Manage testing hosts

This section describes how to create, modify, and monitor testing hosts needed for running server-side functional and performance tests in ALM.


  • The Hosts module appears in Lab Management and in ALM Desktop Client, except that in ALM Desktop Client it is labeled as Testing Hosts. The below instructions refer to Lab Management's Hosts module but most functionality applies to ALM's Testing Hosts module as well.

  • If you are using the Testing Hosts module in ALM Desktop Client, only testing hosts attached to the host pool of the project are visible.
  • ALM Editions: Functional testing host management is available only for ALM Edition. For details about ALM editions and their functionality, see the ALM help: ALM editions. To find out what edition of ALM you are using, ask your ALM site administrator.

Testing host overview

Testing hosts are used to run tests and to process the data collected from those tests. To run server-side functional and performance tests, you must add testing hosts to ALM.

You can use testing hosts for server-side functional and performance testing. Instead of launching a test from your computer's console, tests can be controlled by the ALM server. Server-side execution is available for both functional and performance test sets.

Each testing host is assigned a location, purpose, and attributes.

Testing hosts can be categorized as follows from different perspectives:

Category Description
  • Local testing hosts

  • Cloud testing hosts

Testing hosts can be located in your testing lab or can be provisioned on the cloud on an as-needed basis.

  • Local. The host exists in your testing lab.

  • Cloud. The host was provisioned from a cloud provider.

  • Private testing hosts

  • Public testing hosts

You can create public testing hosts only in Lab Management. Each testing host can be placed in a host pool and assigned to a project.

You can also create private testing hosts for your Lab Management project from within ALM Desktop Client. The private hosts you create in ALM Desktop Client are automatically added to your project's host pool in Lab Management.

  • Functional testing hosts

  • Performance testing hosts

Functional and performance hosts can have the following purposes:

Functional testing hosts

  • Business Process Testing.A testing host on which business process tests are run.

  • QuickTest Professional. A testing host on which QuickTest Professional is run.

  • Service Test A testing host on which Service Test is run.

  • System Test. A testing host on which System Test is run.

  • UFT One. A testing host on which Unified Functional Testing is run.

  • VAPI-XP. A testing host on which VAPI-XP is run.


  • You must register a testing host with ALM to make it available for functional testing. see ALM Lab Service.

  • You can block functional testing hosts from being selected automatically.
  • You can reserve hosts for a specific user, so that other users cannot select the reserved hosts.

Performance testing hosts

  • Controller. A testing host used to manage a performance test. During a test run, the Controller issues instructions to the load generators, including which scripts to run, how many Vusers to run per script, and when to start and stop running them. There is only one Controller per test.

  • Load generator. A testing host on which Vusers run during a test. There can be many load generators for a given test.

  • Data processor. A testing host used for processing and publishing data gathered during a test run.


  • To provide greater flexibility (especially where resources are scarce), you can allocate a Performance host with dual purposes as a Controller and load generator. In general, this is not a recommended practice and is only appropriate for tests that have a very small number of Vusers. When allocating hosts, the system tries to use single function hosts before dual-purpose Controller and load generator hosts.

  • Although it is possible to set a host as both a Controller and a data processor, it is recommended to set up a separate host for data processing.

  • A host that is located over a firewall or is a UNIX host can be used as a load generator only.

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Add or modify testing hosts

To run server-side functional and performance tests, you must add testing hosts to ALM.

To add or modify a testing host:

  1. Ensure of the following:

    Prerequisite Details
    Install required testing tools on your testing hosts Refer to the documentation for your specific testing tools for installation instructions.
    Add remote locations If a performance testing host you are adding is in a remote location, the location must be added in the Lab Resources > Locations module. For task details, see Manage testing hosts.
    Install ALM Lab Service for functional testing

    For hosts with functional testing purposes, ALM Lab Service must be installed on testing hosts you are adding.

    For details about Lab Service, see ALM Lab Service.

  2. Create a testing host.

    1. Log in to Lab Management.

    2. From the side menu, select Lab Resources > Hosts. Click New Testing Host. Enter the following information:

      Field Description

      The name or IP address of the new host.

      The name should be entered without the hostname suffix.

      Tip: Give the host a meaningful name. This can be derived from the location, purpose, type, identity, or operating system of the host. The more information provided with the name, the easier it is to use and maintain the system. Make sure that the name is easy to remember and not too long.

      Caution: For remote hosts being used for functional tests,this must be the name of the computer without the domain name. If the name entered does not match the name of the host you are trying to register, registration will fail.


      The testing tools available on the host. For example: Controller, Load generator, Data processor, QuickTest Professional, and Sprinter.


      • If the host machine is located over a firewall, or is a UNIX machine, it cannot function as a Controller or Data processor.

      • If you selected Windows Standalone LG or Unix Load Generator as the installation option, Load Generator is automatically selected as the purpose for the host and the other options are disabled.


      The installation type of the host.

      Available options include:

      • Unified Functional Testing. Indicates that this host has Unified Functional Testing installed.

        If you select Unified Functional Testing, Service Test and QTP are selected as default purposes. Windows UFT installations must include at least one of these default purposes.

      • Unix Load Generator. Indicates that this Unix host is used as a Load Generator for performance tests.

      • Windows Host. Indicates that this Windows host can be used for performance purposes (Controller, Load Generator, or Data Processor), or for general functional testing (System Test, Vapi-XP, etc.).

      • Windows Standalone LG. Indicates that this Windows host is used as a standalone Load Generator for performance tests.

      You cannot modify this field for an existing host.

      Belongs to Pools

      The host pools to which the host is assigned.

      Host pools enable you to control which hosts are allocated to which projects. When allocating hosts for a test, the system allocates hosts from the host pool of the project. Hosts must be assigned to at least one pool.

      Note: Private hosts can be assigned to only one pool.


      The status of the host. An indicator is displayed next to the host name, indicating its current status.

      Available options include:

      • Operational. The host machine is up and running.

      • Non-operational. The host machine is down.

      • Unavailable. There is no information available about the status of the host.

      Location The location of the host. For example, locations can be defined according to physical areas.

      A rank assigned to the host.

      The higher the priority you give the host, the more likely the host will be allocated to a test.

      There are a number of criteria to consider when assigning priority. The main considerations are whether the host is a dedicated machine or a shared resource, and the type of hardware installed on the machine.

      Host Attributes

      The system attributes of the host.

      Example: Memory, strength, installed components

      Registration Auto Approve

      Indicates whether the testing host will be automatically approved after it is registered by ALM Lab Service.

      For details, see ALM Lab Service.

      Registration Status

      The status of the host's registration. To be able to use the host for testing, you must first register the host using ALM Lab Service and the host registration must be approved by a Lab Administrator in Lab Management.

      Registration statuses include:

      • Not Registered. The testing host is not registered using ALM Lab Service.

      • Pending. The testing host is already registered using ALM Lab Service but the registration is not approved yet.

      • Registered. The testing host registration is approved.

      For details, see ALM Lab Service.

      Available for: Existing testing hosts


      The testing host's source:

      • Local. The host exists in your testing lab.

      • Cloud. The host was provisioned from a cloud provider.

      Available for: Existing testing hosts

      Exclude From Automatch

      Indicates whether the testing host can be selected via automatch:

      • Y. The host cannot be selected via automatch. The host can only be selected by name.

      • N. The host can be selected via automatch.

      This is only applicable for functional hosts.

      Available for: Existing testing hosts

      Reserved for User

      The user who is allowed to access this host. This is only applicable for functional hosts.

      Available for: Existing testing hosts

  3. Register the testing host.

    For security reasons, a functional testing host must be registered using ALM Lab Service before it can be used. After the testing host has been registered, the testing host registration must be approved from within Lab Management.

    For details about registering a testing host using Lab Service, see ALM Lab Service.

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Import testing host data from Excel

You can import a list of testing hosts from an Excel file (.xls or .csv).

To import testing host data from Excel:

  1. Ensure that the Excel file is set up so that the columns can be recognized and mapped by the Import feature.

    • The first row of the Excel file must contain the field names, or corresponding logical names, that appear in the table below. (Logical names are not case sensitive.)

      Some fields are mandatory, others are required or optional.

      • Mandatory indicates a field that must appear in the Excel file. If you omit this field, the import fails. If you omit a value in one of the rows of this field's column, the import of that specific row fails.

      • Required indicates a field that should appear in the Excel file. If you omit this field, the code adds the field with the default value for all rows. If you include the field, but omit a value in one of the rows of this column, the code adds the default value for that row.

      • Optional indicates a field does not have to appear in the Excel file. Omitting this field has no effect on the import procedure.

    • Fields representing virtual, reference, and invalid fields are ignored.

    • Empty columns are allowed.

    • Set up the columns and values in the file as follows:

      Field name

      Logical Name


      Field for




      Any string

      The valid name of the testing host machine.




      Controller, Load Generator, QTP, Sprinter, and so on.

      The purpose of the testing host.

      This can be any combination of the options. Options should be separated with a semicolon and be without spaces.

      Example: Controller; Data Processor; QTP




      • Operational

      • Non-Operational

      • Unavailable

      Default: Operational

      The testing host state.




      • Unified Functional Testing

      • Unix  Load Generator
      • Windows Host
      • Windows Standalone LG

      Default: Windows  Host

      The type of testing host installation.

      There is a double space in:

      • "Windows<space><space>Host"

      • "Unix<space><space>Load Generator"




      • 1-Lowest Priority

      • 2, 3 ... 8

      • 9-Highest Priority

      Default: 5

      The priority of the testing host.



      Enable SSL

      • Y

      • N

      Default: N





      Any string

      The user name for logging in to the testing host.




      Any string

      The user password for logging in to the testing host.




      Any string

      The testing host domain.




      Any string

      The testing host description.

      The fields specified in the table below must not be included in the Excel file. During the import of each host, these fields are assigned default values.

      Field name

      Default value assigned

      Belongs to pools

      General (If adding from within an ALM project, the default is the project's pool.)



      Note: If data for these fields is included in the Excel file, the data is ignored. Default values that are not relevant for a particular host must be modified manually in the Hosts module.

  2. Import the testing hosts.

    1. Log in to Lab Management.

    2. In Lab Resources > Hosts, select Testing Hosts > Import.

    3. Browse to the Excel file containing the hosts, and click Open.

    At the end of the import process, a report displays the import results, and the imported hosts are listed in the Hosts module. Hosts that are not imported successfully must be added manually.

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Check host connections to testing hosts

In Lab Resources > Hosts, right-click a testing host in the grid, and select Check Host. You can view the progress of the host check in the Hosts module's Check Host Status tab.

The following fields are displayed in the Check Host Status page:



Actual Value

Actual value resulting from the host connectivity check.


The areas in which the Check Host feature checks the host:

  • Configuration

  • Connectivity

  • Installation

  • Performance


The sub-areas in which the Check Host feature checks the hosts. For example, sub-areas in the Performance check are Processor, Memory, System.

Check Date

The date the host was checked.

Check Result ID

The ID of each step of the host check.


If an error occurred during the check, displays the error.

Expected Value

Value expected to result from the host check.


Indicates whether the host check passed or failed.

Based on the purpose and location of the testing host, the following checks are performed:

Check Performed Load Generator Host Controller Host Data Processor Host Functional Host
Regular UNIX Standalone OFW
Ping to Host Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes
Installed Patches Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A
Services Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A
Performance Yes N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes N/A
Over Firewall Status N/A N/A N/A Yes N/A N/A N/A

Note: The only test which can be run on a Functional host is Ping to Host.

Alternatively, you can perform the above checks, together with an additional connectivity check from the host to a particular URL. Right-click a host in the grid, select Check Connectivity to URL, and enter the URL.


  • Regular URL:

  • Machine name: machine22 or http://machine22

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Reboot hosts

To remotely reboot a host, in Lab Resources > Hosts, right-click the host in the grid that you want to reboot, and select Reboot Host.


  • You cannot reboot Controller and Load generator hosts while they are in the Running state. You can only reboot these hosts when they are idle.

  • You cannot reboot a UNIX load generator host.

  • Available only for hosts with Performance purposes.

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Reconfigure hosts

Reconfiguring a host resets the host license, the LoadRunner Enterprise system user (IUSR_METRO), and the Communication Security pass phrase on the host machine.


  • You can reconfigure only one host at a time.

  • Available only for hosts with Performance purposes.

To reconfigure a host, go to Lab Resources > Hosts. Right-click the host in the grid that you want to reconfigure, and select Reconfigure Host.

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End processes on a Performance host

To end a process on a Performance host, go to Lab Resources > Hosts. Select a host, and in the Processes tab, select the process and click .

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Link testing hosts to host pools

Note: Host pool management is only available in Lab Management.

You can populate host pools in Lab Management in one of the following ways:

  • From the Hosts module. You can link a testing host to one or more host pools.

  • From the Pools module. You can link one or more testing hosts to a particular host pool. For details, see Manage host pools.

To link a testing host to one or more host pools:

  1. Go to Lab Resources > Hosts.

  2. Right-click a host in the grid, and select Testing Host Details.

  3. Click the down arrow adjacent to Belongs to Pools, and select pools in which to include the host. Click OK.

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