Performance Testing vs Load Testing vs Stress Testing: How Are They Different?
Testing, a vital part of the software development process, is often rendered complex on account of a lot of complex terminologies and such. In this article, we will endeavor to address one such query, i.e. the difference between performance testing, load testing, and stress testing.
1. Performance testing: This type of testing is designated for identifying the speed of a device, computer, or network.
- Purpose: The main purpose of performance testing is to establish standards and guidelines for the app.
- Goal: This type of testing is used to verify the app’s scalability, reliability, etc.
- Benefits: As the name suggests, this type of testing helps analyze all factors relevant to performance, including runtime bloat, problems related to speed, latency, etc., and the scope for optimization among other things.
2. Load testing: It refers to the process of simulating user load on a given website or app to gauge the product’s performance during various types of loads.
- Purpose: When a team undertakes load testing, the main goal is to identify the system’s threshold, establish the app’s SLA, and analyze the system’s ability to manage heavy loads.
- Goal: It helps unearth bugs such as memory leaks, buffer overflow, etc.
- Benefits: One of the biggest benefits of load testing is that it enables the evaluation of various scenarios in the context of different parts of the system.
3. Stress testing: This non-functional testing is used to evaluate the system’s stability.
- Purpose: The key aim of stress testing is to gauge the system’s performance under high loads and also how it recuperates from a snafu.
- Goal: Stress testing’s primary goal is to examine post-crash reports to help understand the app’s behavior post-failure.
- Benefits: It enables companies to brace for sudden surges in traffic and leverage more resources to address any issues.
Now, a quick comparison of these three types of testing:
- Load limit: With performance testing, the load limit is designated below as well as above a break whereas, in load testing, the load limit is the threshold itself. In stress testing, the load limit is above the threshold.
- Scope: Think of performance testing as a superset which not only includes load testing and stress testing but also various other types of testing, such as volume testing, scalability testing, etc. Since load testing is a subset of performance testing, it is much narrower in scope and includes only endurance testing and volume testing. Stress testing is even narrower and includes only spike testing and soak testing.
- Attributes tested: In performance testing, one assesses the offering’s availability, reliability, resource usage, etc. When load testing, teams evaluate response time, peak performance, server quantity, etc. And stress testing examines attributes such as response time, stability, etc.
- Examples: Some use cases of performance testing include analyzing response time, concurrent users, HTTP connections, etc. Load testing involves word processor analysis, testing printers, evaluating mail servers, etc. Finally, some stress testing can involve restarting a large network’s ports.
As you can see, system performance testing can take a handful of forms; considering each of their unique applications, it becomes imperative to decide which one of the trio is better suited for your business requirements. It’s a crucial factor as you strive to deliver quality software. To conclude, I would recommend don’t ever neglect performance testing. Trust me it is a great mechanism for increasing customer satisfaction since it offers clients accurate numbers about the application performance of the application. Having a clear idea about the practical differences between these three and how each of them tends to your product’s needs is crucial for making an informed decision.