Getting started with LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring Cloud

Welcome to this comprehensive guide to setting up the LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring Cloud Edition. This powerful tool is designed to provide detailed insights into the performance of your IT environment from a user's perspective. By utilizing this cloud-based solution, you can continuously monitor the user experience, spot potential issues before they escalate, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your IT infrastructure.

In this article, we will walk you through the steps to access and navigate the LoadGen Cloud platform, explain how to create and manage your End-to-End Monitoring profiles, and discuss the new privacy options available. Whether you are new to LoadGen or an existing user looking to explore our Cloud Edition, this guide is meant to help you understand and effectively utilize the capabilities of LoadGen's End-to-End Monitoring solution.

Login to the LoadGen Cloud

To enter the LoadGen Cloud you will need an active tenant and username. If you don't have an account yet you can create one requesting a free trial of the LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring Cloud via this link. After registration, you will receive a couple of emails. You can then visit https://www.loadgen.cloud. You will see the following page:

To log in you will need to perform the following actions:
  1. Switch to a tenant by clicking the Change link.
  2. You will see the following form:
  3. Switch to the tenant.
  4. Add the Tenancy name which you received in our email.
  5. Press the Switch to the tenant button.
  6. Now log in with your email address and password which you received in our email.

LoadGen Cloud settings menu overview

Read more about the LoadGen Cloud settings menu in this article.

 

End-to-End Monitoring menu overview

The LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring Cloud menu comes with three options:
  1. Dashboard: an enhanced tool for monitoring your End-to-End Monitoring services. It gives you infrastructure and application-level data about the user experience of an application and the surrounding environment. You can create your own dashboards or use the dashboards delivered by LoadGen. Read more about the dashboards in this article. For information on which data is sent from the LoadGen Agent during a monitoring session read this article. By default, after logging in to the LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring cloud environment, your default dashboard will be shown. Read more about adding new dashboards in this article.
  2. Profiles: here you can create or edit End-to-End Monitoring Profiles by using a very intuitive wizard to easily create your End-to-End Monitoring Profile. With several steps, we lead you to the process to set up your LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring environment.
  3. Repository: the place to find all the End-to-End Monitoring settings. Read more about the repository in this article.

Profiles

In this menu option, you can use the End-to-End Monitoring Profile wizard to easily create your End-to-End Monitoring Profile. With several steps, we lead you to the process to set up your LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring environment.

 

Step 1: Name

In the first step of creating your End-to-End Monitoring Profile, besides naming your profile, you now have additional options to ensure data privacy and gather visual insights. Here's a brief description of each:

  1. Send screenshots to LoadGen Cloud: Enabling this option allows the system to capture screenshots during the monitoring process and send them to LoadGen Cloud. These screenshots can serve as valuable visual aids when diagnosing issues or understanding user experiences in a more intuitive way.
  2. Anonymize LoadGen Agent IP address: If this option is enabled, the IP address of the LoadGen Agent is anonymized before any data is sent to the LoadGen Cloud. This can be important for maintaining the privacy of your network and complying with certain data protection regulations.
  3. Anonymize Remote Server: Enabling this option ensures that the identity of the remote server is anonymized before data is sent to LoadGen Cloud. This helps protect the identity and specifics of your servers.
  4. Anonymize Username: When this option is turned on, the username associated with each monitoring session is anonymized before data is sent to LoadGen Cloud. This is a crucial feature for preserving user privacy and adhering to data protection standards.

These options are part of LoadGen's commitment to providing valuable performance insights while ensuring the privacy and security of your data.

Step 2: LoadGen Cloud Agents

Date and times will be sent from the LoadGen Agents in UTC format

All of the dates and times that are retrieved from the LoadGen Agents are stored in UTC date and time format. To convert this to your time zone you can use the AddHours( [ActualTime], +n or -n) function. Read more about working with this data in this article.

In the LoadGen ecosystem, there are two primary types of agents that facilitate different aspects of performance and functional testing: the LoadGen Agent and the LoadGen Core Agent. It's essential to distinguish between these two to effectively deploy and manage your LoadGen testing environment.

LoadGen Agent:

The LoadGen Cloud Agent is versatile and capable of launching sessions to various Target Environments such as Citrix, Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop, VMware Horizon, or Windows FAT clients (Windows 7, Windows 10, or Windows 11). Besides initiating sessions, LoadGen Agents can also collect Performance Counters from Systems Under Test (SUT) machines, providing valuable insights into system performance during testing scenarios.

You can install LoadGen Agents in any location that suits your infrastructure needs, whether on-premises or in the cloud. These agents require only an outbound TCP 443 connection to communicate with the LoadGen Cloud. For security, all sensitive information, such as user credentials, is securely stored in a Microsoft Azure Key Vault specific to each tenant. LoadGen Agents interact directly with this Key Vault to retrieve necessary information without passing sensitive data through the LoadGen Cloud.

LoadGen Core Agent:

Primarily used for running LoadGen WebTesting, the LoadGen Core Agent supports testing across various web browsers including Chrome, WebKit, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox. This makes it an ideal choice for testing web applications from both Windows and Linux platforms. Like the LoadGen Agent, the Core Agent requires an outbound TCP 443 connection and leverages Azure Key Vault for secure credential storage.

The LoadGen Core Agent's specialized focus on web testing allows it to provide a robust platform for assessing the performance, functionality, and user experience of web applications across different browsers and operating systems.

By utilizing both LoadGen Agents and LoadGen Core Agents, organizations can cover a wide range of testing scenarios, from virtual desktop environments to complex web applications, ensuring comprehensive coverage and insightful performance metrics across their digital landscape.

 
The first time you run this wizard you must perform a couple of steps:
  1. Create the new LoadGen Agent: the LoadGen Agent will launch each monitoring session in the Target Environment.
  2. Create a Run as Profile: the Run as Profile is the local administrator account that can perform Operating System actions such as logging on, logging off, locking, unlocking, and restarting the machine. Read more about Run as Profiles in this article.
  3. Install the LoadGen Agent or LoadGen Core Agent: after you have created the Agent in the wizard, you can click the download icon:
    1. LoadGen Agent: This will download the LoadGen installer executable, with a couple of steps you have the LoadGen Agent service up and running and the status of the LoadGen Agent will be set to Online. 
    2. LoadGen Core Agent: The setup process for the LoadGen Core Agent involves downloading a Zip package that you can then extract to a preferred location on your agent machine. After extracting the package, download the LoadGen configuration file tailored for your setup. Next, ensure the installation of the latest .NET runtime package, specifically dotnet-runtime-6.0.27-win-x64, to meet the Core Agent's requirements. Once these steps are completed, your LoadGen Core Agent is ready for action.
    3. Read more about installing your LoadGen Agent or LoadGen Core Agent in this article.
  4. Add a Test user: the session will be launched, and the workload will be executed in the context of the test user. When using Windows 7, Windows 10, or Windows 11 FAT Client this test user, can be the same user as the user added to the Run as Profile. Read more about test users in this article.

Step 3: LoadGen Studio Cloud

The LoadGen Studio is our groundbreaking application that allows you to build workloads for testing and monitoring. With the LoadGen Studio, you can build workloads, including user actions, measurements, synchronization points, loops, validations, and other useful actions for interacting with the session. These flows are interchangeable between Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, Azure Virtual Desktop, VMware Horizon, and Local FAT Client solutions.
 
LoadGen Studio is so comprehensive and intuitive that the end-user doesn't need to write or see any code to create complex workloads.
 
The LoadGen Studio can be installed anywhere you like (on-premises, public or private cloud) but of course, will need a connection to your own infrastructure.
 
Read more about installing the LoadGen Cloud Studio in this article.

Step 4: Workload

In the next step, you can select the workload to use in your monitoring sessions. You can either use the default LoadGen End-to-End Monitoring workload (read more about this workload in this article) or create your own workload with the LoadGen Studio.

Step 5: Schedule

In this step, we will need to set up the schedule. When do we want to run the monitoring sessions and at which time interval? You can tailor your schedule to your needs:
  • On which days?
  • Start and end time, or all day.
  • Start and end date, or indefinitely.
  • The time interval.

Step 6: Target Environment

LoadGen offers comprehensive monitoring and testing capabilities for a variety of environments, including Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, VMware Horizon, and traditional desktop environments, known as FAT Clients (e.g., Windows 7, Windows 10, or Windows 11).

Additionally, LoadGen extends its capabilities to web applications through WebTesting, enabling testing across popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and WebKit for comprehensive performance and functionality assessments.

Target Environments in LoadGen are categorized into six main types for precise monitoring and testing:

  • Citrix or Citrix Enhanced: Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, and Azure RemoteApp. Read more about the difference between Basic and Enhanced.
  • RDS: Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.
  • Windows 7, Windows 10, or Windows 11 (Windows FAT Client): Windows 7 and later or Windows Server 2008 and later.
  • VMware Horizon: VMware Horizon.
  • Azure Virtual Desktop: aka Azure Virtual Desktop.
  • WebTesting: testing browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and WebKit for comprehensive performance and functionality assessments.
The Citrix Enhanced and Microsoft Remote Desktop Target Environments require the LoadGen Add-in to be installed on the endpoint machine. Read more about installing the LoadGen Cloud Add-in in this article.

Step 7: Systems under Test

You can monitor the performance of a machine in your environment during Load and Performance testing or End-to-End monitoring. This will give you diagnostic information and insight into how your environment is performing in correlation to application performance/user experience.

Step 8: Summary

Here you can find a summary of the current End-to-End Monitoring Profile. After clicking Finish, everything is set and the End-to-End Monitoring will start running and sessions will be launched based on your schedule.

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