Free up Disk space on Load Generators

LoadRunner and Performance Center environments include machines known as Load Generators, “LG” for short. Frequently we are contacted by users with issues that turn out to be related to disk space. Here are a few best practices to avoid running out of disk space on an LG. I will also include details about how to free up disk space. The recommended disk space on a machine designated as a Load Generator, should be at least 50 GB of free space.

It is best practice to always collate the test results. If the test results are not collated, they will remain on the Load Generator. The most common reason for results not being collated is when running smoke test in LoadRunner or Performance Center. These test results will build up over time and will start impacting the amount of free disk space, especially in a larger testing organization.

For a LoadRunner environment, there is no automated method that will clear out the results on a Load Generator. Whenever a test is run in the Controller, the results should always be collated and stored in a designated location on the Controller (Controller-> Results-> Results Settings).

In Performance Center, if the results are successfully collated, they are removed from the Load Generators and Controller machines and stored in the RawResult.zip files in the ALM-PC File Repository. For results that are not collated, there is a maintenance task within ALM that will remove old test data from the Load Generators. The maintenance task is in Lab Management. By default, the parameter is set to check every 360 minutes and remove any test data that is older than 90 days. This parameter can be changed within Lab Management, as needed.

If you need to free up disk space on a machine that is designated as a Load Generator, below are a list of actions that can be done on either a Standalone LG installation or a PC Host installation and steps for actions that are specific to the type of installation.

Actions for either a Standalone Load Generator installation or a PC Host installation:

1. Clear Windows Event Log
2. Defragment Hard Disk(s)
3. On Virtual Servers, clear out any unused space freed up by the defragment process and then compact the virtual hard disks.
4. Uninstall any software that is not necessary

For Standalone Load Generators installation:

1. Clear out the Temp folders- do not delete any of the HPE software files, if you are not sure-DO NOT DELETE

a. To locate exactly where the temporary files are located, do the following:

i. Log onto each LG, using your admin account, navigate to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System\Advanced system settings and select the Environment Variables button

ii. Here you will see where the following temporary folders (TEMP and TMP) are located and can be deleted

1. User variables for (Admin account name)

2. System Variables

For PC Host installations:

1. From the ALM Desktop Client, in each project, verify all test runs have been collated
2. Clear out the Temp folders- do not delete any of the HPE software files, if you are not sure-DO NOT DELETE

a. To locate exactly where the temporary files are located, do the following:

i. Log onto each LG, using the System user account (IUSR_METRO or equivalent services account), navigate to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System\Advanced system settings and select the Environment Variables button

ii. Here you will see where the following temporary folders (TEMP and TMP) are located and can be deleted

1. User variables for IUSR_METRO

2. System Variables

3. Navigate to %RootDrive%\Program Files (x86)\HP\Performance Center Host\orchidtmp, and zip up the orchidtmp folder and save it to a shared drive to save the logs and any uncollated test results.

a. The orchidtmp folder can be deleted, and Performance Center will recreate this folder the next time the machine is used for a test run

4. Navigate to %RootDrive%:\Program Files (x86)\HP\Performance Center Host\Temp, delete the contents of the TEMP folder

As mentioned earlier, the recommended disk space on a machine designated as a Load Generator, should be at least 50 GB of free space after the HPE software has been installed. This recommendation reserves ample space in most cases to accommodate temporary results. However, maintenance through best practices and regular deletion tasks may be necessary, in the real world, to keep your load testing environment operating optimally.

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