Manage Hosts

This section describes how to define, manage, and maintain the testing resources used for server-side testing from the Host Management pages.

Add a host

To add a host from your test lab to Performance Center:

  1. Prerequisites.

    Ensure the following:

    • The required testing tools are installed on your hosts. Refer to the documentation for your specific testing tools for installation instructions.

    • If a host you are adding is in a remote location, the location must be added in the Performance Center Administration > Management > Hosts > Locations tab. For task details, see Manage Host Locations.

    • If a host you are adding is over a firewall, the host must communicate with a Performance host through an MI Listener. Make sure that the MI Listener was added in the Performance Center Administration > Management > Hosts > MI Listeners tab. For task details, see Specify MI Listeners.

  2. Create a new host.

    1. In Performance Center Administration, select Management > Hosts.

    2. Select the Hosts tab, and then click Create New Host .

    3. Configure the new host:

      UI Element Description
      Host Name

      The name of the new host. Use the IP address or the fully qualified domain name.

      Tip: We recommend giving the host a meaningful name in the Domain\Windows level.

      Description A description of the host.
      Purpose

      Select a purpose for the host: Controller, Load Generator, or Data Processor.

      • If the host machine is located over a firewall, or is a UNIX machine, it cannot function as a Controller or Data Processor.

      • If you selected Windows Standalone LG or Unix Load Generator as the installation option, Load Generator is automatically selected as the purpose for the host and the other options are disabled.

      Source Displays the host's source: Local if the host exists in your testing lab, or Cloud if the host was provisioned from a cloud provider.
      Priority

      Assign a priority to the host. The higher the priority you give the host, the more likely the host will be allocated to a test. There are a number of criteria to consider when assigning priority. The main considerations are whether the host is a dedicated machine or a shared resource, and the type of hardware installed on the machine.

      Status

      Indicate the current status of the host. The possible statuses are:

      • Operational. The host machine is up and running.

      • Non-operational. The host machine is down.

      • Unavailable. There is no information available about the status of the host.

      Location

      Select the location of the host. Locations can be defined according to physical areas. The location also determines whether the host is located over a firewall. If so, you need to select an MI Listener that will enable data collection.

      Installation

      Select the installation type of the host: 

      • Windows Host. Indicates that this Windows host can be used for performance purposes (Controller, Load Generator, or Data Processor).

      • Unix Load Generator. Indicates that this Unix host is used as a load generator for performance tests.

      • Windows Standalone LG. Indicates that this Windows host is used as a standalone load generator for performance tests.

      Note:

      • The load generator uses SSL to communicate with the Controller during runtime only. For non runtime functionality, such as including collating results, the load generator does not use SSL as the communication protocol.
      • Relevant only for load generator hosts located over a firewall.
      MI Listeners

      If the host is located over a firewall, enter the IP address or name of the MI Listener that enables data collection.

      Enable SSL

      Indicates whether the load generator host will communicate with the Controller via SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or not.

      Note:

      • The load generator uses SSL to communicate with the Controller during runtime only. For non runtime functionality, such as including collating results, the load generator does not use SSL as the communication protocol.
      • Relevant only for load generator hosts located over a firewall.
      Belongs to Pool

      Select the host pools to which the host is assigned.

      Host pools enable you to control which hosts are allocated to which projects. When allocating hosts for a test, the system allocates hosts from the host pool of the project. Hosts must be assigned to at least one pool.

      Host Attributes

      Select the system attributes of the host, such as memory, strength, or installed components.

      Tip: You can customize the host attributes in Lab Management. For details, see the ALM Lab Management Guide.

    4. Click Save to add the host to the Hosts grid.

      In addition to the above fields, the following additional fields are displayed (or are available by clicking Select Columns ):

      UI Elements

      Description

      Host State

      The current activity on the host.

      • Idle. Indicates that the host is not being used.

      • Installing. Indicates that a patch is being installed on the host.

      • Rebooting. Indicates that the host is rebooting.

      • <Run states>. Indicates the host state during a performance test run.

      • <Data processing states>. Indicates the state of the host during a data processing task.

      • <Provisioning states>. Indicates the provisioning status of a cloud host. Host State changes to idle once the host is provisioned.
      Cloud Account

      The name of the cloud account from which the host was provisioned.

      Cloud Host Identifier

      A unique ID for the host assigned by the cloud provider.

      Cloud Image

      The machine image applied to the cloud host.

      Cloud Instance

      The instance type of the cloud host.

      Cloud Region

      The region from which a cloud host was provisioned.

      Cloud Template

      The host template used to provision the host. Changing a host template does not affect existing hosts that were provisioned from the template.

      Note: The cloud settings are relevant only for hosts provisioned from a cloud provider.

    5. To display only those hosts that meet the criteria that you define, use the FILTER button to select the parameters to include.

      To filter by host name or ID, click and type the name or ID of a project in the box. Performance Center displays all hosts that contain the search string.

      The filter selection is displayed above the host menu:

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Add Dockerized hosts to a test

You can run load generator hosts inside Docker containers. This is a quick and effective way to port applications across systems and machines, and run them within their own secure environments.

For details on creating and adding Dockerized load generators to performance tests, see Dockerized Load Generators.

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View or edit host details

  1. In Performance Center Administration, select Management > Hosts.

  2. Under the Host Name column, click a host name. Use the following tabs to view or edit host details:

    Tab Details
    Main Details

    Describes the currently selected host. For user interface details, see Add a host above.

    PC Runs Displays the test runs performed on the selected host, including the state of the test run, the start, end time and duration of the test run, the number of Vusers that were initialized at least once during the run, and the maximum number of concurrently running Vusers during the run.
    Event Log

    Displays detailed information about the tasks performed on the selected host, including the event type (an indication of the event's severity: error, warning, or info), a description of any errors, and the category of action where the event occurred.

    Note: The time interval in days that deletable events remain in the EVENT_LOG database table is determined by EVENT_LOG_PURGE_PERIOD_DAYS. For details, see Setting ALM Configuration Parameters in the ALM Lab Management Guide.

    Check Host Status Displays the checks performed on the selected host, including the areas (Configuration, Connectivity, Installation, Performance) and sub-areas (Processor, Memory, System) that were checked, the expected and actual value resulting from the host check, and the host check status (Passed or Failed).
    Installations Lists all of the software programs installed on the selected host, including the version, publisher, and date the software was installed.
    Components Lists the Performance Center components installed on the host machine, including versions and patches.
    Services Lists all the services on the selected host, including service status (Running or Stopped), and the way the service is set to start up (automatically, manually, or if the service is disabled).
    Processes

    Displays information about the processes and resource usage of the selected host, including the percentage of processor time and memory used by the process, and the amount of elapsed time since the process started.

    Note: Performance Center is unable to display processes and resource usage information for UNIX machines or Windows Standalone Load Generators.

    Over Firewall

    Displays communication settings between the Performance Center load generator host and the MI Listener, and enables configuring over-firewall settings for the selected load generator host. For details, see Configure over-firewall settings below.

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Check host connections to testing hosts

In Management > Hosts, select the hosts that you want to check in the Hosts grid, and click .

Based on the purpose and location of the host, the following checks are performed:

Check Performed Load Generator Host Controller Host Data Processor Host
Regular* UNIX Standalone OFW
Ping to Host Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes Yes
Installed Patches Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes
Services Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes
Performance Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes
Over Firewall Status N/A N/A N/A Yes N/A N/A
* This is the Performance Center Host for Windows installation. After performing the installation, the host can be configured as a load generator from the Performance Center Administration site.

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Reconfigure hosts

Reconfiguring a host resets the host license, the Performance Center system user (IUSR_METRO), and the Communication Security passphrase on the host machine.

To reconfigure hosts, select the hosts you want to reconfigure in the Hosts grid, and click .

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Reboot hosts

To remotely reboot host machines, in Management > Hosts, select the hosts in the Hosts grid that you want to reboot, and select More Operations > Reboot Host.

The Reboot Host dialog box opens, displaying the overall result for each reboot performed on the host, including the reboot start and end time, the administrator who performed the reboot, and the reboot progress (, , or a progress bar).

Note:  

  • You can only reboot Controller and Load Generator hosts when the host state is idle.

  • You cannot reboot a UNIX Load Generator host.

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Kill a host process

  1. In Performance Center Administration, select Management > Hosts.

  2. Under the Name column, click a host name, and then click the Processes tab.

  3. Select the process you want to end in the grid, and click Kill Process.

    Click to refresh the grid so that it displays the most up-to-date list of processes.

    Note: A user with Viewer permissions can end the selected process.

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Install patches on hosts

  1. Prerequisites.

    To install patches on a host, you first need to have uploaded the patches to Performance Center. For details, see Upload Patches.

    Note: The install patch mechanism supports installing .msp patch files only. If the patch you want to install is in an .exe file, you must first extract all the files from the .exe, and then upload the .msp file to Performance Center.

  2. In Management > Hosts, select the hosts in the grid that on which to install the patch, and select More Operations > Install Patch.

    Note: Patches can only be installed on Performance Center host and Load Generator standalone machines when the host state is Idle.

  3. Select the patch you want to install, and click .

  4. To view the status and progress of the patch installation tasks run in your project, click the Task Manager button in the masthead.

    The Task Manager opens.

    UI Elements

    Description

    Overall Progress

    Displays the overall status of patch installation tasks run in your project.

    Tasks are removed from the Task Manager after 24 hours.

    Search. Enables you to search hosts by host name. Type the name of a host (or part of the name) in the box. Performance Center displays all hosts that contain the search string.

    Filter By Enables you to display only those hosts on which the patch installation process is running, failed, or was successfully installed.
    Reinstall

    If a patch installation fails, enables you to select the hosts on which the installation failed, and rerun the installation process.

    Host name The name of the host on which the patch is or was installed.
    Status The installation status of the patch.
    Start Time The start date and time of the patch installation.
    End Time The end date and time of the patch installation.
    Message The status and message for the last patch installation task.

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Assign hosts to host pools

You can populate host pools in one of the following ways:

  • From the Hosts tab. You can link a host to one or more host pools.

  • From the Pools tab. You can link one or more hosts to a particular host pool. For details, see Manage Host Pools.

To link a host to one or more host pools from the Hosts tab:

  1. Select the hosts you want to assign in the Hosts grid, and click Assign Hosts to Pool .

  2. Under Belongs to Pools, select pools in which to include the hosts, and click Assign.

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Define host general settings

  1. In Management > Hosts, click the Settings button.

  2. To configure Controller settings, click the Controller tab, and set the following:

    • Connectivity. Enter the timeout for checking load generator connectivity (in seconds). The default is 30 seconds.

    • Offline Results.

      • Set the maximum size of the offline results folder. When the size limit is exceeded, the files that were least used are deleted until the folder size is within its limits. The default size is 10 GB.

      • Set the number of days that a result file was not opened before the file is deleted. The default time limit is 30 days.

  3. To configure data processor timeout settings, click the Data Processor tab, and set the following:

    • Data Processor Timeslot minimum length (minutes). The minimum amount of time, in minutes, that a data processor timeslot should be allotted. The default is 1 minute.

    • Timeout for pending Data Processor task (minutes). The amount of time a data processing task should be allowed to remain in a pending state. The default is 30 minutes.

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Configure over-firewall settings

Use the Over Firewall tab to view communication settings between the Performance Center load generator host and the MI Listener, and configure advanced over-firewall settings for the selected load generator host.

Note:  

  • This tab is only displayed if the location of the host is defined to be over a firewall.

  • A host over a firewall can be used only as a load generator host.

  1. On the Performance Center Administration sidebar, select Management > Hosts.

  2. Under the Host Name column, click a host name, and select the Over Firewall tab.

  3. Configure the over-firewall settings as required:

    UI Elements

    Description

    Connection Timeout (seconds)

    The length of time that the agent waits before retrying to connect to the MI Listener machine. If zero, the connection is kept open from the time the agent is run.

    Default: 20 seconds.

    Note: This is a required field.

    Connection Type - TCP/HTTP

    Select either TCP or HTTP, depending on the configuration you are using.

    Default: TCP

    HTTP

    HTTP settings for the HTTP connection type:

    • Proxy Name. The name of the proxy server. This field is mandatory if the Connection Type option is set to HTTP.

    • Proxy Port. The proxy server connection port. This field is mandatory if the Connection Type option is set to HTTP.

    • Proxy Username. The user name of a user with connection rights to the proxy server.

    • Proxy password. The password of the user with connection rights to the proxy server.

    • Proxy domain. The user's domain, if defined in the proxy server configuration. This option is required only if NTLM is used.

    MI Listener Password

    The password required to connect to the MI Listener machine.

    MI Listener User Name

    The user name required to connect to the MI Listener machine.

    Polling Timeout (seconds)

    To verify the state of the load generator located over a firewall, Performance Center checks when last the load generator connected to the MI Listener.

    If the load generator has not connected to the MI Listener machine for a period of time longer than the amount of time set in the Polling Timeout, Performance Center changes the state of the load generator to Resource Failure.

    Default: 60 seconds

    Note:

    • This is a required field.
    • Polling Timeout is a Performance Center setting. It is not set in the Performance Center agent.
    • Polling Timeout needs to be longer than the Connection Timeout.
    Use Secure Connection

    Enables connection using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.

    Default: Disabled

    • Check server certificates. Authenticates the SSL certificates that are sent by the server. Select Medium to verify that the server certificate is signed by a trusted Certification Authority. Select High to verify that the sender IP matches the certificate information. This setting is available only if Use Secure Connection is set to True.

    • Private Key password. The password that may be required during the SSL certificate authentication process. This option is relevant only if the Client Certificate Owner option is enabled.

    • Use client certificate. Enable to load the SSL certificate (if required by the server to allow the connection to be made). This option is relevant only if the Use Secure Connection option is enabled.

      Default: Disabled

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See also: