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Working with HP LoadRunner and HP Network Virtualization

‎07-20-2014 06:56 AM - edited ‎07-22-2014 09:24 AM

(This post was written by Dan Belfer, Ilona Zaurov and Yoav Weiss, from the LoadRunner R&D Team)


This article explains how to work with HP Network Virtualization v8.6.1, which is compatible with HP LoadRunner 12.00



It was announced in April that HP has acquired Shunra Technology.


HP Network Virtualization (HP NV) helps you test point-to-point performance of network-deployed products under real-world conditions. You can simulate network effects such as latency, packet loss and bandwidth, allowing your test to run in an environment that closely resembles the actual deployment of your application.

This becomes even more important in the mobile world, where performance testers must consider the different communication conditions which are affected by the network operators, infrastructures, etc.


For example, consider an Application Under Test (AUT) that is located in several sites around the globe - India, Egypt, Italy and England. We want to use HP LoadRunner to test the performance of each one of the AUT’s servers when users are connecting to them from different locations in the world – say, Italy and Russia, and our testers are located in the US.


Option #1 - without HP NV

Physically deploy the Controller in the US and the Load Generators (LGs) in Italy and Russia: 



Note that packet loss, latency, etc. have a direct effect on the communication between the LGs and the AUTs.  This is the real world.



Option #2 – Using HP NV

Instead of physically deploying LGs in each location (which is expensive and complicated), we can install the whole environment - Controller and LGs - in the same lab in the US, and emulate the locations above using HP NV:



The HP NV emulation (depicted by the HP Logo) emulates network traffic disruptions between the LGs and AUT servers as if  the traffic is between Italy and Egypt or Russia and England.


HP NV comes with an extensive library of traffic statistics that can emulate real life network environments in your own lab.


Compatibility of LoadRunner and HP NV Versions

The following versions of LR and HP NV are compatible with each other:



11.00 to 11.50




11.52 to 12.xx




New capabilities starting from LR 11.52 with HP NV 8.6.1

In older versions, network emulations were defined per LG, with each LG having its own emulation. All groups of Vusers (ie. sets of Vusers running the same script) running on a specific LG had the same emulation.


As of LR 11.52 and HP NV 8.6.1, each group can now be assigned a different emulation, regardless of the LG it runs on.  This offers greater flexibility and even more realistic scenarios to be configured. For backwards compatibility, it is still possible to run the same emulation for all groups on the same LG.


Load Generators

You’ll need to install HP NV on each LG, by running HP NV4HPLGSetup.exe.  You can verify that the installation was successful by running Start > All Programs > Shunra > Shunra NV for HP Load Generator > Shunra NV Agent. The following icon should then appear in the System Tray (usually on the bottom-right of the desktop):



When a scenario is running, the icon changes as follows (this time shown in the System Tray):




To install HP NV on the Controller, run NV4HPControllerSetup.exe, and click ‘Next’ until the installation is complete. By default, HP NV comes with a demo license for two days.  To get more licenses:

  • When you buy HP NV, you can purchase an additional installation file to extend the license.
  • You can buy HP NV with a license server installation. The license server should be installed on a separate machine, accessibly by all Controller machines. HP NV asks the server if there are enough licenses available before each test is run.


HP NV’s settings can be opened from the main toolbar:



Or from the main menu:



 Check the check box to enable Network Virtualization on the Controller:



Choose one of the following virtualization modes:

  • Per Load Generator:  If you have existing scenarios created in LR 11.51 or earlier, and you want to run them in the same way as before.
  • Per Group:  Each group has its own emulation, for scenarios created in LR 11.52 or later.  This is the recommended mode, particularly for new scenarios.

Next, add the names (and optionally, the descriptions) of locations that you want to emulate:



You can use the buttons to quickly duplicate a location, delete locations, or import/export locations to/from an xml file.


Open up the location’s properties by selecting a location and clicking 'Configure'.  The details can be configured in one of the following ways:

  • Import from library
  • Custom
  • Advanced

Import from library

Click on ‘Import from Global Library’:



HP NV’s server will gather information about emulation settings for different places in the world (this may take some time). 


You then enter the city where the LG (client) and AUT (server) are located:



Click '>>' to move to the next screen, where you can configure the communication technology, carrier and time profile:



Click '>>', then configure the Communication Quality:



The virtualization parameters (latency, packet loss and bandwidth measurements) are automatically selected based on HP NV’s database:




This mode lets you manually define the latency, packet loss and client bandwidth:




This mode lets you replay traffic that has already been recorded by HP NV in an NTX file.  This is not recommended, because it consumes a lot of memory.




The following options can be configured:

  • Bandwidth Allocation
  •   - Provide each user with individual bandwidth:  Each Vuser gets the full bandwidth as if they are working alone.
  •   - Share bandwidth between all Vusers:  All Vusers share the existing bandwidth equally.
  • IP Filter: Exclude the specified IP addresses from the emulation. The latency and packet loss settings won't be applied to this IP address.



HP NV in the Scenario window

In ‘Per Group’ mode, emulation can be configured from the group's details window, or directly in the grid’s ‘Virtual Location’ column:



In ‘Per LG’ mode, the grid returns to the original view, with no ‘Virtual Location’ column.


Emulation is assigned to an LG, so click to open up the LG list:



Select the relevant LG and click 'Details'. In the window that opens, select the Network Virtualization tab:



Choose one of the emulations from the combo-box:



You can switch between ‘Per LG’ and ‘Per Group’ modes. The following message is shown after each switch:



Behind the scenes, the Controller disconnects from the LG and will reconnect to it when the run starts.


Now that you’ve configured the Controller, you can start the test.

Press ‘Start Scenario’:



HP NV will check for valid licenses, and the scenario will begin to run.


In the 'Run' tab of the Controller, the ‘ Network Virtualization Graphs’ section will appear in the ‘Available Graphs’ list:



The counters turn blue once the statistics start to arrive.  You can double-click on each measurement to see its full graph.  For example, the ‘Average Latency’ graph might look like this:



The most commonly viewed graphs are:

  1. Latency: Average latency will be almost the same as defined in the emulation (300ms in our example).
  2. Packet loss: Average packet loss will be almost the same as defined in the emulation (3% in our example)

You can tell that HP NV is running by the appearance of the ‘Network Virtualization’ notification in the lower-right corner of the Controller:



Transaction Response Time (TRT) is also affected by emulation. In our example, the TRT of the transaction in the script is ~2ms. With HP NV emulation, the TRT of the transaction decreases to 1.5sec.


When the run has finished, you can analyze the collated results by opening Analysis:



In the Analysis window, right-click Graphs in the ‘Session Explorer’ window, select ‘Add New Item’, and then select ‘Add New Graph’…':



Expand the 'Network Virtualization' section:



Double click 'Average Latency' and 'Packet Loss' to add them to the graphs. For example, the average Packet Loss is around 3%, as expected:




  • Linux LGs are not supported by HP NV.
  • HP NV cannot be installed on Windows 8, 8.1, 2012 and 2012 R2.



Install HP Network Virtualization  and LoadRunner today!


Let us know how you use HP NV and LoadRunner in the comment box below.



Thanks to Dan, Ilona and Yoav for providing this article!


About the Author


Malcolm is a functional architect, focusing on best practices and methodologies across the software development lifecycle.

RichardMJBishop on ‎07-21-2014 01:39 PM

Vivit is introducing a HP webinar this Friday (25th July) on BrightTalk where you'll have the opportunity to hear about how HP NV can help you to:

• Reduce performance issues in production by up to 70%
• Accelerate application delivery cycles by up to 40%
• Improve application response times by 51-70%

After the webinar you'll have an opportunity to ask HP NV specialists questions in a Q&A session moderated by Vivit.
For more information visit:

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