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Jason_Keating's avatar
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Oct 05, 2010

iRule as a Test Tool (hey that rhymes!)

Has anyone ever used iRules for test tools?




I'm faced with standing up a bunch of web servers to handle break tests for a client system, but a colleague asked the question if the LTM could do it ... with and iRule and a Data Group (external file) I don't see why not.




Wondering if anyone else has done this in the past, and if there were any gotchas/advice - ignoring the obvious bandwidth/connections/iRule CPU consumption overheads etc.








2 Replies

  • George_Watkins_'s avatar
    Historic F5 Account
    We've had a few questions along these lines and the short answer is no. iRules were never intended to be a testing tool. If you were to put an iRule in a tight loop for testing purposes, TMM instance will be restarted after it is unable to answer heartbeats. I am a big opensource advocate and as such have had great success with httperf. You can really beat a web server up with it. Here is the project page:



    If you want a fun read on this topic, check out this post:



    There was quite a bit of dialog on how to exercise TMM via iRules. Hope this helps,



  • I've recently been using siege and the totally killer curl-loader for this type of thing (mock SSL testing for the TPS report stuff).



    This may not apply to your scenario, but one place where BigIP can be a HUGE help with testing: use it for serverside SSL if you're running HTTPS loads to test back end SSL TPS capacity on the server side. This offloads the server-side SSL traffic to the cavium chip and you'll be able to use a normal HTTP VS on your test agent side. For me, this trick gave me a ton more headrom on my client side because they didn't have to deal with cert negotiation. Overall, it essentially added up to a few thousand extra client connections.



    The setup is like: Test clients -> Port 80 VIP on BigIP -> Serverside SSL-> pool members using SSL



    It worked great.