LoadRunner licensing seems to confuse some people (there are currently 2563 product numbers under the “Performance Center” centre in the HP pricelist). This Tech Tip attempts to clarify how it all works.

LoadRunner licenses fall into one of the following categories:

When you purchase a LoadRunner license, you will need to purchase a license for a LoadRunner Controller and for a certain number of Virtual Users of a particular type.

In the past, Mercury used to require a license for each of the separate LoadRunner monitors, but now purchasing a Controller license will get you all of the LoadRunner monitors (which makes things much simpler).

You cannot run any tests with your LoadRunner Controller until you have purchased a license for some virtual users.

The information you will need to collect for a licensing quote is:

  • Protocol/Vuser type
  • License duration
  • Number of virtual users (if you will need multiple protocols, you will need to break the number of virtual users down by vuser type)

Virtual User Types

All licenses are based on the type of virtual user, so you will need to understand what protocol your application uses to communicate with the server (the new Protocol Advisor feature in LoadRunner 9.50 will help with this).

LoadRunner comes with 49 different types of virtual user. For licensing purposes, these are divided into 16 protocol “bundles”. The bundles are priced differently, depending on the amount of functionality you receive. For example, the COM/DCOM bundle just contains the COM/DCOM vuser type, but the SAP bundle contains SAP – Web, SAP – (Click and Script), and SAPGUI vuser types. Note that the Web & Multimedia bundle does not contain the Web (Click and Script) virtual user – it is in the Web 2.0 bundle.

LoadRunner prices for different vuser types

The bar graph above does not include the GUI virtual user type, which allows you to run QuickTest Pro scripts as part of your LoadRunner scenario.

License Duration

There are three main LoadRunner license types: perpetual, term (1 month or 3 month), and Virtual User Days. These are all priced differently.

LoadRunner license price comparison

The license types are the following:

  • A Perpetual License lasts forever. It is the best value license type if a company plans to do ongoing performance testing (especially regression testing). Note that you will have to pay an annual “Maintenance” fee which entitles you to support, new product versions, and patches. A very small number of customers choose not to pay a maintenance fee, and stay with the same version of LoadRunner for many years, and try to get by without access to the HP’s support knowledgebase and support consultants. The annual maintenance fee is approximately 22% of the cost of the license, so not paying maintenance makes no sense unless your upgrade cycle is longer than 5 years (the break-even point).
  • A Term License lasts for either 1 month or 3 months. A 1-month term license is a little over half the price of the 3-month term license, so if you think you will need a license for 2 months, it makes sense to by the 3-month license instead of two 1-month licenses.
  • Virtual User Days confuse a lot of people. The LoadRunner Product Manager tried to clarify how it works in Explained: Virtual User Days. Basically, a VUD will allow you to run 1 virtual user for 1 day; so 1000 VUDs would let you run tests with 1000 vusers for a single day, or let you run tests with 100 vusers over 10 days. LoadRunner 9.50 added better logging to keep track of how many VUDs have been used. The smallest number of VUDs that can be purchased is 1000.
  • An alternative to purchasing a license is Software as a Service. HP manage several very large Performance Center instances and load generator farms that can be used to run tests against public-facing websites. This can be useful for one-off tests with a massive number of concurrent users. Currently HP has no load generators in Australian data centres, but you should be able to connect to other load generators (e.g. JDS has load generators in data centres in the larger Australian cities).

How many virtual users?

Permanent licenses for virtual users are sold in packs of 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 1500, 2500, 5000, and 10000. As you can see from the graph, the price per virtual user becomes smaller if you buy more vusers. If you need more than 10000 virtual users, you should negotiate directly with HP or an HP partner.

LoadRunner cost per virtual user

Virtual User Days are sold in packs of up to 1 million VUDs.

Other Notes

  • HP have been known to negotiate “all you can eat licenses” with larger customers, where they are offered unlimited licenses over a particular time period (e.g. 5 years).
  • An “all you can eat” license will not include an unlimited number of certain virtual user types, as these vusers require HP to pay a royalty to another company (e.g. DCOM vusers).
  • HP does charge for media (software on DVD + hardcopy manuals). You can save a small amount of money by downloading the software instead, and using the PDF manuals.
  • License costs are based on the US dollar, so prices in other countries will change when the exchange rate changes. Currently the Australian dollar is worth almost $US 0.90, so it is not a bad time to buy software licenses from HP.
  • HP Diagnostics is licensed separately, but to integrate it with LoadRunner, you will need to request a new LoadRunner license with this enabled. There is no charge for the new LoadRunner license key.
  • Buying a LoadRunner license entitles you to a free 500-point SiteScope for LoadRunner license

Note that information is correct for LoadRunner 9.5, but may change in the future. Talk to a sales rep from HP or an HP partner (like JDS) for actual prices.

56 comments on “Understanding LoadRunner Licensing

  1. Hi,

    I need to setup controller with geographically distributed LGs. Also want to buy licenses for virtual users for a month. So I have couple of questions here:
    1. Will HP support me to setup the controller and LGs and how can I get that support?
    2. How much approximate time HP support will take to setup this up and provide license?

    1. Hi Indrajeet,

      There are two answers to this depending on what software you are using.

      1. Load Runner / Performance Center
      If you purchase Virtual User licences from HPE then you will get access to support. Generally the support is only for technical troubleshooting if you hit any issues.

      HPE won’t supply you with hardware or install the software for you. They do provide docker containers for LGs if that makes your deployment easier.

      The license request can take up to a couple of days.

      2. StormRunner Load
      StormRunner is a different story. You can sign up and get your licences instantly. You also don’t have to worry about provisioning load generators – it’s all handled for you.

  2. Hi, We would like to do performance testing for one of our .net application.
    Maximum upto 400 users i need to test.
    I need load runner tool only for two months.
    I would like to get your advice which type of licence i can use. Please suggest me.

  3. Hi stuarat

    I am working as associate consultant in one of reputed retail based company. And they want to buy the one HP products for permanence testing.I recommended the below software products for best for PT.

    1. HP -LR
    2.HP Performance Centre
    3. HP SaaS

    please give the detailed analysis and difference and with cost based and licensed also .And also provide the difference of those above mentioned software as performance testing prospective way.

    Thanks in advance

  4. We are planning to buy Load Runner for 500 Users. Can anyone suggest exact link from which we can buy & exact cost of the Load runner.Please do the needful at the earliest

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for the detailed info about the licensing of Load runner. Is the Load runner 12.00 version is also following the same rules or are there any changes ?
    Let me know the procurement for load runner 12.00 version?

  6. Hi We are using HP 12.02 community edition and facing “Error loading JVM.dll” and compilation is getting failed.In one of the blogs it was mentioned that we need to have 32 bit JVM on Windows 7 (64 bit) environment.

    Any pointers on this will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in Advancce,

    Regards,
    Krishna

  7. Do we need to purchase separate license for TruClient-Ajax/Firefox protocol, though I already have several other license bundles for my LoadRunner 12.00?

  8. Hi,

    We are in a situation where we have to upgrade the LR controller machine to new 64 bit OS. Will the old license key work with the new image of controller machine? or do we have to contact HP support to get a new key

  9. What is the capacity of a controller in terms of number of VUsers – it can handle in a scenario for SAP Protocol suit?

    My company’s employee strength is more than 10000 employee. If there is a limitation – How can I achieve concurrency of 10000 users or more than that?

    Thanks,
    Banty

  10. Do you know what is a “Global” type of license ?
    And what is “Remote Performance” ?
    I have a few of each… but not sure I ever used them.

    also – when I install LoadRunner first time – does it give me some TRIAL time to try each of the protocoles with the Controller – maybe 10 users or something ?

  11. Hi Stuart,

    Do you have any price details for licensing? I saw this query asked by so many people, but no answer.

    Regards,
    Raj

    1. Hi Raj,

      Unfortunately HP does not publish public pricing for LoadRunner, but if you contact someone from the HP sales team, or your local HP Software partner, I am sure that they would be happy to discuss pricing options and help you find the correct license for your situation.

      Cheers,
      Stuart.

  12. Hi
    I would like to have an advice on the following

    My client has loadrunner 11.52 installed, one controller with vusers. They currently bought 3 more controllers and would like to split vusers as follows:

    1. Controller1: (Multi-protocol controller)
    1000 web users
    1000 SAP users
    500 citrix users
    300 SOA users

    2. Controller 2:(Large web protocol controller)
    2500 web users

    3. Controller 3:(additional web protocol controller)
    1000 web users
    4. Controller 4:(additional web protocol controller)
    500 web users

    Do you know where I can get the guide as to how to do this or your assistance will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  13. Afternoon Stuart,
    For LoadRunner and Diagnostics are these products licensed for use in any environment (DEV, QA, PROD) or are they licensed by which environment you will use them in?

    Thanks,

    Brian

    1. A licensed LoadRunner Controller may be used to generate load against any environment that is owned by your company.

      A licensed Diagnostics Server may collect data from Probes on any server in any environment. Note that if you would like your Diagnostics Server to integrate with BSM, you must get a license for “Diagnostics for AM”, and if you would like it to integrate with LoadRunner, you must get a license for “Diagnostics for AD”. The product works fine stand-alone too.

  14. Hi,

    I want to know 100 users to – 500 users license for Siebel-Oracle protocol.

    HP Load runner is it supprots other Mobile applications.

    Please provide details or send me email.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Sree.

  15. Hi Stuart,
    We had asked the client to procure controller license for Ajax Tru client protol for 100 users.
    The client responded with the license procurement details stating HP PC Controller SW E-LTU : 1 and HP PC Web 2.0 1-499 VU SW E-LTU : 100.
    My questions are:
    1) Is the license they procured is for HP PC and not for LR controller?
    2) Can the Load runner controller have the HP PC controller license?
    3) What are the challenges if we are asked to proceed with procured license. We have been provided with two server machines (which could be used as controller and agent) with internet access on both. Is it possible for us to set up a PC setup for such a small test requirement of 100 users test?

    Thanks
    Noel

  16. Hello Stuart,
    Thanks for this great content. How can I confirm the number of Virtual Users my installation is licensed for ? I am using LR version 11.50

    In Controller > Help > LoadRunner LIcense Utility , there is a ‘Capacity’ column. Is that the number of licensed virtual users ?

    1. I think that I understand your question…

      LoadRunner does not have a floating license server. The Controller license is always installed directly on the Controller.

      Load Generators (Agents) can be used with any Controller.

      Cheers,
      Stuart.

  17. Hi All,

    Is it anyhow possible to do a performance testing for 1000 virtual users, if we only have license for 100 users in loadrunner?

    1. The short answer is no – even though an ‘experienced’ engineer tried to explain to me how you could turn 1 user into 2 concurrent – which is the operative word. Concurrency is a function of your throughput x response or residence time. If you are wanting to test 1000 concurrent users on a web site who login, do stuff and log out, and the average duration from login to logout is 360 seconds (your residence time) then 1000=X360 which gives a throughput of 2.7 logins / sec. Drop the number of concurrent users down to 100, and we drop to 0.027 logins / sec.

      Scott

  18. Hi,

    I have a simple question about controller license. I have a licensed controller on one of my machines which I would like to install on different machine, is it possible to move the licensed controller to different machine? if yes, How?

    Thank you.

    1. The Controller license is host-locked, so you will need to get a new license key issued from HP.

      I would advise that you call the HP Account Manager (sales person) for the company you are working at. They can explain the process in your country.

      For me, it is:
      1. Call HP Account Manager, explain need to move Controller, assure them that the old Controller will not be used/has been uninstalled.
      2. Email licenses.your-region@hp.com, requesting a new license. Include the new host ID, vuser type and quantity.
      3. HP Account Manager replies to all, saying that it is okay to issue the license.
      4. Licensing sends you the new license.

      When getting a replacement license, I don’t think that they can issue it through webware. HP will not give you a replacement license unless you are up to date with your maintenance payments.

  19. I guess this is not true. I am in the same situation which Amit had asked in his question and hence I opened a support case with HP. I also have Network Bundle license which shows the Rmi-Java and Corba-Java protocols under it but when I try to create a scenario in Controller and run it, I get an error saying I don’t have the license required.
    HP told me to request a license key for the Java Record/reply bundle separately.
    I am in the process of verifying this information from another HP product support vendor.

  20. Thank you for your reply
    I have gone through the link. Does it mean that I can use the Network bundle protocol for Recording of the script (as recording through VGen and run multiple iteration throgh VGen does not require license) ,execute the recorded script using Loadrunner controller.

  21. Hi,

    I have the Network bundle license for 1000 users for the Loadrunner 9.5. I am using RMI-JAVA protocol for scripting. Does Network bundle license work for the RMI-JAVA protocol?
    Do I need to take new license for JAVA Record Replay?

    Thank you.

  22. Hi i want to record a script on mainframe system, dat is having online and batch jobs.
    so which protocal i have to select to record a script for
    online and batch.
    can i use sinle protocal or go for multiple protocals:

    thanks
    Murali P

  23. dear sir

    pls let me know the price and availability

    Load Runner license with 100 virtual users

    regards

    subrahmanya T K (SUBBU)
    Purchase co-ordinator| Dir # : 25323636 Mobile: +91-9845994334 |Ralco Synergy Pvt. Ltd, N-602 Manipal Center ,Dickenson Road ,Bangalore-42 | Website: http://www.ralcoindia.com E-Mail ;purchase@ralcoindia.com

  24. Ours is a project that deals with a bank’s web application that is being accessed by more than 1000 users across over 100 branches in India.
    The server which get the requests from all these branches is located at Mumbai.
    In order to do performance testing on this application, is it required to have a licensed controller at each of the branches (ie. 100 branches) or is it sufficient to have one licensed controller at our Mumbai location and have 100 load generators configured across the different branch locations in India.

    Will this turn out to be very expensive?

    Kindly advise which would be the best license to acquire in our scenario.

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Hi,
    Thanks for the info.

    I have understand the all kind of licence terms provided by HP for load runner.

    I need bit more info with regards to ‘Virtual User Days’ lic terms.
    If i have taken 1000 VUDays then can i use it in following manner,

    # On first day set to 100 vusers and run test for around 4 hours for FIRST Application under Test. So it will decrement the remainging VUDs to 900.

    # Now on the same day if i again run the test with 100 vusers for SECOND Application under test, then is it again decrement the 100 VUDs from remaining VUDs or it’s allow to consider that as 100 VUD for the full day with multiple application test runs?

    Please let me know if you need more infor regarding my question from my end.

    Thanks & regards,
    Dipak

  26. Hi – have not been to this site in before. However we recently encounted a licensing issue and would appreciate it I could get some help.

    First off, we are a licensed user of Load Runner (9.5) and have a valid maintenance contract. I did the Mercury training course in 2006 (before HP came on the scene). We have three computer centres with Load Runner installed in Atlanta. We want to test an application in Sydney and HP (who we have engaged to do the testing) are telling us that we are in breach of licence because wwe can only use Load Runner within a single site.

    We purchased Load Runner in 97 and it has been under support ever since. This is the first I have heard of site, vs regional vs global licence’s. It was definetly never mentioned during my training course in 2006 and how testing examples were specifically addressed.

    Does anyone have any background of when the licences changed to regional/global/site. Our licence is 400 web VU’s 100 oracle and all monitors.

    thanks for your help.

  27. Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for wonderful above information. We had loadrunner license for the below:

    One Contoller license.
    Web & multimedia – 500 users
    Oracle E- business – 500 users
    SOA Bundle – 500 users

    SO my question is can I use all these users for one application say a web application?
    I am guessing the answer would be no, but just curious.

    I think I can use all these users at a time in controller with different users testing different applications.

    Thanks,
    Sunil

  28. Hi Stuart,

    My question is regarding “Buying a LoadRunner license entitles you to a free 500-point SiteScope for LoadRunner license”

    How to get the Sitescope LR working.I installed, from the DVD provided selecting Sitescope LR. But it is only trial version.

    PS: I inherited the LR installation from someone else. I tried to search the installation documents but they dont provide with much information on Sitescope LR

    I work with a govt department in the Melb CBD and trying to get it work. I use loadrunner windows montiors, but it will be great to have sitescope as it saves time to pick the same counters again and again for different machines.

    1. Taken from: http://support.openview.hp.com/selfsolve/document/KM505813

      Knowledge document information
      Title: What procedure should LoadRunner or Performance Center users follow to obtain a complimentary license for HP SiteScope?
      Document ID: KM505813
      Product: LoadRunner,Performance center
      Version: All
      Updated: 2010-Jun-17
      Summary: The LoadRunner native monitors may not support the monitoring of certain applications or platforms. When this is the case SiteScope may be used instead. LoadRunner product users are entitled to a complimentary SiteScope license for this purpose.

      The HP LoadRunner (or Performance Center) Controller component native monitors may not support the monitoring of certain applications or platforms. When this is the case the HP SiteScope product may be used instead. HP LoadRunner (and Performance Center) users are entitled to a complimentary 500 points SiteScope license for this purpose.

      What procedure should be followed to obtain the complimentary license for HP SiteScope?

      Solution

      If a SiteScope license was not provided with the LoadRunner or Performance Center license, one should be requested by opening a support case in the HP Software Support Online (SSO) website (http://support.openview.hp.com/casemanager/newincident).

      Submit a support case under the “Non-Technical/business” section, and selecting the “Licensing” problem category. Provide the licensing information as requested and submit the case. The complimentary license will then be provided.

  29. I need to have a price list for HP loadRunner tool (Analysis, Controller,VU generator) for different number of VU (for example 100,200,300) for performing stress testing.and if there is any mandatory support fees or anything related. i know that companies might get discounts but i need the standard price list as i am planning to purchase the loadrunner but i need to know the price list before ,which will be very helpful if anybody can help.
    hint// i need to use the Oracle E-business protocol (containing Oracle NCA,oracle Web application 11i,siebel-web)
    Thanks

  30. In order to make a Loadrunner license purchasing decision, I understand that one needs to provide number of Controllers and number of Vusers.

    Now, how do we decide on how many controllers are required?
    Can we use 1 controller with any number of Vusers.
    We may need vusers of different protocol mix like .Net / Database / SOA / Web and Multimedia.

    1. Hi Anoop,

      The Controller is used to run your load test, so to determine how many LoadRunner Controllers your company needs, you need to determine how many load tests you will need to run at the same time. Usually, the answer is “one”; a project is only going to have a single Performance Test environment, and a company is not likely to run a large number of projects at the same time (that require load testing).

      Really big companies will have several LoadRunner Controllers, or will use Performance Center instead.

      Your Controller can be licensed for any number of virtual users of any type, but these virtual users cannot be moved between Controllers (this is a reason you might buy Performance Center instead, if you are a large company).

      Cheers,
      Stuart.

  31. Hi,

    My company wants purchase new loadrunner licence, actually we need to test application for 500 users load. In this case can we purchase 100 vusers licence or we need to purchase 500 vuser licence?? If anyone answers it would be great.

    1. Hi Raju,

      You may be able to run the same number of transactions per hour with 100 vusers, as you can with 500 vusers (maybe), but your test will be less accurate.

      Assuming that you are testing a web application, your vusers will have fewer sessions active on the server, and less open network connections. If your system has problems in these areas, you may not discover them during testing.

      You must decide whether the smaller licensing cost outweighs the risk of problems not being found in these two areas.

      Cheers,
      Stuart.

  32. Some people have been asking which vuser types are in each bundle. Here is the answer for LoadRunner 9.0 (note that there have been some minor changes since then)…

    .NET Record/Replay

    • Microsoft® .NET 2.0
    • Microsoft .NET 3.0

    Database

    • Sybase CTLib
    • DB2 CLI
    • Siebel-DB2 CLI
    • MS SQL Server Informix
    • ODBC
    • Siebel-MSSQL
    • Oracle (2-Tier)
    • Siebel-Oracle
    • Sybase DBLib

    DCOM

    • COM/DCOM

    Network

    • CORBA-Java (check?)
    • Domain Name Resolution (DNS)
    • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
    • Internet Messaging (IMAP)
    • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
    • MS Exchange (MAPI)
    • Post Office Protocol (POP3)
    • Rmi-Java (check?)
    • Simple Mail Protocol (SMTP)
    • Tuxedo 6
    • Tuxedo 7
    • Windows Sockets

    Oracle E-Business

    • Oracle NCA
    • Oracle Web Applications 11i (C&S for Oracle)
    • PeopleSoft Enterprise (C&S for PeopleSoft)
    • Siebel-Web
    • PeopleSoft-Tuxedo

    Remote Access

    • Citrix_ICA
    • Jacada
    • Terminal Emulation (RTE)

    Rich Internet Applications

    • Action Message Format (AMF)
    • Ajax (Click and Script)

    SAP

    • SAP-Web
    • SAP (Click and Script)
    • SAPGUI
    • SAPGUI/SAP-Web Dual Protocol

    SOA

    • MQSeries-Client
    • MQSeries-Server
    • Web Services

    Templates

    • Enterprise Java Protocol (EJB)
    • C Vuser
    • Java Vuser
    • Javascript Vuser
    • VB Vuser
    • VB.NET Template (Visual Studio add-in)
    • VBNet Vuser
    • VB Script Vuser
    • C#.NET Template (Visual Studio add-in)
    • C++.NET Template (Visual Studio add-in)

    Web and Multimedia

    • MediaPlayer (MMS)
    • Web (Click and Script)
    • Web (HTTP/HTML)
    • RealPlayer

    Wireless

    • i-mode
    • VoiceXML
    • WAP
    • Palm
    • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

    GUI

    • HP WinRunner software
    • HP QuickTest Professional software

    Java Record/Replay

    • CORBA-Java
    • Rmi-Java
    • Jacada
    • JMS

    Remote Desktop

    • Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

    Web 2.0

    • Service-Oriented architecture (SOA)
    • Web & Multimedia
    • Rich Internet Applications (RIA)
  33. Hi Stu,

    It would be nice to have an understanding as to which LR software components (i.e. Load Generator, VuGen, etc) are licensed and which aren’t.
    For example, can I legally run VuGen on my local workstation? Or do I have to use it on the controller?

    Thanks.

    1. Great question!

      There are 4 main components to LoadRunner:

      • Virtual User Generator (VuGen) – Used to create scripts that will emulate a real user performing a business process.
      • Controller – Used to create a testing scenario, and provide an interface when executing a load test. The Controller has built-in monitoring capability, or can interface with SiteScope.
      • Analysis – Used to analyse test results at the end of the test. Creates graphs etc.
      • Load Generator (Agent) – Used to run many concurrent virtual users during a load test.

      The only component that requires a license is the Controller. All other components can be installed as many times as you like.

      This means that you can install VuGen on several PCs and have performance testers creating scripts in parallel.

      Technical stakeholders working with you to fix performance problems like to be able to see low-level test results, rather than a summary. I will generally install LoadRunner Analysis on their PC and give them a 10-minute tutorial on how to use it.

      Virtual users can be run from multiple load generators if you need to emulate a large number of users and need to horizontally scale your load generation capacity. Installing on multiple generators is also good if you need to generate traffic from different locations on the network (e.g. over the WAN).

      Cheers,
      Stuart.

  34. JDS had a client who was so impressed with the data analysis capabilities of LoadRunner, that they purchased a Controller license even though they still ran their tests using load generation tools that had been generated in-house (for their custom protocol).

    They then imported the data from their other tools into LoadRunner Analysis at the end of the tests.

    This is a good example of why licensing the Controller and the virtual users separately is not a bad idea.

    1. Hi Stu,

      I want to run 1000 vusers test, but I have only 100 vusers license. How can I run the test and what are the estimations I can do in these type of scenario. Its been asked in many interviews, I am unable to answer this question.

      Please help me to find different methods for this issue.

Leave a Reply