How to: Administer a Rig

You can use a group of computers to generate simulated load for testing. This group of computers consists of a single controller and one or more agents, which are collectively called a rig. For more information, see About Controllers, Agents, and Rigs.

To perform administrative functions on a rig, select Administer Test Controllers from the Test menu. The Administer Test Controller dialog box is displayed.

The following actions are available for the rig:

  • Delete Temp Files
    Deletes deployment directories on both agents and the controller. Available only if rig is idle, that is, all agents are in Ready state.

  • Restart Rig
    Restarts the controller and the agents. You are warned if a run is in progress.

The Agents list box displays the computer name and status of each agent associated with the controller.

The following are the possible values of the agent status:

  • Running Test - the test that is currently running can only be viewed in the Test Run window.

  • Ready

  • Offline

  • Disconnected

You can also change the status of the agents in a rig, by using the Administer Test Controller dialog box.

The following actions are available from this dialog box:




Opens the Agent Properties dialog box.


Opens the Agent Properties dialog box for adding agents to the rig. On the Agent Properties dialog box you can change additional properties, and you can add attributes.


Removes an agent from this controller. The option is only enabled if the agent is not running a test.


This is a toggle button. The Status column in the Agents list box will display the current status for each agent. If the current status is Ready, the button will say Offline, if the current status is Offline, the button will say Online. Agents whose status is Ready are available to run tests. Agents whose status is Offline will not run tests.


Available at any time. The user is warned if an agent is running a test. Stopping the agent service stops any agent processes and stops any tests running on that agent.


Refreshes the dialog box.

To administer an agent by changing the properties, select the agent in the list and then click Properties. You can change the following properties:

Agent Property



Used to distribute load when you use agents with different performance levels. For example, an agent with a weighting of 100 receives two times the load as an agent with a weighting of 50.

IP Switching

Used to configure IP switching. IP switching allows an agent to send requests to a server using a range of IP addresses.

IP Switching is important if your load test is accessing a Web farm. Most load balancers establish affinity between a client and a particular Web server by using the client's IP address. To obtain good load balance in the Web farm, it is important that requests come from a range of IP addresses.


The agent service must run with administrator privileges in order to configure the network cards.


Set of name/value pairs that can be used in agent selection. The default attributes are Name and OS. Sets of similar attributes can be assigned to individual tests. These attributes are used to determine which test can be run on a specific agent. For example, a test might require a particular OS. You can configure attributes on the Controller and Agents tab of the run configuration file. For more information, see How to: Specify a Test Run Configuration.

Agent weight and agent attribute changes go into effect immediately, but do not affect tests that are running. The IP Address Range takes effect after the controller is restarted.


You can set properties in individual tests and in the run configuration for agent selection.

All changes are logged in the controller log file.

Changing Agent Properties

To change the properties of an agent

  1. On the Test menu in Visual Studio, click Administer Test Controllers.

    The Administer Test Controller dialog box is displayed.

  2. In the Controller drop-down list box, choose the name of the controller whose agents you want to change. If the controller does not appear in the list, type the name of the controller computer.

  3. In the Agents section of the dialog box, choose the agent computer for which you want to change the configuration.

  4. Click Properties to change properties, such as IP Switching.

See Also


How to: Run a Test on a Rig

How to: Run a Load Test Using Agents


Controllers, Agents, and Rigs

Setting Up the Controller and Agent Functionality

Test Rig Requirements for Team System

Other Resources

Working with Load Tests