Soak Testing For Beginners

Soak testing is a type of performance testing executed by the team to verify its stability and performance. Soak tests are usually used by organizations to test the software’s reaction under test by putting it under a duplicate environment for a given period.

This type of testing generally falls under load tests and includes the ability to simulate peak loads instead of average ones. Soak testing is used to check whether a system may behave abnormally after being used continuously for long durations.

EXAMPLE: In the banking domain case, when there is a large amount of data, the tester will continuously put the system under load for 80hrs to 150 hrs to check how the application behaves during this loading period.

Features of Soak Testing

  1. It identifies issues related to memory leaks and allocation, log file handles, & database resource utilization.
  2. It tests the system under load and checks the load volume that it can withstand for an extended period.
  3. While conducting soak testing, the user needs to run the application continuously for a long period, without any halt, to ensure the response time, privacy policy, and more.
  4. The observations made during the soak test are used by the team to improve the product under further tests.
  5. Soak testing is non-functional testing, which is also called endurance testing.

Soak Testing Strategy

Long Session Soak Monitoring is a technique where for a longer time a system is under pressure. 

A basic example is where the customer remains to log in for a number of hours making a number of business activities in a system. In this way, a lot of knowledge gets generated. 

Process of Soak Testing

Before executing the soak testing, testers prepare a strategy that helps them to create an application that delivers performance under various conditions. The strategy has four stages:

  1. Test Environment: The team figures out which software, hardware, database, or Operating system will be used to perform the soak testing.
  2. Test Scenarios: Once the test environment is finalized, the team moves on to designing, reviewing, and finalizing the test scenarios. The team determines the volume of the load under which the software will be tested.
  3. Test Estimation: At this stage, the team defines the duration of the soak test.
  4. Risk Analysis: The last stage is where the possible risks and issues are discussed and analyzed, based on which an appropriate plan is prepared by the team.

PROS

  • It ensures the quality of the software and helps it withstand a high volume of load.
  • The results of the soak test are used to improve the customer’s infrastructure requirements.
  • Shows how sustainably the software system runs overtime.
  • With the assistance of soak testing, one can provide the performance and usage of various system resources.
  • It detects bugs in the system that are not detected by other performance tests.
  • It detects deterioration in the system’s performance.

CONS

  • It is a time-consuming process and can lead to a delay in the delivery of the product.
  • The team requires tools to execute soak testing as it runs for a long duration, and it consumes excessive data.
  •  It can impact the software’s workings and lead to data loss or corruption if the test environment is not detached from the live environment.

Issues observed during Soak Testing

  1. It can lead to performance degradation, i.e., to make sure that the response time after a long period of activity is as good as it was at the beginning of the test.
  2. The gradual degradation of some functions’ response time as internal data-structures becomes less efficient during a long test.
  3. Failure to close database cursors under certain conditions which would result in the entire system stalling.
  4. Memory leaks that would result in a memory crisis that manifest only over time.
  5. Fails to close connections between tiers of a multi-tiered system under some circumstances could stall some modules of the system.

When to perform soak testing

  1. Before releasing any application on a platform, it needs to go through a series of tests at high traffic levels. Once soak testing is performed, it helps to determine how to run a particular application for an extended period. If any issues like memory leaks are found during the period, it should be immediately reported.
  2. The best time to implement soak testing is over the weekends as an application needs to be run for as long as over a day or night. Soak tests are one of the most important compliance requirements that every company must strictly follow.

Best Soak Testing Tools

Apache JMeter

JMeter is an automation testing tool which performs load test, functional test, regression test, on different technologies. It supports various types of applications, protocols, and servers like  SOAP, TCP, FTP. SOAP, LDAP MOM, shell scripts, Mail Protocols, Java objects, database.

FEATURES 

  • It is open-source software.
  • Interactive and straightforward GUI.
  • It is highly protractile.
  • The test plans are stored in XML format.
  • It is platform-independent.
  • Best API automation tool.

PRICE

It is free to use.

LoadRunner

Loadrunner is a  solution for Performance Testing by Hewlett-Packard (HP). It is one of the best-automated tools for Performance Testing and has occupied almost 50 percent of the market share. Loadrunner simulates hundreds of virtual users into your application, monitor different performance metrics, and isolate another client and server bottlenecks.

soak testing

FEATURES 

  • Cloud Testing.
  • Root Cause Analytics.
  • Supports a Wide Range of Apps.
  • Continuous Testing.
  • Mobile Testing.
  • Interactive User Transaction Simulation.

PRICE

  • COMMUNITY EDITION-Free
  • VIRTUAL USER DAYS-$0.56/virtual user day
  • ENTERPRISE EDITION-Contact vendor

FAQs

What is Soak Testing?

Soak testing is a type of testing executed by the team to verify its stability and performance. Soak tests are usually used by organizations to test the software’s reaction under test by putting it under a duplicate environment for a given period.

Why is there a need for a Soak Testing?

A system may normally perform when used for 2 hours, but when the same plan is used continuously for 10-12 hours or more than that, then it may fail randomly, or it may crash. To predict such failure, Soak Testing is performed.

When to perform a Soak Testing?

The best time to implement soak testing is over the weekends as an application needs to be run for as long as over a day or night. Soak tests are one of the most important compliance requirements that every company must strictly follow.

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