Performance vs. load vs. stress testing- Understanding the differences

To understand the differences between performance, load as well as stress testing, let us take a look at what each kind of evaluation process incorporates. In most cases, one thinks that these terms can be interchanged, however, on the contrary, the notions are different, individual, even unique from each other.

What is performance testing?

1. Is it to search for bugs?

2. To get done away with bottlenecks?

3. To set a benchmark for all evaluation in future?

4. To check on measurement as well as analysis processes used while evaluation process is on?

5. What are the set defined expectations for the same?

6. What is the acceptable response time?

All of the answers to the questions above needs to be available before performance tests can be defined in totality. When there is an answer for each of them, only then would a tester be able to increase the capacity of the procedure, as well as check for bottlenecks.

The process would be different at various stages, namely the application level, the database level, operating system level as well as at the network level too. Most would use a white box approach for the same; here is where inspection or monitoring of the system is done, inside out and from various angles. Measurements would be taken and an analysis for the same would be done, which means tuning the process for the best results.

When the black box approach for the same is taken, the load tests are run defying the under evaluation process meant for systems. When it is seen through this method that the expectations aren’t met, tuning then is done right from the application across the end of the database. Once the running of the database and the application is tuned or done, and if the expectations are still not met keeping in mind the performance, varied tuning options would then be used on various levels.

What is load testing?

It is a part of tuning and performance test. Using automated tools, the tester would continuously go on increasing the load testing frequency. In layman terms, load testing means making the system exercise using tests, and this is done by making it consume tasks that are larger than it usually has to deal with. Other names for such procedures are endurance, volume and longevity testing. With load testing, one learns about;

1.  Bug exposing

2.  Cursory evaluation methods

3.  Bug and memory management

4.  Memory leaks

5.  Buffer overflows

6.  How to meet performance baseline using performance testing

7.  How to run regression tests

8.  Using a predefined load level during evaluation

9.  Using mammoth databases for load testing

What is stress testing?

When a system is overwhelmed with the resources it is fed with, it breaks down. And when a system is snatched off its resources, it stops working altogether. This is when stress testing is looked into, say experts, and the process is also called negative testing. It could be looked as being a crazy way to deal with systems, but this crazy process in fact is the only way to fathom if a failed system would be strong enough to recover with grace when need be, qualitatively especially.

In the case of performance testing, a controlled environment is needed along with measurements that can be repeatable. But when you have unpredictability and chaos in a joyful manner, you have stress testing. There could be various other ways of breaking any system, but one doesn’t use stress testing for the sake of happily breaking a system. In fact, it allows testers to check on how the system would cope and work, in case there is the occurrence of a failure.

Stress testing allows you to check;

1.  The capability of a system upon failures

2.  Can it save it self when a crash happens all of a sudden or not?

3.  The state of failure- crash boom bang or graceful ending?

4.  The error messages when received, are they relevant and of good use to the user or not?

5.  Are there hex codes given which make no sense at all?

6.  Have there been failures because of the lack of security?

So, we can see that although performance, load and stress testing have some similarities amongst themselves, each process comes with some or the other uniqueness. Using a combination of these evaluation processes can help systems perform better with due positive results. You can hire performance testers from testing companies who can help you in testing and analyzing your application performance.

We provide load testing services. If you want to hire software testers for your software testing needs, please contact us at Mindfire Solutions.
Performance vs. load vs. stress testing- Understanding the differences Performance vs. load vs. stress testing- Understanding the differences Reviewed by Nishit Prakash on 22:19:00 Rating: 5

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