Adventures with VS2005 Team Test Load Agent And Controller

I've been using VS2005 Team Test on an ASP.NET project I am currently on to hammer the code we've built and identify weak spots. One of the things it will do is simulate multiple users browsing a site (very much easier to do than with ACT - and using data-driven parameters is a breeze, too - I like that)

In using it I found I ran out of grunt on my laptop before the Web Server I was testing did; in that the server was able to take more load than my laptop was able to throw at it. The job of my laptop is made harder by the fact that it is also measuring a large number of performance counters on the Web and Database Servers at the same time, and processing the results - all inside a virtual machine - so not an optimal scenario for really stress-testing our application! I wondered what the best way round this was and so hit the VSTS documentation, where I had seen mention of a "Test Rig". Reading the docs, I learned that all the work of actually running a test against the server is done by one or more "Agents", administered by a "Controller" which also gathers the performance statistics from the server. My laptop was performing the job of "Controller", using one agent - also on my laptop.

The documentation alluded to the possibility of having the Controller and Agent on another machine, which you control from within VSTS. Perfect, I thought! I found a spare machine, and then attempted to figure out where the software for the Controller and Agent lived. This is where I hit problems, and is the reason for my post as no amount of searches found me the answer.

The documentation says "The setup.exe file is in the following folder: vs\controller".

I examined my MSDN DVD (VSTS Team Edition) but to no avail. I even searched my install directory in case it was to be found lying around there; but no.

I asked around inside Microsoft and finally the lovely Grace Francisco gave me the answer - and blogged about it. The Agent and Controllers are within a separate product called Visual Studio 2005 Team Test Load Agent. There is a page about it here.

Unfortunately it's not available on MSDN - Volume License customers can get it from the MSVL download site where it's currently under Visual Studio Test Agent 2005 (this typo will be corrected).

It's way too useful not to have so I will be acquiring my copy shortly!

Anyway if anybody out there got as confused over this as me, hopefully this saved you some time :-) Happy Testing!