Load Runner tool: An Introduction to performance testing

Safalta Expert Published by: Aryan Rana Updated Fri, 09 Dec 2022 11:19 PM IST


Mercury invented the Performance Testing tool called LoadRunner in 1999. HPE later purchased LoadRunner in 2006. 2016 saw MicroFocus acquire LoadRunner.

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Table of Content
What is LoadRunner?
Why LoadRunner?
Why is Performance Testing necessary?
What is LoadRunner Architecture?
Machine/Load Generators/Injectors for Agents

What is LoadRunner?

In 1999, Mercury invented the performance testing tool known as LoadRunner. In the future, in 2006, HPE purchased LoadRunner. Earlier this year, MicroFocus purchased LoadRunner.

Various coding languages, technologies, and communication protocols are supported by LoadRunner. Do Performance Testing, this is the only tool on the market that provides such a broad range of protocols. Benchmarking against other tools is done using the performance test results generated by the LoadRunner software.

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Why LoadRunner?

In addition to being a Performance Testing industry pioneer, LoadRunner continues to dominate the market. According to a recent analysis, LoadRunner holds around 85% of the market for Performance Testing.

In general, the LoadRunner programme supports RIAs (Rich Internet Applications), Web 2.0 (HTTP/HTML, Ajax, Flex, Silverlight, etc.), mobile, SAP, Oracle, MS SQL Server, Citrix, RTE, Mail, and—most importantly—Windows Socket. There is not a single competitor tool on the market that could provide such a vast selection of protocols.

The legitimacy of this technology is what makes it more compelling to choose LoadRunner for software testing. Clients frequently use the LoadRunner tool to cross-verify their performance benchmarks, which speaks much about its reputation. If you already use LoadRunner for your performance testing requirements, you'll feel better.

You can complete your end-to-end testing processes thanks to the close integration of the LoadRunner software with other HP Tools like Unified Functional Test (QTP) & ALM (Application Lifecycle Management).

The way LoadRunner operates is by simulating virtual users for the application under consideration. These Virtual Users, also known as users, repeat clients' requests and anticipate an appropriate response before passing a transaction.

Why is Performance Testing necessary?

Poor online performance is said to result in an annual revenue loss of $4.4 billion.

In the Web 2.0 era of today, visitors will leave a website if it doesn't answer within 8 seconds. Think about how long you would have to wait to use Google or add a friend on Facebook. Downtime in performance has effects that are frequently far worse than anyone could have anticipated. Examples include those that recently affected Blackberry, Amazon Web Services, Intuit, and Bank of America Online Banking.

59% of Fortune 500 organisations, according to Dunn & Bradstreet, have an estimated 1.6 hours of downtime each week. Given that the average Fortune 500 firm with at least 10,000 employees pays $56 per hour, the labour component of downtime expenses for such a corporation would be $896,000 per week or more than $46 million annually.

Google.com (19-Aug-13) is expected to lose up to $545,000 in just five minutes of outage.

A recent Amazon Web Service outage is thought to have cost businesses sales worth $1100 every second.

A software system may run into numerous situations when it is deployed by an organisation, some of which may cause performance lag. A few reasons that contribute to performance deceleration include:
  • more records are available in the database overall
  • a rise in the number of concurrent requests made to the system
  • compared to the past, more users are accessing the system at once.

What is LoadRunner Architecture?

In general, HP LoadRunner's architecture is intricate but simple to comprehend.

Let's say your task is to evaluate Amazon.com's performance for 5000 users.

These 5000 people won't all be on the homepage in real life; instead, they'll be on a different area of the websites. What other simulations are there?


An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) or rich coding editor is called VUGen, or Virtual User Generator. To simulate System Under Load (SUL) behaviour, we employ VUGen. The "recording" component of VUGen stores communications between the client and server as coded scripts, sometimes known as VUser scripts.

Taking the aforementioned example into account, VUGen may capture and replicate the following business processes:
  • looking through Amazon.com's products
  • Checkout
  • Making payments
  • examining the MyAccount page


One of the core LoadRunner components, Controller, regulates the load simulation once a VUser script is complete by managing things like:
  • How many virtual users should be used to replicate each business process or virtual user group?
  • User conduct of VUsers (ramp up, ramp down, simultaneous or concurrent nature etc.)
  • Nature of Load situation, for instance, Real-world, goal-oriented, or SLA verification
  • How many VUs should use each injector and which injectors to use
  • periodically compile results
  • DNS spoofing
  • report errors
  • Reporting on transactions, etc.

Using the analogy from our example controller, the VUGen Script will now have the following parameter.

1) 3500 users are browsing Amazon.com's product page

2) Checkout is open to 750 Users

3. 500 Users are processing payments.

4) After 500 users have completed payment processing, 250 people will ONLY check their MyAccount pages.

Start 5 virtual users every 2 seconds until 3500 virtual users are browsing an Amazon product page.
  • Iterate for 30 minutes
  • 25 VUs of iteration will be suspended.
  • reopen 20 VUS devices
  • 2 users are started each second in the checkout, payment processing, and my account pages.
  • At Machine A, 2500 VUsers will be created.
  • At Machine B, 2500 VUsers will be created.

Machine/Load Generators/Injectors for Agents

The HP LoadRunner Controller is in charge of simulating thousands of virtual users (VUsers). Because VUsers use hardware resources like processors and memory, doing so places a constraint on the machine doing the simulating. Additionally, Controller replicates these VUsers on the same system as Controller, thus the outcomes might not be accurate. All VUsers are distributed among several devices known as load injectors or generators as a solution to this issue.

In most cases, the controller is located on a different machine, and the load is mimicked using different machines. A number of Load Injectors might be necessary for complete simulation, depending on the protocol of VUser scripts and system specs. For instance, a load of 10,000 VUsers for an HTTP script will require 2-4MB per VUser for simulation, therefore 4 workstations with 4 GB RAM each will be needed.

Using comparison to our Amazon example, this component's output will be


After load scenarios have been performed, LoadRunner's "Analysis" components play a part.

During execution, the Controller generates a raw results dump that includes details about the configurations and the version of LoadRunner that generated the dump.

The output.mdb database, a Microsoft Access database, contains a complete log of all failures and exceptions. This database file is accessed by the "Analysis" component, which uses it to do various analyses and produce graphs.

These graphs display numerous trends that help determine the causes of problems and failures under load and, in turn, determine whether SUL, server (such as JBoss, Oracle), or infrastructure optimization is necessary.

What is JMeter?

An open-source Java programme called Apache JMeter is used to load-test software functionality and assess its performance. It was first created to test web applications, but it has subsequently grown to encompass additional test-related features.

What advantages does LoadRunner provide for testing tools?

Enables simple testing of mobile applications. By informing its users of the precise capacity and scalability of its programme, LoadRunner contributes to the reduction of hardware and software costs. It offers its users quick test cycles that hasten the delivery of applications using international testing resources.

How does LoadRunner function?

LoadRunner relies on the idea of capturing and replaying user activity to produce the required server load. By creating a virtual load, it merely duplicates the behaviours of a user in the actual world and aids in determining the software application's or system's performance.

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