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Tarun Arora - Visual Studio ALM MVP ALM, Agile, Automation, Performance Testing, Software QA, Cloud, ...

Updated 29th June 2013Microsoft is now previewing Load Test Service in TFS Service. Please check out more on the official offering by navigating to 

In my opinion the biggest adoption barrier in performance testing on smaller projects is not the tooling but the high infrastructure and administration cost that comes with this phase of testing. Only if a reusable solution was possible and infrastructure management wasn’t as expensive, adoption would certainly spike. It certainly is possible if you bring Visual Studio and Windows Azure into the equation.

It is possible to run your test rig in the cloud without getting tangled in SCVMM or Lab Management. All you need is an active Azure subscription, Windows Azure endpoint enabled developer workstation running visual studio ultimate on premise, windows azure endpoint enabled worker roles on azure compute instances set up to run as test controllers and test agents. My test rig is running SQL server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012 RC agents. The beauty is that the solution is reusable, you can open the azure project, change the subscription and certificate, click publish and *BOOM* in less than 15 minutes you could have your own test rig running in the cloud.

In this blog post I intend to show you how you can use the power of Windows Azure to effectively abstract the administration cost of infrastructure management and lower the total cost of Load & Performance Testing. As a bonus, I will share a reusable solution that you can use to automate test rig creation for both VS 2010 agents as well as VS 2012 agents.


The slide show below should help you under the high level details of what we are trying to achive...

Scenario 1 – Running a Test Rig in Windows Azure

To start off with the basics, in the first scenario I plan to discuss how to,


- Automate deployment & configuration of Windows Azure Worker Roles for Test Controller and Test Agent

- Automate deployment & configuration of SQL database on Test Controller on the Test Controller Worker Role

- Scaling Test Agents on demand

- Creating a Web Performance Test and a simple Load Test

- Managing Test Controllers right from Visual Studio on Premise Developer Workstation

- Viewing results of the Load Test

- Cleaning up

- Have the above work in the shape of a reusable solution for both VS2010 and VS2012 Test Rig

Scenario 2 – The scaled out Test Rig and sharing data using SQL Azure

A scaled out version of this implementation would involve running multiple test rigs running in the cloud, in this scenario I will show you how to sync the load test database from these distributed test rigs into one SQL Azure database using Azure sync. The selling point for this scenario is being able to collate the load test efforts from across the organization into one data store.


- Deploy multiple test rigs using the reusable solution from scenario 1

- Set up and configure Windows Azure Sync

- Test SQL Azure Load Test result database created as a result of Windows Azure Sync

- Cleaning up

- Have the above work in the shape of a reusable solution for both VS2010 and VS2012 Test Rig

The Ingredients

Though with an active MSDN ultimate subscription you would already have access to everything and more, you will essentially need the below to try out the scenarios,

1. Windows Azure Subscription

2. Windows Azure Storage – Blob Storage

3. Windows Azure Compute – Worker Role

4. SQL Azure Database

5. SQL Data Sync

6. Windows Azure Connect – End points

7. SQL 2012 Express or SQL 2008 R2 Express

8. Visual Studio All Agents 2012 or Visual Studio All Agents 2010

9. A developer workstation set up with Visual Studio 2012 – Ultimate or Visual Studio 2010 – Ultimate

10. Visual Studio Load Test Unlimited Virtual User Pack.


To set up the test rig in the cloud, the test controller, test agent and SQL express installers need to be available when the worker role set up starts, the easiest and most efficient way is to pre upload the required software into Windows Azure Blob storage. SQL express, test controller and test agent expose various switches which we can take advantage of including the quiet install switch. Once all the 3 have been installed the test controller needs to be registered with the test agents and the SQL database needs to be associated to the test controller. By enabling Windows Azure connect on the machines in the cloud and the developer workstation on premise we successfully create a virtual network amongst the machines enabling 2 way communication. All of the above can be done programmatically, let’s see step by step how…

Scenario 1

Video Walkthrough–Leveraging Windows Azure for performance Testing

Scenario 2

Work in progress, watch this space for more…


If you are still reading and are interested in the solution, drop me an email with your windows live id. I’ll add you to my TFS preview project which has a re-usable solution for both VS 2010 and VS 2012 test rigs as well as guidance and demo performance tests.




Other posts and resources available here.


Possibilities…. Endless!

Posted on Sunday, July 1, 2012 11:18 AM TFS2012 , SDET , Web Performance Testing , Load Testing | Back to top

Comments on this post: Visual Studio Load Testing using Windows Azure

# re: Visual Studio Load Testing using Windows Azure
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Microsoft Certified professional developer for Enterprise Applications is clear for me.
Left by momin rone on Jul 01, 2012 7:34 PM

# re: Visual Studio Load Testing using Windows Azure
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Microsoft Certified professional developer is clear for me.
Left by momin rone on Jul 01, 2012 7:35 PM

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