LoadRunner 12.00’s new network profiles make it easier to connect to your LGs, MI Listeners and MoFW

(This post was written by Lin Chen (Charlie), from the LoadRunner R&D Team)

 

HP LoadRunner 12.00 adds a new feature called Network Profile, which makes it easier for customers to configure their network environment for load testing. The new feature enables the Controller to communicate with other components such as Load Generators, MI Listener and Monitor Over Firewall via a proxy.

 

All of the network profile settings are stored at per-machine on the Controller. LoadRunner 12.00 allows you to export and import these configurations, making it even easier to configure the LoadRunner network environment. 

 

Network Profiles

A network profile consists of three parts:

  • Proxy Settings
  • Connection Modes
  • SSL Information

 

Proxy Settings

There are two ways to resolve the proxy - read the proxy information from the default browser, or use static proxy settings:

  • Proxy Name: the name for the proxy server
  • Proxy Port: the port for the proxy server
  • User Name: the user name for authentication
  • Password: the password for authentication

For proxy authentication, there is support for both NTLM and basic authentication. Please note that for some proxies, only port 443 is open for secure communication by default. 

 

Connection Modes

There are two connection modes - direct connection to Load Generator (LG), or connection via MI Listener.

 

Direct connection

  • Load Generator Port: the port number for the LG

Via MI Listener

  • MI Listener Name: the IP or name for the MI Listener
  • MI Listener Port: the port for the MI Listener

SSL Information

This option enables an SSL connection to the LG or MI Listener. When a proxy is chosen in the network profile, this option will be automatically enabled and cannot be disabled.

 

A default profile is provided in which the proxy setting is disabled and the connection mode is set to direct connection. But you can define a new profile and mark it as the default one. Older scenarios that use the original default profile will use a custom profile matching the original default profile.

 

Proxy usage

Now it’s time to see how to configure the Controller to connect to the LG and MI Listener via an HTTP Proxy! This allows the Controller to talk to Load Generators on the cloud:

p1.png

 

Consider the case where the LG is inside a firewall which only allows connection via a specified port. The Controller sends an HTTPS tunneling request to the proxy server, and the server builds the connection to the LG. The communication data will then be transferred between the Controller and LG via the proxy.

 

Connecting the Load Generator via a Proxy

To configure the Controller to connect to an LG using a proxy:

 

1. Open the Network Profile Manager dialog from in the Controller’s Tools menu

2. In the Network Profile Manager dialog, create a network profile.

3. In the new profile, either input the proxy server information and user authentication, or use the proxy from the default browser by selecting “Obtain the proxy settings from default browser”.

p2.png

 

4. Close the Network Profile Manager dialog.

5. Open the Load Generators dialog by pressing the p3.png  button in the toolbar.

6. Open the details of the LG, and click on the new tab called “Connection” (this replaces the “Security” tab in earlier versions of LoadRunner)

7. Assign the network profile to the Load Generator. The Controller will connect to the LG by using the specified proxy information:

p4.png

 

Connecting to the MI Listener via a Proxy

Consider the case in which both the Controller and the LG are inside a firewall which only allows connection from a special port. The Controller will need to connect to the MI Listener via a proxy:

p5.png

 

As in the diagram above, both the Controller and LG can go through a proxy to connect to the MI Listener. The MI Listener does its data exchange and forwards data to the LG and the Controller respectively.

 

To configure it, check the option “Connect via MI Listener”, and enter the name and port for the MI Listener:

p6.png

 

Connecting to Monitor Over Firewall via a Proxy

The Controller also can connect to the Monitor Over Firewall via a proxy, as with the LG. In the Load Generator Information dialog, check the option “Enable Monitoring over Firewall”:

p7.png

 

Port Setting

Users sometimes need to configure LoadRunner to use different ports instead of the default. LoadRunner 12.00 makes this easy.  On the LG or MI Listener machine, run lr_agent_setting.exe from the <LR_InstallDir>\bin folder to set the ports:

  • Load Generator Port (default is 54345). On the LG, use the following command to set the new LG port: lr_agent_settings.exe –m_agent_port 8888 –restart_agent. This example will set the LG port to 8888 and then restart the LG agent.
  • MI Listener Port (default is 50500). On the MI Listener, use the following command to set the new MI Listener port: lr_agent_settings.exe –mil_port_controller 8888 –restart_agent. This example will set the MI Listener port to 8888 and then restart the MI Listener agent.
    • This command can also set the MI Listener port for the LG connection. Use the following command: lr_agent_settings.exe –mil_port 8888 –restart_agent. The default port for MI Listener for the LG connection is 443.

Note that network profiles that specify a connection to this LG should be updated to specify the new ports.

 

Secure Communication

LoadRunner will secure the communication via SSL. Load Generators which use secure communication are assigned a special icon, p8.png. Secure communication is enabled in the following cases:

 

  1. SSL connection is specified in the network profile. If this option is enabled on the Controller, the Controller will try to establish an SSL connection to the LG or MI Listener. When the network profile is configured to use a proxy, this option will be automatically enabled and cannot be disabled.
  2. The Load Generator is enabled with check_client_cert, which instructs the Controller to establish a secure connection when connecting to it. To enable check_client_cert on the LG, use the following command: lr_agent_settings.exe check_client_cert –restart_agent.

Importing and Exporting the Network Profile

The network profile is saved per-machine. This means that Controllers on different machines will have different settings. LoadRunner 12.00 also allows customers to share these settings by importing and exporting the network profiles.

 

Use the p9.png button to export all of the local network profiles to an XML file. The exported XML file will contain all the network profile information, with the authentication information encrypted for security. The p10.png button can be used to import network profiles from an XML file. Note that this will overwrite the existing profiles in the machine.

 

p11.png

 

Summary

In LoadRunner 12.00, the new Network Profile feature simplifies the configuration of the connection between the Controller and the Load Generators, especially when they are separated by firewalls.

 

You can download LoadRunner here.

 

 

We hope you found this article useful.  Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.

 

 

Thanks to Charlie for providing this article!

 

 

 

Comments
Dan Belfer(anon) | ‎04-22-2014 05:54 AM

Great article.

Interesting ,fluent and professional.

The option to use Network Profile in LR is enhancing use of communication in different environments.

 

Thanks a lot Charlie.

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About the Author
Malcolm is a functional architect, focusing on best practices and methodologies across the software development lifecycle.
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