Explorer Static File Caching Defect

In going through cases we have with some customers, we’ve seen a few instances where Internet Explorer does not cache shared static resources. Within Load Tester, this problem becomes immediately apparent:

Note that the shared CSS, Javascript, and images are re-requested again on the About page and every other recorded page that uses them. Note also, these files don’t come back with a 304 (Not Modified), but instead the full content of the file is sent over and over again through a HTTP 200. Normally, the browser should load these files once, and not need to request them again within the … Continue reading »

Load Tester 4.3 Improvements: Speculative Authentication for IE8 and IE9

Load Tester 4.3 carries a number of improvements for both ease of configuration, and accuracy of test simulation. Among these improvements comes support for speculative authentication, allowing Load Tester to simulate behavior from IE 9. The speculative authentication is only used for HTTP authentication schemes used by Load Tester’s Connection Negotiation Authentication feature. More information about HTTP authentication is available under How HTTP Authentication works and why load testers should care.
To describe the speculative authentication feature, it is easiest to simply look at a testcase using Basic Authentication.
Continue reading »

Load Test development using proxy servers improved for Load Tester 4.3

Proxy servers are nothing new to corporate users, and Load Tester has supported test development through a proxy server for those testers that were required to use one. However, we’re excited to introduce two new improvements to Load Tester’s proxy support for Load Tester 4.3: more detailed recordings and replays of proxy traffic, and support for proxy authentication.
In all versions of Load Tester, it is possible to change the proxy configuration, and then play an existing testcase correctly using the new proxy settings. Since proxies may require the use of additional HTTP messages to create a tunnel and / or … Continue reading »

Enhanced Integrated Windows Authentication Support in Load Tester 4.2

Load Tester 4.2 offers a substantial number of enhancements over the 4.1 release. One of the last features, which was not available in the 4.2 beta cycle, is completely redesigned support for Connection Authentication Negotiation. For IIS users, just think of “Connection Authentication Negotiation” as support for IIS’ “Integrated Windows Authentication”. Load Tester’s CAN support is a bit more abstract to encompass other servers as well. In fact, the term “Connection Authentication Negotiation” is used to provide support for negotiation of an authentication scheme at the HTTP layer, which may be used to authenticate the browser’s connection to the … Continue reading »

How to upgrade NTLM testcases from Load Tester 4.1 to 4.2

Due to the scope of changes in the 4.2 release and the improvements to our NTLM support, testcases using NTLM that were created in Load Tester 4.1 and earlier versions are not automatically upgraded with the required 4.2 configuration settings. The result is testcases that will not be able to perform the NTLM authentication – therefore causing a failure of every transaction that requires authentication. Fortunately, the manual upgrade process is relatively easy:
Step 1: Select the testcase and run the Testcase Configuration wizard. You can do this from the pop-up menu in the Navigator view (Configure > Configure for Replay) … Continue reading »

How To Manually Modify HTTP Requests in Load Tester 4.2

In older versions, Load Tester provided a simple interface for modifying the URI portion of an HTTP request.  For example, you could add a query parameter or a path segment by adding it directly to the request line in the Edit HTTP Request-line/URL dialog.
 
 
In Load Tester 4.2, this process has been made slightly more complex but vastly more powerful.  We’ll start by manipulating the URI field directly. To do so, select the specific transaction you wish to edit, then select the Fields View, then choose “Customize” from the “Choose customization” drop-down menu in the upper right … Continue reading »

Load Tester 4.2 Preview: Concatenating Values

The next release of Load Tester 4.2 offers a wealth of testcase configuration options, in order to allow users to configure more sophisticated testcases. In this example, let’s take a look at how Load Tester 4.2 can allow you to customize fields by concatenating values.
Take a simple example: you are provided with a list of users in a dataset format with two columns: First Name and Last Name.

In your testcase however, the format is different, and instead the user name is POSTed as a single field in the format “Lastname, Firstname”.
Load Tester 4.2 makes this easy with a new, powerful … Continue reading »

AIX Monitoring Support on the Horizon

We’ve got a lot of new exciting progress making it’s way into Load Tester 4.2. Among these features, Load Tester 4.2 will be introducing an Advanced Server Analysis™ module designed for AIX servers. Like our other Advanced Server Analysis™ agents, the AIX module is capable of running offline, and will continue to collect data about your server even when normal connectivity to the server has been overloaded (unlike some of our competitors solutions). The monitoring agent can collect vital information from your server, including:

CPU
Memory
Disk activity (reads / writes / % utilization)
Network activity (bandwidth in & … Continue reading »

Fixing: Unable to Establish Connection to the server

In this example case, we ran into a situation where a load engine could not resolve the hostname of the server being tested, even though Load Tester was able to record & replay against the server without any difficulty. This problem appears immediately, but only when running a Load Test with the troubled load engine. By using the Engines View in Load Tester, we were able to select and use each Load Engine separately in a Load Test, until the faulty engine had been isolated (this sort of problem will show errors coming back from the engine within seconds, and … Continue reading »

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