The Grid feature is the primary method of launching cloud-based servers in SOASTA CloudTest. Grids allow you to easily determine how many servers to launch and how to recover from failures when allocating servers from the cloud provider. Use the Grid Manager to manage elastic, cross-cloud computing resources, used in one or more load tests.
The Grids Manager allows you to setup and view your cloud-computing resources, including Test Server and Results Server instances from multiple locations that are used to generate load.
You can create one or more Grids for use in tests that deploy cloud resources and match those with SOASTA CloudTest Test Server instances.
You must first define at least one Location before you can setup a Grid for managing cloud resources. The Location must be cloud-enabled. See Using Locations.
Then, click New. When you do so, the Grid Manager, General page appears.
When you do so, the Grid Manager, Server Instances page appears. Using this page, define both Test Server and Result Server instances. Test Server instances will be used to generate load, and Results Service instances will be used to analyze and report on the test data in real-time.
Specify the time in seconds until the allocation request will timeout and be added to the retry queue.
For example, after an instance is requested, it stays in the "Pending" state until it's ready, and then changes to "Running". The time it takes to reach "Running" can be anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. Use this setting to specify a cut-off in seconds. By default, any servers that don't reach "Running" after 5 minutes are thrown away, and are re-tried.
Configured Server Classes can be selected from the Server Class drop-down. See Server Classes.
Depending on the cloud vendor, allocations settings may vary.
With Zone Distribution > All in the Same Zone radio button checked, select a zone from the available zones in the drop-down. Optionally, check the Failover to different zone(s) if initial allocation fails box if you want CloudTest to use different zones on retry.
Check the Distribute evenly across all zones box to use the alternate round-robin algorithm for server instances.
Use the Summary and Deploy/Tear Down page to review your settings before using Deploy Instances. Click the Back button to return to the prior screen(s) to change settings.
The following Advanced Settings are available for grids via the Summary and Deploy/Tear Down page:
This setting will specify the server block size (e.g. the number of server instances to try at once).
For example, the user wants 500 Test Servers. Typically, if the user wants a large number of Test Servers, we can't ask for them all at once. If CloudTest asks for 500 Test Server instances all at once, the request will probably be rejected ("insufficient capacity", etc.). But, if CloudTest asks for them in blocks of 25, then some will succeed and some will fail. CloudTest can take just the failed ones and re-try them in a different zone.
For the total allocation request, specify a maximum number of times to retry.
The re-try algorithm described above in the Block Size description includes two types of errors (in the case of Amazon EC2):
For the set of allocation requests, specify a number in seconds between retries.
For same-zone re-tries, delay this number of seconds first.
This default, if checked, provides the ability to Fail Over to XL Instances. This setting permits XL instances to be called upon if allocation to L instances is insufficient.
Start the default monitors for each server. See Default Monitoring
When checked, automatically delete default monitors when the grid is shut down. To review the monitoring data later on, turn off this setting. This is usually left on, because the monitoring data is usually used just to "keep an eye on things" during the test.
Initiate "check servers" as part of this server deployment.
This setting should be left on. If it's checked, then after all servers have reached the "Running" state, we do a "health check" of the CloudTest services (e.g. Test Server) on each server.
Specify the number of times to retry the server allocation.
Usually, the first "health check" of a server will fail—just because the machine has booted, it doesn't mean that JBoss has finished starting, etc. So, CloudTest will re-try, if necessary. The max number of retries is this setting.
Specify the time in seconds to delay between retries.
To deploy a server based on an Amazon EC2 High Performance Computing class, use the Grid Manager, Server Instances page, Server Class drop-down ( whenever Show advanced settings is checked).
Clicking Proceed with X of X while it's active displays these subsequent options:
If Proceed was clicked, and then Terminate Pending, the Proceed window will go away. Then the following behavior will occur:
The Grid Ready icon will display only once (i) and (2) are complete.
The Stopped icon will display whenever all of the requested servers failed to be allocated or if the Stop Deploying button is clicked.
When grid use is complete, click the Tear Down Instances button. When you do so, the grid indicates progress in the status area of the Journal tab.
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