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LICENSE Initial commit Jun 27, 2013 Compute Engine v1 API Dec 13, 2013 Compute Engine v1 API Dec 13, 2013 Upgraded GCE API to v1beta15 Aug 13, 2013 Compute Engine v1 API Dec 13, 2013 Compute Engine v1 API Dec 13, 2013 Compute Engine v1 API Dec 13, 2013 Compute Engine v1 API Dec 13, 2013

Google Compute Engine Cluster for JMeter


Copyright 2013 Google Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


This sample application is not an official Google product.


Apache JMeter is an open source framework for load testing. It's designed to apply load from distributed JMeter servers simultaneously.

The application sets up a Google Compute Engine cluster and starts the JMeter servers on them. It can also start JMeter client on the local machine where the application is executed. JMeter client controls JMeter servers, starting and stopping the load, and collecting statistical information from JMeter servers.

The system (JMeter server cluster and JMeter client) works as a load testing framework over the target system. JMeter supports various protocols, including HTTP, FTP, SMTP and JDBC. The test target can be any system that can be accessed from Google Compute Engine instances via network, such as servers installed on Google Compute Engine, a Google App Engine application, or publicly accessible servers outside Google Cloud Platform.

In order for the JMeter client to communicate with JMeter servers on Google Compute Engine instances, SSH tunnels must be set up properly. The application automatically sets up SSH tunnels. It also automatically configures JMeter client, so that it can properly control JMeter servers.


The application assumes Google Cloud Storage and Google Compute Engine services are enabled.

To create a new project, go to the Google Cloud Console and click red "CREATE PROJECT" button at top left. When a new project is created, click "Compute Engine" and turn on billing to enable Google Compute Engine on the new project.

The application requires sufficient Google Compute Engine instance and CPU quota to set up JMeter server cluster on Google Compute Engine. Note that the default instances used by the application have 2 CPUs each.

The application requires gcutil command line tool. In addition, setting up gsutil is also helpful to set up the application, although gsutil is not a requirement.

gcutil configuration

If this is the first time running gcutil for the project, run the following command to authorize gcutil to access the project.

gcutil auth --project=<project ID>

Default project of gcutil must be set to the project where JMeter servers are started. The following command sets gcutil default project.

gcutil getproject --project=<project ID> --cache_flag_values

If this is the first time using gcutil for operation that requires SSH credentials (such as "gcutil addinstance" or "gcutil ssh"), gcutil creates new SSH credentials. At that time, passphrase is asked. The passphrase must be empty for the application to work properly. If SSH credentials with passphrase already exists for gcutil, the application fails to establish SSH forwarding. In this case, remove existing credentials at ~/.ssh/google_compute_engine* and re-create SSH credentials.

Set-Up Instruction

Download and set up Python libraries

The following libraries are required by the application, and here is an example of how to set up libraries in the application directory. The commands below need to be executed from the top directory of the application.

Google Client API

Google Client API is library to access various Google's services via API.

Download google-api-python-client-1.2.tar.gz from download page or by the following command.

curl -O

Set up the library in compute_engine_cluster_for_jmeter directory.

tar zxf google-api-python-client-1.2.tar.gz
ln -s google-api-python-client-1.2/apiclient .
ln -s google-api-python-client-1.2/oauth2client .
ln -s google-api-python-client-1.2/uritemplate .

Httplib2 is used by Google Client API internally. Download httplib2-0.8.tar.gz from download page. or by the following command.

curl -O

Set up the library in compute_engine_cluster_for_jmeter directory.

tar zxf httplib2-0.8.tar.gz
ln -s httplib2-0.8/python2/httplib2 .
Python gflags

gflags is used by Google Client API internally. Download python-gflags-2.0.tar.gz from download page. or by the following command.

curl -O

Set up the library in compute_engine_cluster_for_jmeter directory.

tar zxf python-gflags-2.0.tar.gz
ln -s python-gflags-2.0/ .
ln -s python-gflags-2.0/ .
Python mock (required only for unit tests)

mock is mocking library for Python. It will be included in Python as standard package from Python 3.3. However, since the application uses Python 2.7, it needs to be set up.

Download mock-1.0.1.tar.gz from download page. or by the following command.

curl -O

Set up the library in compute_engine_cluster_for_jmeter directory.

tar zxf mock-1.0.1.tar.gz
ln -s mock-1.0.1/ .

Prepare Google Cloud Storage bucket

Create a Google Cloud Storage bucket, from which Google Compute Engine instance downloads required packages for set up JMeter server.

This can be done one of the following ways:

  • Using existing bucket.
  • Creating new bucket from Google Cloud Storage Web UI. Go to Google Cloud Console, choose a project, and go to "Cloud Storage" page. A new bucket can be created by clicking the red "NEW BUCKET" button at top left.
  • Creating new bucket by gsutil command line tool. gsutil mb gs://<bucket name>

Make sure to create the bucket in the same project as Google Compute Engine instances are started.

Prepare JMeter packages

Download JMeter 2.9 from the link or by command line.

curl -O

In the application, 2 sets of JMeter packages are required, one for server and the other for client. Server and client use different configurations, and so a patch for each configuration file is provided in the downloaded package.

First, prepare client JMeter package.

tar zxf apache-jmeter-2.9.tgz
patch -p0 <
mv apache-jmeter-2.9 apache-jmeter-2.9-client

Then, prepare the server package. Archive JMeter server package to upload to Google Cloud Storage.

tar zxf apache-jmeter-2.9.tgz
patch -p0 <
mv apache-jmeter-2.9 apache-jmeter-2.9-server
tar zcf apache-jmeter-2.9-server.tar.gz apache-jmeter-2.9-server/

The server package must be uploaded to Google Cloud Storage, so that the Google Compute Engine instance can download and install in start-up script. This can be done by drag-and-drop to Google Cloud Storage Web UI, or by the following command.

gsutil cp apache-jmeter-2.9-server.tar.gz gs://<bucket name>/

Download Open JDK Package

The application uses Open JDK as Java runtime environment. Open JDK Java Runtime Environment is distributed under GNU Public License version 2. User must agree to the license to use Open JDK. Note that OpenJDK has different licensing terms from the application, and user should make sure to read and understand those terms.

Download amd64 package of openjdk-6-jre-headless, and architecture-common package of openjdk-6-jre-lib from the following sites.

Upload .deb packages to the same Google Cloud Storage bucket.

gsutil -m cp *.deb gs://<bucket name>/

Create client ID and client secret

Client ID and client secret are required by OAuth2 authorization to identify the application. It is required in order for the application to access a Google API (in this example, Google Compute Engine API) on behalf of the user.

Client ID and client secret can be set up from "Registered apps" under "APIs & auth" menu in the left pane of the project page of Google Cloud Console. Click the red "REGISTER APP" button at the top to create client ID and client secret.

Type a name to distinguish the application, choose "Native" as platform type, and click the blue "Register" button. Client ID and client secret are created and shown on the page.

Change Configuration on the Application Code includes configurations as global variables. Some of them must be changed to meet the environment.

    • Set to client ID and client secret created in the previous section.
    • Set to Google Cloud Storage bucket name configured for the application.

Usage of the Application is the main script of the application. It starts up Google Compute Engine instance cluster with JMeter servers, starts JMeter client and deletes the cluster when it's no longer needed.

Show usage
./ --help has 4 subcommands, start, client and shutdown. Please refer to the following usages for available options.

./ start --help
./ client --help
./ shutdown --help
Start cluster

'start' subcommand starts JMeter server cluster. By default, it starts a cluster with 3 Google Compute Engine instances.

./ start [number of workers] [--prefix <prefix>]

If the instance is started for the first time, the script requires log in and asks for authorization to access Google Compute Engine. By default, it opens Web browser for this procedure. If the script is run in remote host on terminal (on SSH, for example), it cannot open Web browser on local machine. In this case, --noauth_local_webserver option can be specified as instructed by the message as follows.

./ --noauth_local_webserver start [number of workers] [--prefix <prefix>]

It avoids the attempt to open local Web browser, and it shows URL for authentication and authorization. When authorization is successful on the Web browser, the page shows code to paste on the terminal. By pasting the correct code, authorization process is complete in the script. The script can then access Google Compute Engine through API.

Start JMeter client

'client' subcommand starts JMeter client on the local computer where is executed.

./ client

The command opens JMeter client window, which allows to control JMeter servers on Google Compute Engine instances.

The following is an example to run load test against HTTP Web server. The Web server to test should be prepared by the user. Google App Engine Web application is a great candidate to test.

  1. In the left pane, right click on "Test Plan", "Add" -> "Threads (Users)" -> "Thread Group"
  2. Right-click on "Thread Group", "Add" -> "Sampler" -> "HTTP Request"
  3. Set "Server Name or IP" to the hostname of the Web server to apply load onto, and set "Path" to "/"
  4. Right-click on "Thread Group", "Add" -> "Listener" -> "Aggregate Report"
  5. Change Thread Group parameters to adjust load level
  6. Click "Remote Start All" button at the top (icon with 2 green triangles) to start sending load from all JMeter servers
  7. To stop the load, click "Remote Stop All" button (icon with 2 stop signs)

The full description of JMeter usage can be found on Apache JMeter page.

Tear down cluster

'shutdown' subcommand deletes all instances in the JMeter server cluster.

./ shutdown [--prefix <prefix>]

Unit tests

The application has 2 Python files, and They have corresponding unit tests, and respectively.

Unit tests can be directly executed.


Note some unit tests simulate error conditions, and those tests shows error messages.

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