Performance Center maintenance tasks - recommendations and guidelines

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One of the most common questions I get from people when I am meeting with them is, “How can I best maintain my HP Performance Center installation?” I like to give the example of caring for your installation much like you do with your automobile—perform regular maintenance checks to keep this software testing tool running smoothly.

                                                        

To make this maintenance process easy, I have created a list of tasks that are required to keep your Performance Center properly maintained. Most automotive experts agree that you need to change your oil in your car every 8,000 – 12,000 miles. If you don’t perform this service, your car isn’t going to stop dead in its tracks, but it could eventually result in a more complex, costly repair down the road. It is the same with Performance Center. If you don’t do everything on the list right when you are supposed to, it isn’t the end of the world. But if you consistently miss these maintenance tasks, eventually you will have some issues that cause an inopportune down time:

 

Each category of tasks is cumulative.  In other words, if you are planning to do the monthly tasks, you should also perform the Daily and Weekly tasks before starting.

 

Daily:

  • Review any hosts that have gone non-operational.  If a Check Host comes up good, return the host to operational status and put the host on the watch list. If a machine is regularly going off-line, consider turning on debug logging to get more information about why, once you have more details open a case with HP Support and we will look into the problem with you.
  • Review any load tests that failed to run and try to determine why
  • Incremental Backup of all ALM Databases and Smart Repository

 

Weekly:

  • Reboot ALM server(s)
  • Reboot PCS server(s)
  • Full backup of all ALM Databases and Smart Repository

 

Monthly

  • Install the latest OS patches
  • Review ALM access reports and logs
  • Review any Event logs (Hardware, Application, and System),identify and resolve any new hardware\software based issues that have come up since the last check
  • Reboot all Hosts
  • Reboot all LGs
  • Reboot All Data Processors

 

Quarterly

  • Disk clean up on all servers and components
    • Verify all test runs have been collated
    • Delete all old test run data (PC hosts and SA LGs)
    • Clear out all old test run data (PC Hosts that have been controllers)
    • Clear out all old logs
    • Clear Windows Event Log
    • Defragment Hard Disk(s)
    • On Virtual Servers, clear out any unused space freed up by the defragment process and then compact the virtual hard disks

 

  • Install latest Performance Center Patches
    • ALM and PC Extension Patch must be supported by the latest PCS Patch
    • PC Host Patch must be supported by latest PCS Patch
    • Stand Alone apps (VuGen, Analysis and Load Generator) must be supported by latest PCS patch

 

  • Review each projects directory structure for compliance to procedures
    • Are users putting scripts in the correct directories
    • Are new releases being maintained properly in the project
    • Are there training opportunities to help end users get better use of the tools

 

Semi-Annually

  • Verify that only authorized and active users are in ALM
  • Clear out any old users from each project
  • Prepare an ALM usage report to verify that the current ALM hardware is adequate for concurrent use
  • Prepare a PC Load Test report to verify that the current PCS hardware is adequate for concurrent use
  • Review any newly released versions (not patches) of Performance Center that have been released
    • If there has been a new release:
      • Are there new features or enhancement requests that would be beneficial to your company?
      • Are there resolved defects in the new version that are currently causing your users to use a workaround?
      • Are there new protocols available only in the new version?
      • Has it been 12-18 months since the current version was released (not to be confused with when your implementation was installed?  For example, the current version of PC is 11 and it was released in August 2010 (23 months ago) so when the new version (12) is released, the answer to this question will be yes).
    • If the answer to any of the above questions is yes you should strongly consider planning an effort to upgrade to the new version.

 

Just like an automobile needs regular tune-ups and maintenance, your HP Performance Center application testing software occasionally needs to be reviewed. Hopefully this schedule will make it easier to follow.

 

 

Additional options when upgrading Performance Center are:

            Leverage HP Professional Services or partners to provide guidance in the upgrade

            Learn about the new version signing up for PC on SaaS trial for 30 days

 

 

Labels: Load Testing
Comments
| ‎08-15-2014 09:03 AM

This article was originally posted in July 2012 and since then Performance Center 11.52 and 12 have been released and Perfomrance Center 11 is scheduled to go out of support in May 2015.  Fortunately the tasks outlined in the article have not changed.

 

One suggestion I have received is to outline specific steps on how to accomplish these recommended tasks and I will work on future blog posts to give those detailed steps.

 

Craig

 

 

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About the Author
I have been working in the computer software industry since 1989. I started out in customer support then software testing where I was a ver...
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