Stress Testing: What is it? How to perform it?

Stress Testing: What is it? How to perform it?

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Anshuman
Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content
Updated on Apr 3, 2024 16:00 IST

It makes no difference whether you are a machine, an application, or a human being; stressing beyond a certain point can have serious consequences. One of these outcomes of those consequences is that the item is destroyed or breaks, causing a significant problem. So, in order to prevent such consequences from occurring in software, humans test the software using stress testing.

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So, what exactly is stress testing? Stress testing is a software testing technique that verifies a software application’s stability and reliability. Stress testing is also known as “Endurance or Torture testing” in software engineering.

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Before delving deeper into stress testing, let’s go over the topics listed in the table of contents (TOC) that we will cover in this article.

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What is stress testing? 

Stress testing definition: Stress testing is a software testing technique that determines the limit at which the software breaks or crashes when tested under extremely high workloads.

The main goal of stress testing is to test the software based on its error-handling techniques, robustness, and availability. In layman’s terms, this technique aims to find the extent to which the software can normally work under heavy or extreme loads.

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The testers test the software beyond the usual operating point in order to analyze how the system works under those conditions and whether it displays an appropriate error message. Software should display an appropriate error message under extreme conditions for stress testing to be successful.

This all is done, just for two primary purposes, which are:

  • To determine the limit of the software: under how much workload will it stop behaving normally or crash?
  • To examine the recoverability factor of the software: will the system be able to recover after a failure?

Types of stress testing? 

Stress testing can be categorized into five main types, such as:

  • Server-client stress test
  • Product stress test
  • Transaction stress test
  • Systematic stress test
  • Analytical stress test

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Let’s explore each of these stress testing types in a tabular format.

Stress testing type Description
Server-client This involves testing throughout all clients connected to the server.
Product This is done to explore defects in a software product related to data locking and blocking, network problems, and performance overcrowding.
Transaction This involves testing one or more transactions among two or more applications.
Systematic Testing is carried out across multiple systems operating on the same server in order to detect errors where the first application data stops another.
Analytical This testing is done to put the system through its paces with unusual criteria or requirements that are extremely unlikely to happen in a real-world scenario.

Metrics for stress testing 

In order to calculate the performance of the stress, testers use metrics. Let’s explore some of the most common testing metrics, such as:

  • Hit time: This metric measures how much time was taken to retrieve an image or a page.
  • Pages per second: This metric measures how many pages have been requested and loaded per second.
  • Failure of connection: This metric measures how often a client faces a connection failure in their system.
  • Pages retrieved: This metric measures how much time was taken in order to retrieve all information from a particular page.
  • Transaction response time: This metric measures how much time was taken in order to load or perform transactions between the applications.

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Stress testing tools 

When the software being tested has many functionalities or areas to test, it can be challenging to perform stress testing manually. Simply put, this type of testing on an extensive application or project is challenging. As a result, in order to reduce effort and time, testers employ a variety of tools.

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Here are some of the best stress testing tools:

  • NeoLoad: This tool enables testers to stress test all web-based applications, business intelligence applications, and mobile applications.
  • WebLoad: This tool provides testers with heavy user load requirements, allowing them to perform various testings, such as Load or Stress, etc., using cloud machines.
  • LoadView: This tool enables testers to perform this testing in browsers that provide accurate and precise data close to real users.
  • LoadNinja: This tool cuts stress testing time in half. This is accomplished by allowing the testers to create a codeless comfortable load test. With this tool, testers can debug a wide range of software applications in real-time and detect issues with instance performance.

How to perform stress testing? 

Stress testing is not a complex process, if done using right tools and correct order. You can perform this testing by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Planning: This is the first step. The goal of this step is to collect system data, define stress test goals, and analyse the system.
  2. Creating automation scripts: The second step is to create automation scripts. The goal of this step is to create the testing scripts and testing dataset.
  3. Ececuting the script: The third step is to execute the script. The goal of this step is to run or execute the testing scripts while also saving the testing results.
  4. Analyzing the result:The fourth step is to analyse the results. The goal of this step is to analyse the stress test results and identify limitations.
  5. Optimizing the system: The fifth step is to optimise the system. The goal of this step is to tweak the system, optimise the code, and change configuration settings to achieve the intended result.
  6. Retesting: The sixth step is to retest the system. The goal of this step is to retest the system and repeat steps 1–4 until you achieve the desired result.
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Why is stress testing crucial?

In order to understand the importance of stress testing, let’s go through an example. Assume you are the onwer of an e-commenrce website, such as Amazon. Now, you have decided to have a Christimas sale on this 25th.

Due to huge reduction or discount in prices, a lot of customers will be visting the Amazon site. What do you think, will happen if only 10-15% of those potential customers are unable to browse the item which they want to buy, unable to add it in the cart, or the site goes down because of excessive load.

This all will cause a huge impact in your organization’s reputation as well as it’s finanaces. Hence, performing stress testing is a must. This type of testing is crucial because of various other reasons, such as:

  • To prepare for extreme conditions
  • To see if the system works in unusual circumstances.
  • In order to prevent system failure which in turns saves your organization from a massive revenue loss.

Advantages and disadvantages of stress testing 

Let’s explore some of the advantages and disadvantages.

Here are the advantages:

  • Helps to ensure that system failure does not result in security problems
  • Tends to make the system work properly in both standard and abnormal conditions
  • Determines how the system behaves after a failure and guarantees that it recovers quickly

Here are the disadvantages :

  • Takes a longer time to complete and is quite complicated
  • Performing this type of testing manually becomes a tedious and complicated task to complete.
  • Performing this type of testing requires additional resources, which makes this testing bit costlier.

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Conclusion

Stress testing is a software testing technique that determines the maximum workload at which the software will break or crash. The primary goal of stress testing is to evaluate the software’s error-handling techniques, robustness, and availability. In layman’s terms, this technique seeks to determine the extent to which software can normally function under heavy or extreme loads.

If you have any queries related to the article, please feel free to send your queries to us through a comment. We will be happy to help.

Happy learning!!

FAQs

What is stress testing?

Stress testing is a software testing technique that determines the limit at which the software breaks when tested under extremely high workloads.

What are different types of stress testing?

There are five stress testing types, such as: Server-client stress testing Product stress testing Transaction stress testing Systematic stress testing Analytical stress testing

What is the main goal behind performing stress testing?

The main goal of stress testing is to test the software based on its error-handling techniques, robustness, and availability. In layman's terms, this technique aims to find the extent to which the software can normally work under heavy or extreme loads.

How stress testing is performed?

Stress testing can be performed using these five steps: Planning, Creating automation scripts, Executing the script, Analyzing the result, Optimizing the system, and Reseting.

Why is stress testing important

Stress testing is essential because it aids in the improvement of governance, quantitative analytical capabilities, data quality, and risk management practises.

About the Author
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Anshuman Singh
Senior Executive - Content

Anshuman Singh is an accomplished content writer with over three years of experience specializing in cybersecurity, cloud computing, networking, and software testing. Known for his clear, concise, and informative wr... Read Full Bio