Stress Testing For Beginners

Stress testing is one of the performance testing types which checks the stability and reliability of applications. Stress testing aims to measure applications’ error handling capabilities and robustness under hefty conditions and ensure that they do not crash under tight situations. It tests beyond regular operating points and evaluates how the applications work under extreme conditions.

Stress Testing is also called Endurance Testing. Under this type of testing, Application Under Test (AUT) is stressed for a short period to know its withstanding capacity. The most crucial use of stress testing is determining the limit at which the system or software or hardware breaks. It checks whether the system demonstrates effective and efficient error management under extreme conditions.

Process of Stress Testing

  1. Planning the Stress Test: You gather the system data, analyze and define the stress test goals
  2. Tweaking and Optimization: You change configurations, fine-tune the system, optimize the code with the plan to meet the desired benchmark.
  3. Create Performance Scripts: You create the performance testing scripts and generate the test data for the stress scenarios.
  4. Script Execution: Here you run the stress testing performance scripts and store the stress results.
  5. Results Analysis: You analyze the test results and identify bottlenecks.

Need for Stress Testing

  • To check whether the system can work under abnormal conditions.
  • Displaying appropriate error messages when the system is under stress.
  • It is good to be prepared for extreme conditions by executing Stress Testing.
  • Under extreme conditions of system failure, it could result in enormous revenue loss.
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Pros

  • It provides an evaluation of how far an application can go beyond target load before causing failures and errors in addition to slowness.
  • It defines whether the data can be corrupted by overstressing the system.
  • It allows establishing application-monitoring triggers to warn about incoming failures.
  • It determines the side effects of standard hardware or supporting application failures.
  • It helps to determine what kind of failures are most valuable to plan for.
  • Ensures that stressful conditions do not disclose security vulnerabilities 

Cons

  • It is very expensive as the environment needs to replicate production environment
  • It becomes inconvenient and burdensome to decide who would automate and who would train.
  • It would require additionally trained and skilled people.

Goals for Stress Testing

  • The purpose of stress testing is to evaluate the system’s actions following a malfunction. A device should show a satisfactory error message for stress testing to be effective, when it is under extreme conditions. 
  • Often, large data sets that could get misplaced during stress testing may be used to do stress testing. When doing stress testing, testers should not lose this security-related info. 
  • The key goal of stress testing is to ensure that after failure, the device recovers, which is called recoverability.

Stress Testing Metrics

Measuring Scalability & Performance

  • Pages per second: It measures how many pages are requested per second
  • Throughput: Basic Metric – Response data size per second
  • Rounds: No. of times test scenarios have been planned vs. Number of times a client has executed

Application Response

  • Hit time: The average time to retrieve an image or a page.
  • Time to the first byte: Time taken to return the first byte of data or information.
  • Page Time: Time taken to retrieve all the information on a page.

Failures

  • Failed Connections: No. of failed connections refused by the client 
  • Failed Rounds: No of the rounds it gets failed
  • Forgotten Hits: Number of failed attempts done by the system 

Types of Stress Testing

  1. Distributed Stress Testing

In this client-server system, testing is done across all clients from the server. The stress server’s role is to distribute stress tests to all stress clients and track their status. Once the client contacts the server, the server adds the client’s name and starts sending data for testing. Meanwhile, client machines send a signal or heartbeat that it is connected with the server. If the server is not receiving any client calls, it needs to be investigated for debugging. The night run is one of the best options to run these stress testing scenarios. Large server farms need a more effective and efficient method for determining which computers have had stress failures that need to be investigated.

  1. Application Stress Testing:
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It concentrates on finding defects related to data locking and blocking performance bottlenecks and network issues in an application.

  1. Systemic Stress Testing:

It is an integrated stress testing that can be tested across multiple systems running on the same server. It is used to find errors where one application data blocks another application.

  1. Transactional Stress Testing:

In this, stress testing is done on one or more transactions between two or more applications. It is used for optimizing and fine-tuning the system.

  1. Exploratory Stress Testing:

It is one of the types of stress testing used to test the system with unusual conditions that are unexpected to occur in a real scenario. It is used to find errors in unforeseen scenarios such as

  1. A large number of users logged in at the same time.
  2. If the virus scanner started in all machines.
  3. If the database is offline when it is accessed from a website.
  4. A large volume of data is inserted into the Database simultaneously.

Best Stress Testing Tools

NeoLoad

NeoLoad is an automated testing platform for organizations continuously testing applications. The platform offers testers and developers automatic test design and maintenance, fast root cause analysis, built-in integrations with the entire SDLC toolchain. It lets you reuse test assets and results from functional testing tools. It supports the full range of web, mobile, and packaged applications, such as SAP, to continuously schedule, manage, and share test resources and results across the organization to ensure application performance. 

FEATURES 

  • Automated API Tests
  • Dynamic Infrastructure
  • Resource Reservation

PRICE

You need to visit the website for the price.

Apache JMeter

JMeter is an automation testing tool that performs load tests, functional tests, regression tests, and 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 stretchable.
  • The tests are stored in XML format.
  • It is platform-independent.
  • Best API automation tool.
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PRICE

It is free to use.

Eggplant

The eggplant testing tool is an automated application testing and debugging tool. It tests a single source of truth for the user experience. Eggplant’s solutions can try cases at any layer from the database.

stress testing

FEATURES

  • It is the best GUI automation testing tool.
  • The testing is done from the user perspective.
  • It is reliable, and the tests are done quickly.
  • It uses a single test script for various scenarios.
  • Integrate with popular test management tools.

PRICE

The license costs around $3400—the second stream costs around $1,700, and the third stream around $850. 

FAQs

What is stress testing?

Stress testing checks the stability and reliability of applications. Stress testing aims to measure applications’ error handling capabilities and robustness under hefty conditions and ensure that they do not crash under tight situations. It tests beyond regular operating points and evaluates how the applications work under extreme conditions. Stress Testing is also called Endurance Testing.

Can stress be automated?

The process should be completely automated so that you can run tests unattended for long periods. At a minimum, the stress-test framework should log which test modules are run and any failures. You can see how the tests were run with each other.

Is stress testing CPU safe?

Unless you’re running the stress tests for a month, you are probably fine. If your CPU hits the critical limits, the PC will shut down before any harm can occur. You could damage your hardware in very rare cases if you let it run for a prolonged period. 

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