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TESTING: WHY STRESS?

What's in this?

  • · What are Performance Bottlenecks?

  • · Why Stress Testing?

  • · What is Stress Testing?

  • · Where Stress Testing?

  • · Stress Testing - Course of Action:

  • · Conclusion

Save from Performance Bottleneck!

Performance bottlenecks can include issues such as

· slow response times,

· resource limitations,

· memory leaks,

· database inefficiencies,

· network latency, or

· scalability problems.


Why Stress testing?

If the applications are slow performing, it will result in user frustration, abandonment, and damage to the company's reputation. To avoid such circumstances, performance bottlenecks should be identified and resolved. By doing so, organizations can enhance their user experience, improve customer satisfaction, retain more users, and protect their brand value. Stress testing helps in uncovering such performance bottlenecks.

What is Stress Testing?

In Software Engineering, Stress Testing is also known as Endurance Testing. In Stress testing, the application

under tests will be put under stress for a short period to know its withstanding capacity. The main use of stress testing is to determine the limit at which the system, software, or hardware breaks.


Example:

The Notepad application cannot open a 10GB file. If a 10 GB text file is opened in Notepad, it can't open the file and throws an error message. The application Notepad is under stress and gives a 'Not Responded' error message, i.e. the application is stressed (loaded beyond its capability) and ensured that it throws proper error messages without getting hung.



Where Stress Testing?

· Commercial shopping apps or websites: During festival seasons, flash sales, or discount periods, there happens to be an increase in the user's traffic and transactions in the shopping apps and websites. Stress testing makes sure that the system handles such a high load preventing any slowdowns or crashes that could negatively impact the user's experience.

· Financial apps or websites: Stock market fluctuations or any important financial news causes a spike in user activity in the financial applications or websites. Stress testing validates that the system handles such increased load ensuring that the user can make transactions and retrieve financial information without any hiccups.

· Web or emailing apps: Web applications, especially those with high traffic or heavy user interaction, need to undergo stress testing to ensure they can handle the load during peak usage times. Emailing apps, which involve processing a large number of incoming and outgoing messages, also benefit from stress testing to ensure prompt message delivery and smooth functioning under heavy loads.

· Social networking websites or apps: Millions of users engage in activities like posting updates, sharing media, and interacting with others. Stress testing ensures that the load generated by numerous user interactions happens simultaneously.


Stress Testing - Course of Action:

Prerequisites:

· All the functional failures of the application under test are fixed and verified.

· The complete end-to-end system is ready and integration tested.

· No new code check-ins that will affect the testing are done.

· Other teams are informed about the testing schedule.

· Backup systems are created in case of some serious issues.


First Step --> Find the Limit:

Identify a baseline performance measurement (maximum limit) under normal operating conditions.

After establishing the baseline, the load can be increased gradually on the system, pushing it towards its capacity limits. This can be done by gradually increasing the number of concurrent users, transactions, or other relevant factors that contribute to load.

Second Step --> Find Load Levels and Scenarios:

Load levels refer to the intensity or magnitude of the workload that will be simulated to stress the system.

Different scenarios to stress the system need to be determined. Scenarios should stimulate extreme loads or peak usage periods that the system may encounter in real-world scenarios like the number of concurrent users, the volume of data, or the complexity of transactions.


Few Sample Test cases for you:


· Test the system's performance by simulating a high number of concurrent users accessing the

· application simultaneously.

· Simulate a sudden surge in user traffic to evaluate the system's ability to handle peak loads.

· Conduct a stress test that runs for an extended period, such as several hours or even days.

· Test the system's performance when handling a large volume of data.

· Evaluate the system's performance under high resource utilization scenarios, such as high CPU or memory usage.

· Stress tests the system by increasing the rate of transactions or operations beyond its normal capacity.


Third Step --> Select Testing Tools:

When Stress Testing is done manually, it is a very complicated and tedious job too. It may also not yield the expected results. The tools utilized for functional testing may not be sufficient for stress testing. Therefore, it is necessary to determine if a separate tool solely for this testing is required.

The following tools are used most commonly for carrying out Stress testing.


LoadRunner: LoadRunner, developed by HP (Hewlett-Packard), is a widely-used load testing tool. It allows for comprehensive load testing of applications and provides load test results that are often considered benchmark measurements.

Jmeter: Jmeter is an open-source testing tool written in Java. Jmeter can simulate high loads and analyze application performance. It is compatible with JDK 5 or higher.



Scan to go to Jmeter Website




Stress Tester: Stress Tester is a user-friendly testing tool that provides results in a graphical format.


NeoLoad: NeoLoad is a testing tool for web and mobile applications. It can simulate thousands of users to evaluate application performance under load.


Scan to go to NeoLoad




Fourth Step --> Execute Stress Tests:

Run the stress tests by subjecting the system to the predetermined scenarios and load levels. Monitor the system's performance, including response times, resource utilization, and error rates throughout the testing process.

Fifth Step --> Analyze Results:

The stress test result has to be analyzed. Performance bottlenecks if any, are to be observed, and the root cause of the issue is to be determined.

Sixth Step --> Optimize and Retest:

Based on the analysis, optimize the system by addressing the identified bottlenecks, and after implementing the changes, retest the system to validate the effectiveness of the optimizations and ensure that the performance has improved.


Conclusion:

By investing time and effort into stress testing, organizations can identify performance issues, optimize system performance, and deliver a high-performing software application to their users.

In summary, stress testing is an important part of the software development lifecycle, and adding it to your testing strategy ensures that the application performs optimally even under demanding conditions, leading to improved user satisfaction and business success.


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