Happy Christmas from “The Bishops”

Dear everyone,

It’s that time of year again and as is now becoming a tradition, we’ve decided to donate our card/postal money to charity again. This year we’ve decided to donate to the Stroke Association.

James and Katie are continuing to enjoy dinghy sailing and we bought a boat so that we can keep up with them and watch them when they’re out on the water. My ankle is much improved after my operation at the end of last year and I’m back on two feet again. We’re hoping to test my “new ankle” out on the ski slopes in 2017.

Here’s this years “elf yourself”, together with a few photos from the year.

Test your site with Google

There are numerous websites and tools that offer web page testing and reporting. WebPageTest, GTMetrix, Yslow and PageSpeed and a few others come immediately to mind, but despite their popularity amongst testers and site developers, few are as well-known as Google.

Despite the fact that PageSpeed was already available from Google, I’ve noticed a little pop up recently when visiting google.com. This is promoting web page tests from https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

This site builds on PageSpeed but now focusses more on mobile application performance. According to their site, “People are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn’t mobile-friendly.”

And “Nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.”

Bearing this in mind, it is a wonder that people don’t do more to ensure that their websites perform better. After running a report you see a simple report including ratings of your site’s mobile friendliness, mobile speed and desktop speed.

google-site-test

After clicking on the “Get My Free Report” link, Google send you an emailed report which includes more details, although the report isn’t as detailed as some from the more established tools that I mentioned in the opening paragraph.

Where it differs from those more established / conventional testing tools/sites is that by putting pop-up ads in Chrome, this Google-sponsored performance report could encourage more site owners to consider performance and not just content on websites.

Monitoring Ubuntu Linux from LoadRunner (RSTAT)

Over the years I’ve used RSTAT to monitor the performance of Linux servers during performance tests many times. Historically I’ve asked Linux admins to enable RSTAT for me but over the last year or two I’ve incorporated various Linux machines into my test and demo environment so I’ve had to do this myself.

I’m primarily a Microsoft specialist so I always seem to rely on Google searches and some trial and error to resolve problems that I encounter with Linux and this weekend was no exception. I spotted a FaceBook post from Scott Moore describing problems that he was having with LoadRunner and RSTAT so I decided to see if I could help him.

2016-11-15-08_16_07-scott-moore

I installed RSTAT on my Ubuntu test machine at home and immediately saw the dreaded error message “Error while creating the RPC client. Ensure that the machine can be connected and that it runs the rstat daemon (use rpcinfo utility for this verification).”

Whatever I tried, I could’t get RSTAT to start. After some ‘Googling’, I found a number of posts in various places which helped me to resolve this problem.

A post on StackExchange (related to NFS issues) told me that rpcbind may have a dependency on a package called nfs-common. I installed this “just in case”. The same post told me that to start STATD (which I think is related to RSTAT) automatically at boot, I needed to add “NEED_STATD=yes” to the file “/etc/default/nfs-common”.

A  post on GadgetWiz.com told me that I should edit my /etc/hosts.allow file to ensure that the local host could make rstatd requests.

After restarting my Ubuntu PC, I checked that RSTATD was running using the commands “rsysinfo localhost” and “rup localhost”. I was pleased to see that after making these changes, it was possible to monitor my Ubuntu machine using LoadRunner.

 

lr_ubuntu2

I repeated my test on a new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS machine which I monitored using LoadRunner 12.53. A list of the commands that I used is below:

Install rstatd and related components:

sudo apt-get install rstatd rstat-client nfs-common

Add a line to /etc/hosts.allow to allow certain hosts to make rstatd requests:

rpc.rstatd: localhost

Added a line to /etc/default/nfs-common to start STATD automatically:

NEED_STATD=yes

These commands confirm that RSTATD is running:

rpcinfo -p localhost 
rsysinfo localhost
rup localhost