HP LoadRunner and Performance Center Blog

Displaying articles for: January 2010

Application Tuning? or Adding More Servers? Hyperformix and HP LoadRunner help you to decide!

You might have heard the phrase "don't just throw hardware at a performance problem" and that means you should be smart about your investments in solving performance issues and capacity plans.  As you might imagine, many customers have asked me about how the LoadRunner teams get along internally with the hardware divisions inside HP.  They ask, "Are the sales people competing against each other, or what?"  They are curious about the inherent incongruity between our software products that optimize applications to reduce the hardware requirements versus the obvious objectives of the server sales teams at HP that are goaled on selling lots more servers.   It's a good question - conceptually.  In reality, it's not such a big deal because the customer's situation and needs always take precedence.


In my experience, sometimes you have plenty of time to work on the application tuning and optimization and using HP Software solutions like LoadRunner and Diagnostics are a perfect fit for those projects.  Other times, we just can't spend any more time and have to look at physical scalability options for making a go-live date.  No matter what option you choose, you will still have similar questions about capacity:



  • If we are going to optimize the application performance, how do I adjust calculations for the differences between my test environment and the production environment?  What is the right hardware config for production?

  • If we are going to add hardware resources to the system supporting the application, which hardware resources do we need and how much?  Which architecture should we have?  Scale up?  or Scale out?




You can see that either way it is essential that you have the best insight into the performance data that you can get.  This is where our partner Hyperformix delivers really cool solutions for capacity planning, predicting and modelling application performance.  They have integrations with LoadRunner and Performance Center and by combining our test data results with Hyperformix algorithms you can compare costs and benefits across various topologies and configurations to determine the optimal choice for production performance. This ensures the right level of functionality and performance with the right level of investment.  If you are going to "throw hardware at a performance problem," you should use LoadRunner and Hyperformix to make sure your aim is right on target.


Here's a great introduction video from Bruce Milne at Hyperformix to help you learn more:



Check out this very funny cartoon video about a fictitious Bradley James Olsen who battles Dr. Chaos, when Brad's IT staff was hypnotized into ignorantly believing "The only answer is MORE SERVERS!!!!" 


And here are 2 older podcasts on the HP website:





















»  Hyperformix
release new product: Capacity manager for virtual servers
*
Rob Carruthers of Hyperformix
discusses how Capacity Manager 5.0 maximizes company's virtualization
investments with Peter Spielvogel. 






















»  Hyperformix
on capacity management: How virtualization affects performance
*

Rob Carruthers of Hyperformix
discusses how virtualization makes managing capacity and performance more
difficult with Peter Spielvogel. 


* (podcast audio is live from VMworld)




Happier Jetting with HP LoadRunner: at JetBlue Quality and Performance are not just IT issues…

Just last December I spent a tremendous amount of time flying all over the world and almost completely without any issues.  (Except in Heathrow Airport I was stopped by security because I was trying to take a picture of the sunrise in Terminal 5, and accidentally include a few snapshots of the X-Ray machines.  Ooops, sorry!).  But while I was cruising along at 450 miles per hour at 34,000 feet above sea level, I thought a lot about all the systems supporting me and whether they have all been properly tested.  In my analysis, I made some assumption that the hardware (landing gear, wings, engines, etc.) didn't undergo much change or disruption and due to industry regulations would be required to have serious schedule of maintenance to keep everything operating as designed, within tolerances.  However, the software systems that control the planes, surround and binds all the end-to-end business processes - I was not so confident about all that!  Software can change on-the-fly (no pun intended) and is exposed to much more risk of human error, even with the best professional software testers you can find.  Then I recalled my start in software testing on life-critical transportation systems.  I thought to myself, "I hope this airline uses a robust, exhaustive automated regression test to make sure all the dependent software systems are certified for life-critical use."


When I landed here back in California, I learned about a case study from one of our customers - JetBlue Airways.  



JetBlue's software
applications power all the essential business functions
everything from
flights, air traffic, and airport operations to financial management and online
reservations.  That's testing much more than just the website!  To optimize application uptime and performance,
JetBlue turned to
HP Quality Center software, HP QuickTest Professional software, and HP
LoadRunner software.  They were so excited about the results that they agreed to share with us exactly the improvements they made and how they did it.  Well, since implementing the
solutions the company reduced post-production application failures by 80%;
accelerated testing cycles by 40%; cut testing costs by 73%; and optimized
availability of its online reservations system; thus avoiding many thousands of dollars
in lost revenue per minute of downtime.  That's pretty great results!


A few key things I found interesting about this case study:



  • Testing in a Virtualized Environment - with several HP products including the LoadRunner Load Generators (see other video here)

  • 150 Different applications to be tested - with several integrations and dependencies, across new and old heterogeneous systems

  • Combined this change with re-engineering the best practices for IT and Quality - reducing 'departure delays' for IT pipeline considerably


 


Click here to learn more about JetBlue’s
impressive results and how they achieved them


 

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About the Author(s)
  • I have been working in the computer software industry since 1989. I started out in customer support then software testing where I was a very early adopter of automation, first functional test automation and them performance test automation. I worked in professional services for 8 years before returning to my roots in customer support where I have been a Technical Account Manger for HP's Premier Support department for the past 4 years. I have been using HP LoadRunner since 1998 and HP Performance Center since 2004. I also have strong technical understanding of HP Application Lifecycle Management (Quality Center) and HP SiteScope.
  • Malcolm is a functional architect, focusing on best practices and methodologies across the software development lifecycle.
  • Michael Deady is a Pr. Consultant & Solution Architect for HP Professional Service and HP's ALM Evangelist for IT Experts Community. He specializes in software development, testing, and security. He also loves science fiction movies and anything to do with Texas.
  • Mukulika is Product Manager for HP Performance Center, a core part of the HP Software Performance Validation Suite, addressing the Enterprise performance testing COE market. She has 14 years experience in IT Consulting, Software development, Architecture definition and SaaS. She is responsible for driving future strategy, roadmap, optimal solution usage and best practices and serves as primary liaison for customers and the worldwide field community.
  • HP IT Distinguished Technologist. Tooling HP's R&D and IT for product development processes and tools.
  • WW Sr Product Marketing Manager for HP ITPS VP of Apps & HP Load Runner
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