Performance testing plays an important role in identifying the speed, stability, and reliability of a website, software application, or API. Employing performance testing early on helps to prevent any unplanned breakdowns and unexpected outages, protecting your business from revenue loss and brand damage. A stress test is used for determining the reliability and stability of all of your web resources, like websites, applications, and APIs. Stress testing aims to find the breaking point of a website/application under extremely high load over a period of time. It is also called endurance testing. This eliminates the root cause of any breaking points and helps to identify areas to scale up resources so that the website or application doesn’t crash under peak conditions.
Why Stress Testing is Needed?
There can be multiple scenarios and reasons that your website or application can attract a high number of visitors doing different things. It may be a planned situation or an unplanned event. Let’s take a look at some examples.
- You have an e-commerce website and announced a Black Friday sale. This is a planned situation, and you expect a high number of visitors on your website, and eventually making purchases. However, there’s one problem. You don’t know how many visitors your website or application can handle. If your website is able to handle, let’s say, only 10,000 visitors without crashing but 25,000 visitors come to your website, your website will crash, and you will suffer a huge revenue loss and trust with visitors and customers.
- You are running a blog/newspaper website and one day your blog post goes viral. This is an unplanned event and causes massive traffic to come to your website. If your website is not prepared to handle high traffic, it will crash, and you will lose a large number of potential subscribers to your blog and the reputation of your newspaper.
Events like this happen frequently with organizations that forget to, or simply ignore, the process of testing their websites and applications. They are unprepared and that are not ready for spikes in visitor traffic and lose their momentum in the wake. So, it is vital to perform testing and ensure that your websites and applications are robust enough to absorb these traffic spikes in both planned and unplanned situations.
What is the Goal of Stress Testing?
The end goal of stress testing is recoverability, which means ensuring that the system recovers smoothly after failure. Stress testing analyzes the system and user behavior to determine the root cause of the system crash and take actions based on the errors and data collected during testing. Below are just some of the reasons that make a strong case for stress testing.
- Determining the stability and reliability of website or application under heavy traffic conditions.
- Showing the respective error message and other information to the visitors.
- Optimizing the system to prevent breakdown.
- Planning the scalability and resource requirement correctly.
What are the Different Types of Stress Testing?
There are many reasons and scenarios for a website or application to break under abnormally high traffic. That is why testing can be performed in many ways for finding our different reasons and scope of optimization. The following are some fundamental types of stress tests.
Application Stress Test
The goal of application stress testing is to find data and network bottlenecks for an application to optimize the performance.
Systemic Stress Test
Systemic stress testing is performed between different applications running on the same server to identify the blocking situations and optimize for that.
Transactional Stress Test
Transactional stress testing is carried out to analyze the stress on the system when two or more interconnected applications do one or more transactions with each other. Interaction can be between two or more internal systems or between a third-party application. It helps in optimizing and fine-tuning the interconnected system.
Distributed Stress Test
Distributed stress testing is done in a distributed client-server environment to investigate which clients have experienced the interruption of service and why.
Exploratory Stress Test
As the name suggests, exploratory stress testing is performed with unusual parameters and abnormal conditions which are explored during the testing, and are very rare in a real-world scenario, but can give useful insight into an application. Examples of such a situation are when a large number of users make a monetary transaction at the same time, or a huge amount of the read/write operations happen simultaneously.
How to Carry Out Stress Tests
These days, stress testing can be carried out very easy and requires little effort while offering a huge reward. Cloud-based solutions, such as LoadView, offer an easy to use interface and test design environment to get you up and running with your stress tests in no time. Let’s take a quick look at what it takes to create and setup the step-by-step process of stress testing using LoadView.
Collect the system data about website functionality, transactions, user paths, and other parameters you think you should analyze and prepare your test scenarios.
Creating Test Scripts
LoadView offers a point-and-click feature with its EveryStep Web Recorder that you can use to capture user paths and automatically generate scripts for stress Tests. This requires no programming language and is very useful to create virtually any test case and scenario.
After your scripts are ready, you can execute them by setting the load requirements for a specific time period. You can also adjust the load in real-time using one of the three load curves to fine-tune the testing and exploratory testing.
Reporting and Analysis
After the stress test is completed and any performance issues are identified, LoadView generates insightful reports that give you deep visibility into your stress testing data so that you can quickly identify the performance bottlenecks and other defects.
Based on the LoadView reports and analysis, optimize the system and fix the defects to improve your website, application, or API performance to ensure stability and reliability under load conditions.
LoadView offers many competitive advantages, compared to other tools, by running your tests with real browsers and devices from multiple geo-locations to achieve the real-world conditions that make your stress tests highly accurate and efficient.
Stress testing your website, application, API, or streaming media is crucial to avoid failure during high traffic conditions, potentially resulting in huge revenue loss and brand reputation damage. The purpose of stress testing is to find any breaking points or performance deficiencies so you can better optimize overall performance and avoid any website or application crashes during large spikes in visitors. LoadView is a cloud-based load testing tool that you can employ for your stress testing with ease and generate useful reports to optimize and scale. Creating test scripts in LoadView does not require any programming experience and you can start stress testing your website/application within minutes.