Stress Testing: Best practices
Stress testing is a type of software testing that verifies the reliability and stability of devices under extreme load. The test determines the robustness of the system when there is huge traffic. In other words, it is very important to perform the test in order to understand the efficiency of the device.
In software engineering, stress testing is also known as Endurance testing. Under stress testing, AUT is to be stressed for a shorter period of time to see whether it can withstand load.
What is the Need for Stress Testing
During a festive season or during a sale, there is a spike in traffic, thus increasing the necessity to perform stress testing. In fact, the failure to accommodate this spurge in traffic may result in loss of revenue and reputation. The brand loyalty may also be at stake. The need for stress testing also arises in the following cases:
- To check if the system works under abnormal conditions
- Whether the system displays error message if the system is under stress
- System failure under extreme condition could result in enormous revenue loss
- It is
always recommended to be prepared for extreme conditions by performing stress
Goals of Stress Testing
The primary goal of stress testing is to analyze the behaviour of the system or the device after a failure. The most important factor is to check whether the device shows the appropriate error message while it is facing extreme conditions.
Testers should ensure that they do not lose security-related data while doing stress testing. However, the main purpose of stress testing is to ensure that the system can recover after a failure, which is known as recoverability.
So, here are some stress testing-related best practices:
Define governance and scope:
Stress testing is immensely important for banks and financial entities since they witness huge influx of users. While doing the tests, it should be ensured that there are dedicated teams for the same, coordinating the process between various other teams.
Data and Infrastructure
Testing involves a large amount of data and equal amount of data is at stake. Ensure that the data is not lost when the testing is being done. Also ensure that the system is not hacked in the middle because then the entire purpose of testing would go in vain.
The senior management should always be involved
Stress management should be in sync with the business planning process and the institution’s day-to-day risk management practice. The process should align with the management of concentration risk.
Invest in efficient tools
Investing in efficient tools is a must and should not be ignored. It must be understood that only the best tools can provide the best results and can even get the process done unattended.
Types of stress testing
Distributed stress testing:
In distributed client-server systems, testing is done across all clients from the server. The role of stress server is to distribute a set of stress tests to all stress clients and track on the status of client. After the client contacts the server, the server adds the name of the client and starts sending data for testing. Client machines send heartbeat or signals that it is connected with the server. If that does not happen, the system has to be checked for bugs.
Application Stress testing:
This testing concentrates on finding defects related to locking and blocking, network issues, and performance bottlenecks in an application.
Transactional stress testing:
It does stress testing on one or more transactions between two or multiple applications. It is also used for fine tuning and optimizing the device or the systems.
Systemic stress testing:
This is an integrated stress testing which can be tested across multiple systems running on the same server. It is used to find defects where one application data blocks another application.
Exploratory stress testing:
It is used to test the device or application in unusual scenarios and parameters. In fact, these scenarios ae unlikely to be experienced in real situations. Some of these scenarios include a large number of users logged in a single given point, a virus scanner started in all the machines simultaneously, the database going offline when accessed from a website, and large number of data inserted in the database simultaneously.