In today’s post, I will focus on pulling the final piece together of this 4-part series titled “ConfigMgr 2007 Distribution Points Load Testing.” Why is this topic even important? This, i hope, is rather obvious but in case it isn’t let me share why it was important for us at Microsoft and why you as a ConfigMgr customer should care as well.
The Distribution Point (DP) Site System & Role is a role that relies on the Management Point (MP) for scale. This means that clients determine where to get their content from via a policy refresh with the MP. The one thing that I do know though is that there isn’t fancy heuristics or algorithms used to tell the client which DP to use and often clients will get the same DP so a lot of important details are missed if you don’t “scale” your DPs properly. The first step in this process is to determine how many simultaneous downloads your DP can handle. Hence, this four-part series focused on how to load test your DPs though focused on the clients preferred method of download which is HTTP or HTTP/S. If the client uses SMB then these posts don’t apply.
In Part I, we focused on making sure that our ConfigMgr 2007 Native Mode friends aren’t left behind with the sharing of some of our source code ironically called CertPicker. For Part II, I outlined how to effectively get certificates created by a Microsoft Certification Authority (CA) that are usable by CertPicker and ConfigMgr. Part III focused on creating the Web tests necessary to effectively “emulate” clients who pull content from the DPs.
As mentioned in Part III, it is important to make sure that you create the right mix of tests via Web tests. We spread this out via Web tests that would equal a single package payload and created them to match various “package sizes.” For example, we created a Web test for the anti-virus package we delivered as well as we created a Web test for the Office 2007 package. This was a 100 Mb package versus a 1 Gb+ package and each were different Web tests.
After doing this, we step through testing the following two scenarios:
To build a Load test, do the following:
That’s it! You now have a load test that will run your Web tests with various degrees of difference depending on your selections through this wizard.
Wow, what a road we just went down…but wasn’t it so much fun! In this 4-part series I hopefully helped you understand how to use Microsoft technology to build certificates, dynamically generate certificates at run-time (CertPicker), and how to build Web & Load tests to effectively learn the performance characteristics of your Configuration Manager 2007 Distribution Points.
In future posts, I will take some time to dig into results that these tests will give you and focus a little attention on deciphering if you have problems (e.g. bottlenecks) and how to tweak DPs to perform better.