Load testing can be perceived as a kind of performance checking. Mentioned type of testing shows the efficiency of a system productivity under real-life load conditions. Such checking helps to understand the behavior of a platform when multiple users accessing it at the same time.
What can load testing determine?
- The maximum operational capability of a site or an app.
- The system adaptability and infrastructure conformity for a successful running.
- The sustainability of a product under the heavy load.
- The scalability for further site improvement.
Importance of load testing before the holidays
A few years ago Google found out that 53% of mobile site visitors left the page if they had to wait for its loading for more than 3 seconds. Such a trend continues. It’s important to catch and keep a user’s attention. On a pre-holiday period, many visitors want to take advantage of discounts. It’s better to perform testing in a few months before the holidays, so it will be possible to solve the detected bugs before “X-days”. Why? Because there’s a chance that the application or a website will fall down at the most inappropriate moment, bring economic loss and problems with reputation. If you still have some doubts regarding the importance of load testing, we have collected the examples of other companies. Check them out.
- After the successful advertising campaign, a well-known online-store Toysrus.com wasn’t able to handle the increased traffic. Such a situation resulted in a loss of sales, image, customers, and money.
- Encyclopedia Britannica has announced a free access to their online database (it was a promotional offer). The user’s flow was so huge, that problems with the site appeared pretty quickly.
- A Florida state exam was in jeopardy because the thousands of students couldn’t log-on to computerized exams. An exam supplier American Institute of Research wasn’t able to upload test to the platform for numerous simultaneous logins.
- A famous ticketing website Fandango didn’t cope with the influx of fans that wanted to buy tickets to the new Star Wars. The site worked very slowly and it completely stopped working when traffic increased.
- Beyonce’s official website also was crushed under the fan’s activity. It happened after her tour Super Bowl 2016 announcement.
Load testing process
To get acquainted with the load testing process more thoroughly, it’s better to give a short sketch of its performance. A tester needs to:
1. Create a test environment (server machines, memory, processors, server software).
2. Find out the testing transactions for a platform:
– the number of users;
– connection speeds;
– the most popular browsers among users and operating systems.
3. Make a test scenario monitoring and execution.
4. Analyze the results and suggest ways for improvement.
5. Re-test to be sure that the platform is ready to withstand a load.
For the better understanding of the testing process, it will be useful to know about its types.
The types of load testing
- . It constantly enhances the load to find bottlenecks and weak points. Moreover, the test will double the traffic to detect the maximum permissible limit. Stress testing helps to analyze the behavior of the system before and after failure in extreme conditions. Stress testing includes systemic checking (integrated testing which makes the multiple systems inspection on the same server); exploratory checking (testing for the system with extraordinary parameters), transactional checking (testing performs on a few transactions between 2-3 applications).
- The main task of this checking is to figure out practical performance limits. It does allow finding both, the average and peak traffic level. There appeared the situation simulations “what if”, which shows the impact of changes on website or application, happened under the user’s activity.
- The main peculiarity of this test is graduality. It increases traffic and finds thresholds in practice. For validating auto-scaling environments it’s hard to find something better. Testing shows how every part of the application reacts to the increasing number of users.
It must be noted, that load testing can be performed with the help of special tools. Such a method is able to stimulate a great number of possible visitors. The main task of load testing lies in a finding of the largest possible number of requests per second that a server can handle. After sending the maximum number of requests to the server, the QA-specialist defines the number of successfully returned requests. The last one step includes the search for the highest practical throughput. To sum up, it’s better to remind of the load testing importance and the necessity to entrust such a process to a reliable company, which has a highly qualified QA-specialists and all the modern software and hardware.
If you would like to perform load testing, however lack of time or QA resources, you can always outsource.