A Test Page for IIS CPU Throttling

October 24, 2018
Copyright © Lex Li. Autumn leaves, Montreal.

IIS has a feature of CPU throttling so that you can better control how to respond when a web app uses too much CPU resource.

The detailed settings are fully explored in this page. However, neither of them gives you enough hint on how to test out the feature, especially how to simulate certain level of CPU usage in your web app (unless you are a programmer yourself).

Here I give you a simple ASP.NET test page (WebForms),

<%@ Page Language="C#"%>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" >
    <head runat="server">
        <title>Untitled Page</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div>
        <%var input = Request.QueryString["cpu"];
        if (input == null)
        {
            input = "100";
        }
        
        int percentage;
        if (!int.TryParse(input, out percentage) || percentage < 0 || percentage > 100)
            throw new ArgumentException("percentage");
        
        var watch = new System.Diagnostics.Stopwatch();
        watch.Start();
        while (true)
        {
            // Make the loop go on for "percentage" milliseconds then sleep the
            // remaining percentage milliseconds. So 40% utilization means work 40ms and sleep 60ms
            if (watch.ElapsedMilliseconds > percentage)
            {
                System.Threading.Thread.Sleep(100 - percentage);
                watch.Reset();
                watch.Start();
            }
        }
        %>
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

Save it as `test.aspx`, and drop it to a web app on your server.

I use the Default Web Site as example, and the following URLs can be used to generate CPU usage,

* `http://localhost/test.aspx?cpu=100`
* `http://localhost/test.aspx?cpu=90`
* `http://localhost/test.aspx?cpu=80`

Pass the percentage you want via query string, and you are done. IIS worker process `w3wp.exe` hosting this web app should use approximately the level of CPU resource as desired. Then your configuration on CPU throttling should take effect.

BTW, the trick comes from [a Stack Overflow thread](https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2514544/simulate-steady-cpu-load-and-spikes). Usually such testing needs to last for a few minutes, so make sure [ASP.NET execution timeout](https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7241046/system-web-httpexception-request-timed-out) is also increased,

``` xml
<configuration>
  <system.web>
    <httpRuntime executionTimeout="300" />
  </system.web>
</configuration>

Above it sets the timeout to 300 seconds (aka 5 minutes).

All rights reserved. © Lex Li, 2005-2021

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