How to: Create a Load Pattern in the Load New Test Wizard

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Load pattern specifies the number of virtual users who are active during a load test and the rate at which new users are added.


You are restricted to 250 virtual users on a load test unless you purchase virtual user license packs. For more information, see Configuring Test Controllers and Test Agents for Load Testing.

The ability to have multiple load patterns in a load test allows you to achieve your testing objectives. You must specify a load pattern for each scenario in your load test.

There are two types of simulated load available for you to choose when you create a load test by using the New Load Test Wizard:

Constant   The constant load pattern is used to specify a user load that does not change during the load test. For example, when you run a smoke test on a Web application, you might want to set a light, constant load of 10 users.

Step   The step load pattern is used to specify a user load that increases with time up to a defined maximum user load. For stepping loads, you specify the Initial User Count, Maximum User Count, Step Duration (seconds), and Step User Count.

For example, a Step load with an Initial User count of one, Maximum User Count of 100, Step Duration (seconds) of 10, and a Step User Count of 1 creates a user load pattern that starts at 1, and increases by 1 every 10 seconds until it reaches 100 Users.

Additionally, you can configure your scenario to be goal-based after you create a load test by using the Load Test Editor.

Goal-based load pattern resembles the step pattern but adjusts the user load based on performance counter thresholds versus periodic user load adjustments. Goal based loads are useful for a variety of different purposes:

  • Maximizing output from the agents: measure the key limiting metric on the agent to maximize the output of the agents. Typically, it is CPU. However, it could also be memory.

  • Reaching some target resource level, typically CPU, on the target server, then measuring throughput at that level. This enables you to do run-to-run comparisons of throughput given a consistent level of resource usage on the server.

  • Reaching a target throughput level on the server.

For more information about how to configure a load test to use goal-based simulated load, see How to: Change the Load Pattern.

For more information about Load Patterns, see Editing Load Patterns to Model Virtual User Activities.

When you create a load test, you specify settings for the load test in the New Load Test Wizard. For more information, see How to: Create a New Load Test Using the New Load Test Wizard.

To specify load pattern in the New Load Test Wizard

  1. On the Load Pattern page of the New Load Test Wizard, select either Constant Load or Step Load.


    The Goal Based simulation option is only available from the Load Test Editor after the load test has been created.

  2. Depending on the pattern type that you selected, adjust the available settings. For example, set the start and maximum user counts for the step load pattern.

  3. After you choose the load pattern, click Next to continue to the Test Mix Model page of the New Load Test Wizard.

You can change the load pattern for a scenario later by using the Load Test Editor. For more information, see How to: Change the Load Pattern.

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