Mercury LoadRunner and Citrix

Mercury Interactive (Mercury) is the leading provider of enterprise testing and performance management. Citrix and Mercury have teamed to jointly develop the first native performance testing and monitoring solution for Citrix-deployed applications.

Mercury’s industry standard load testing product LoadRunner, and application performance management product Topaz, have both been customized to support Citrix environments. This means that customers can now accurately test and monitor their Citrix-based systems before and after deployment to ensure high performance, scalability and availability.

LoadRunner for Citrix Solution

LoadRunner works by emulating hundreds or thousands of ICA clients with just a handful of machines to create a scalable MetaFrame XP load testing solution. Up to 100 connections can be made from a single workstation (dependent on machine hardware) using the LoadRunner for Citrix integration. Sessions are initiated and workflow scripts are executed on client machines; simulating real life scenarios and generating realistic network and resource loads. Since scripts controlling user sessions are executed on the client machines, no additional overhead is placed on the MetaFrame XP servers eliminating the potential inaccuracies that are inherent when testing with the CTSK.

The virtual users are created using a recording technology that captures the ICA traffic between the client and server into a high level, easy to read, maintainable test script. These scripts can be easily modified to represent real users with their own sets of data and replay speeds. By licensing key Citrix technology, LoadRunner’s virtual users generate exactly the same traffic as the ICA client and “fool” the system into believing it is under the load of real production users.

By measuring the end-to-end response time of user transactions, LoadRunner helps identify performance problems from the end users perspective. Using a suite of real-time performance monitors that measure the system performance across all the tiers, LoadRunner can also help isolate these problems wherever they lie in the system. Finally, all the test scripts created in pre-deployment load testing with LoadRunner can be reused as-is in Topaz for performance monitoring once the application goes live.

As with all testing strategies, tests are only as accurate at the workflows utilized to emulate real life scenarios. For example, scripts that emulate users running a word processing program for typing and saving of files may not produce accurate results if printing is usually performed but not incorporated into the script’s workflow. Thus, when developing virtual user scripts, it is important that the scripts replicate the actions of real users to obtain accurate results.

Client machines running LoadRunner virtual users can emulate real users accessing the Citrix MetaFrame XP farm and backend resources. All scripts are run from the client machines, eliminating any server side overhead producing realistic measurements. A LoadRunner Controller is used to administer the test and aggregate performance measurements.

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Rahnuma Tasnim

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