Synthetic Monitoring with Silk Performance Manager

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Experienced Silk Performer users know that the Silk products are tightly integrated. For example: In a previous blog post, we showed you how you can reuse your existing test assets from Silk Test within Silk Performer (Functional Tests for Load Testing). However, Silk Performer is not only well linked with Silk Test but also with Silk Performance Manager, which means that you can use your existing load test scripts as monitors. We'll show you how it's done step by step in this blog post.

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What is Silk Performance Manager

You might wonder what Silk Performance Manager is and how you can benefit from using it. Silk Performance Manager is the application performance monitoring solution of Silk - it lets you create and manage synthetic monitors.

Let's say that you are responsible for the performance of a web application. You are load testing this web application with a whole set of load tests, which you have carefully built up and tweaked over time, so that you are getting exact and meaningful results for your purposes. With just a couple of clicks, you can now reuse your scripts to not only load test but also monitor your web application in production. So you are immediately notified when the web application cannot be reached or if performance degrades.

Reusing load tests as monitors

Reusing load tests as monitors is pretty straightforward, as you only have to perform a few clicks. However, to get a better understanding of what happens under the hood, let's take a quick look at the graphic above. To reuse a load test as monitor, Silk Performer creates a project package with the file extension .ltz and then uploads it to Performance Manager. Your project can contain one or more .bdl scripts, which are used to create monitors within Performance Manager. Let's see how it's done within the tools.

The Monitoring Workflow bar

You can take an existing Silk Performer project or you create a new one. For this demonstration, we've created a new project and recorded a quick sample script. To exactly see how we did that, you can watch the Synthetic Monitoring video down below. Now, in the Silk Performer Workbench, we right-click the workflow bar and click Show Monitoring Workflow Bar (1). This bar contains just four workflow steps (2). We complete the first three steps so that the Upload Project step (3) is enabled.

Synthetic Monitoring - Screenshot 01.png

 

Uploading the project

We click Upload Project and then Upload project to Silk Performance Manager. On the upload dialog we can change the default project name (1). Note that we will later find the project under this name within Performance Manager. Then we specify the URL of our Performance Manager installation (2). We check Open upload path on finish (3) to let Performance Manager automatically open once the upload is completed. We click OK (4), enter our credentials for Performance Manager, and click OK again to start the upload.

Synthetic Monitoring - Screenshot 02.png

The file pool

Performance Manager opens, displaying the File Pool (1), which shows all files that have been uploaded to Performance Manager. We look out for the project name we have specified just a minute ago in the upload dialog (2). We can also use the filter to narrow down the list (3). When we've verified that our .ltz file has actually been uploaded, we click Configuration (4) on the top, and then Add New Monitor.

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Creating a monitor

Now we have to look out for the node Custom Monitors. It contains all uploaded files. We expand it, search for the project file, and click it. When we click the project file, we tell Performance Manager to create a new monitor based on this project, which again holds our load test scripts. We give the monitor a name (1) and adjust the other settings so they fit our needs. When we're done, we click Finish with custom schedule on the bottom (2). Then we specify the monitoring interval and a number of other scheduling settings. When we click Save, the monitor is successfully set up.

Synthetic Monitoring - Screenshot 04.png

Viewing the monitor

After a little while, when the first couple of monitoring intervals have passed, we click Monitoring on the top to view the initial data. We can now view a variety of metrics including Health, Availability, Accuracy, and Performance. But we can also view data based on transactions and locations, as well as a bunch of additional metrics that are provided by Performance Manager.

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Conclusion

Generating monitors from your existing load test scripts is straightforward: First upload a Silk Performer project to Performance Manager, and then generate a new monitor based on this project. That's all you have to do. For more information on Silk Performance Manager you can browse the Help on documentation.microfocus.com.

Watch the Synthetic Monitoring with Silk Performance Manager video

In the following video, you can watch how we performed the above described steps:

More information

To learn more about all new features and enhancements Silk Performer 18.5 provides, take a look at the following blog posts:

The Silk Performer Help is another comprehensive source of information.

If this article was useful for you, leave us a comment or like it. We appreciate your feedback.

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