Spike Testing

Spike Testing
The performance of a software has to be evaluated under many different conditions. Some of these conditions would be normal and everyday routine but some would be rare and yet important to its success. Testing of all such situations is necessary to make sure that no matter what the conditions the software still performs at an optimum level. One such type of load testing is Spike Testing. The endeavor of this article is to help you gather more information about Spike Testing.

Definition Of Spike Testing

The testing process in which the system or software is sometimes overloaded and yet at other times the load is decreased tremendously is known as Spike Testing. In fact, the word "Spike" means a peak, it can either mean a high peak or increased load, or a low peak wherein the load is reduced. Here the load can refer to either the number of simultaneous users or the density of data that is used as input.

Purpose Of Spike Testing

The main purpose of Spike Testing is to access:

  • How Well The System Performs – The main aim of Spike Testing is to access how well the load is managed by the software when it oscillates between two opposite spectrums. When the load is less, things are bound to move smoothly but when the load suddenly increases the system might just hang or crash. To avoid such an extreme response post the launch, Spike Testing is done.
  • Recovery Time – The software has to recover between two subsequent spikes or peaks as it impacts the performance. As a result, the recovery time needs to be minimal and yet sufficient enough for the system to perform at its optimum best.

Benefit Of Spike Testing

The various advantages of Spike Testing are:

  • Regulates The Software Performance – Business continuity has to be maintained at all costs and this is possible only if the software performs as intended. When there is a drastic increase or decrease in a load of any system, there is bound to be some erratic behavior. Spike Testing is the most appropriate way of judging the performance of the software even under such stressful conditions.
  • Helps Access Extreme Case Scenarios – While regular testing the worst case scenarios are not always addressed. But overlooking them does not mean that they will not occur. As such each software has to be ready for such eventualities. One such worst case scenario is loading, the impact of which can be judged and minimized through Spike Testing.

Drawback Of Spike Testing

The only foreseeable drawback of Spike Testing is that it is an expensive activity as it requires setting up of special test conditions. But, in the long run, its benefits supersede its drawback.


Spike Testing is a type of load test that accesses the software performance when there is an extreme shift in load. It is very useful in making the software recovery time efficient by removing all roadblocks. This ensures that the software will be performing at its best in no given time and with minimum fuss.