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What's the difference between HP Loadrunner and HP Performance Center?

Please elaborate.

A "Performance Center is Loadrunner painted Gold and charged at 7 digits!" answer is not what I'm looking for.....
9 Answers
Richard Bishop
I think that the easiest way to summarise Performance Center is that it builds on the legacy of LoadRunner, the market leading performance test tool. As well as supporting more protocols than most other performance test tools, both tools benefit from better analysis and reporting than any other test tools that I've used or evaluated.

Many people seem reluctant to move to Performance Center and are often compelled to do so when they, for example, use offshore resources and require a global test platform for testing. In this respect, Performance Center offers several advantages over LoadRunner.

Key reasons you may want to choose Performance Center over LoadRunner:
  • Remote testers are permitted. Your performance testers can be anywhere and still (legally) use Performance Center. This is not the case with traditional LoadRunner (on-premise) licenses.
  • Better integration with HP ALM/QC for project-wide reporting and executive dashboards. Gives project teams a better insight into your test team's work.
  • Better visibility of what your performance testers are actually doing. I know several clients who like the fact that their test team can no longer claim to be running tests when they aren't. This gives better scrutiny of test teams which is even more important in global organisations.
  • Better re-use of test assets. Sharing test assets (scripts and test data) is easier and managing the access to that (potentially sensitive) data is more straightforward than when using conventional LoadRunner scripts on e.g. network fileshares.
  • More flexible licensing. Sharing a pool of licenses can be more cost effective than licensing multiple parts of a global business separately.
Helen Johnson

Both these tools are used for performance testing, and both they are developed by one company – HP. But Performance Center (PC) is an enterprise version of LoadRunner. It is mostly used by rather large companies that launch performance tests for various projects simultaneously (if multiple load generators are available).

PC is a full performance management tool. It is not suitable for conducting the diagnostic tests when only few data points are generated.

If you have a low budget, then you should use neither PC nor LoadRunner. It is rather expensive to support multiple users in LoadRunner, and the cost of PC is really high.

LoadRunner Pluses:

  • Can be used for both web and mobile apps.
  • Support SAP, Citrix, RDP, HTTP, AJAX Tru Client, etc.
  • Require less coding, as it supports the function of dynamic changes replacing.
  • Support HTML reporting.

LoadRunner Minuses:

  • Cost
  • The installation over the firewall may cause some difficulties.
  • Some its older versions do not support some protocols versions (Citrix).

PC Pluses:

  • Support plugging – you can add memory and CPU resources, Sitescope metrics.
  • Central administration.
  • Documentation support.
  • Support multiple tests run.
  • An app management tool.

PC Minuses:

  • Rather poor support of cloud solutions.
  • You can install it over the firewall just using a script-based mechanism.
  • Collating of test runs may be troublesome.
Marciel Horie

I will try to make it easy and quick:

LoadRunner - Stand alone performance test tool

  • one time only performance test
  • one or not so many critical applications to be tested by the company
  • does not need to execute several performance tests at the same time

Performance Center - Corporative tool that can manage dozens of LoadRunners and can execute several concurrent performance tests at the same time.

  • Need to execute several performance tests at the same time (some corporation have more than 800 applications in production, and sometimes this requirement is needed to not delay urgent or critical patches into production).
  • Due the need of performance test, it is necessary to create a load test team and this team needs a tool (Performance Center) to coordinate all the performance tasks and resources, in order to use the resources (load generator, monitors, scripts, etc.) in an optimized way.

Tip: There are companies that have LoadRunner and need to execute performance tests frequently. Sometimes there are problems due to schedule conflicts (ERP team wants to execute a performance test at the same time the CRM team wants). When this type of event starts to occur frequently, start to think in Performance Center. Also when you need to increase your load test team and need to coordinate their activities, PC is also very handy.

Both LoadRunner and Performance Center is not for all companies, so take this in mind when thinking to start using these tools. An advisory from an experienced load test expert should help.

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