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LoadRunner 12: New Licensing

Community License

Probably one of the biggest changes to the product is HP’s new “Community License Bundle”. This replaces the old “Instant-on License” where HP LoadRunner would work with 10 users for a limited amount of time. This new bundle includes 50 Vusers, but it excludes Vusers for the GUI (UFT integration), COM/DCOM, and template protocols. Template protocols include C, JAVA, JavaScript, VB and VB Script, C#/C++.NET and VB .NET Vuser (Visual Studio Add-in), Enterprise Java Beans (EJB), VB.NET Vuser (Visual Studio Add-in). There is no formal support from HP with this license.

Old Licensing Verses New Licensing

Under the old licensing, the pricing for LoadRunner was based on:

  • A fixed price for the Controller and all monitor capability.
  • The total number of concurrent virtual users.
  • The protocol bundle of the virtual users.

This means the total cost of the LoadRunner software was calculated using the fixed price of the Controller, with the variable pricing of the number of virtual users (and in some cases, the protocol type). For example:

Controller (fixed $) +  Web Vusers (variable $ based on # Vusers)  =  $TOTAL

Almost all of the protocol bundles (web, RDP, RIA, etc) are the same price. The only exceptions to this rule would be the “super bundles”. These are basically a combination of three or more protocols for the price of two. WEB 2.0, Oracle, and SAP are examples of this. In either case, the cost of the software is additive when more than one protocol is needed. For example:

Controller + 500 Web Vusers + 500 RDP Vusers =  $TOTAL

Here is a link to the latest list of protocol bundles in LoadRunner 12.

With the new licensing, the protocol bundles remain the same, but the fixed cost of the Controller has been removed. The pricing for the virtual users now includes the cost of the Controller. The limitation on the number of Controllers has also been removed. This means that customers can split their Vusers between more than one Controller. For example, out of 500 Vusers, 200 could be put on one new Controller, leaving the remaining 300 on the existing Controller.

There is tiered pricing applied to the purchase of Vusers. Smaller amounts of Vusers purchased at one time will be higher per Vuser than larger quantities. It is a good idea to get the number of Vusers that match the highest peak hour concurrent users for 80% – 90% of your standard application portfolio. Many times, 500 Vusers or less will reveal bottlenecks. On the occasion a 10,000 Vuser test is needed, a term license can be applied for that time period of testing. This saves money on overall cost of ownership because support and maintenance is avoided for Vusers that aren’t needed on a regular basis.

Pricing Options

The HP price list contains the old licensing SKU’s as well as new licensing SKU’s. This is because there are three types of customers purchasing LoadRunner:

  • New LoadRunner customer – would purchase the new licensing.
  • Existing customer having assets under the old licensing. They may continue to purchase under the old SKU’s.
  • Existing customer who wishes to move to the new licensing model.

In order for an existing customer to convert, there are a few qualifiers:

  1. The customer must be current on maintenance and upgraded to version 11.5 of LoadRunner.
  2. A customer cannot have “mixed” licensing structures. It means they must move ALL LoadRunner assets over to the new model.
  3. Converting to the new licensing model can be done at renewal time or by customer request when purchasing something new
  4. Customers are not allowed to drop support on Controllers. Controllers & Virtual Users constitute one product; therefore customers can cancel support on the entire product or none of the product.

Foundational Entitlement License

When a customer makes a new LoadRunner purchase, the Foundational Entitlement License is a SKU# on the HP product price list which will provide the necessary entitlements to SiteScope points for LoadRunner to monitor pre-production systems. It will require a download of new licenses for the full entitlement. This SKU will need to be listed multiple times if there are multiple Controllers to be used. Under Performance Center, this Foundation entitlement provides SiteScope points, as well as 5 PC Lifecycle Users and unlimited Controller licenses.

Term Licensing

All of the licensing we have reviewed thus far is based on perpetual licenses. This means a long-term ownership of the license, with an additional cost for software maintenance and support paid annually. There are shorter term licensing options for LoadRunner that include daily, 1-month, 3-month, and 1-year terms. The cost for this has the maintenance and support cost built into the product SKU, and is only provided for the duration of usage. Once the term is up, the maintenance and support ends as well.

License Violations

Keep in mind that the LoadRunner license continues to restrict the usage geographically at the Site level. This means it matters where the software is installed, and from where the software is being accessed. It matters where the person is sitting at using the software, even if they are accessing a terminal remotely. Ensure that your organization has kept detailed inventory on what they own, and which Vusers are on which Controllers. HP has the right to periodically audit the software install base at any client. It’s not fun, and it’s very expensive to be caught out of compliance. I would encourage any organization to stay in compliance. Note: HP does not define what a User is when automating test execution with a Continuous Integration product like Jenkins. This is one benefit to automating test execution.

In Conclusion

The new Community edition is a major shift for LoadRunner licensing, and the new licensing model is more flexible by removing the limitation on the number of Controllers. The result is a cleaner way to sell LoadRunner and keep up with what software assets are owned. Northway Solutions Group is a leading software reseller of HP Software products. If you are interested in purchasing LoadRunner licenses or would like to speak to someone about whether converting to the new model would benefit you, contact us at or by phone at 866-611-8762.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional reference articles about the LoadRunner licensing model before version 12:

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