Performance Testing Types

Performance testing, a part of Performance Engineering, is a non-functional testing technique used to test the software quality based on various performance testing metrics such as speed, robustness, reliability, scalability, etc. Performance test engineers use various performance testing techniques to achieve performance goals. Therefore, to help you understand the importance of the performance testing types, here is an illustrated discussion on the same.

Performance Testing Types:

Various performance testing approaches used to monitor the performance of the software are:

  1. Load Testing:: It focuses on how the system behaves under heavy load (number of users and transactions), without performance degradation. Throughput is an important factor that needs to be considered here, as High Throughput in load testing indicates that your application is responding under high load, whereas Low Throughput indicates that your site failed to respond to user requests.Load testing helps us identify:
    • Bottlenecks in an application.
    • Response time of the system under heavy load.
    • The maximum load an application can handle.
  2. Stress Testing: This testing technique identifies the breaking point of an application, by applying the load beyond its capacity, which analyzes:
    • Safe usage point of an application.
    • System’s Robustness.
    • How the software recovers from a failure.
  3. Soak Testing (Endurance Testing): Also known as Capacity Testing or Long Duration Testing, Soak testing checks the performance of the system under test (SUT) for a long period of time, with an expected load. For example, when you are working on your system for 2 hours, it delivers the desired performance. But when you are using the same system for 24 hours, it may behave abnormally due to the extra load that is above its capacity. To identify such failures, Soak testing is performed.
  4. Spike Testing: Spike Testing is an important performance monitoring technique that examines the performance of the system when the workload is increasing and decreasing quickly. For example, when an organization launches great discounts or any new series on its website. Spike testing is done to:
    • Identify the weakness in the system.
    • Examine the system’s behavior under fluctuating load.
    • Calculate the recovery time from the user’s spike load.
  5. Volume Testing: It is also known as Flood Testing, which helps us monitor the software performance by increasing the volume of data in the databases. It checks:
    • Whether the system can handle a large amount of data or not.
    • The response time of the system.
    • The point at which the stability of the system is degrading.
  6. Scalability Testing: This testing technique measures the performance of an application in terms of its ability to scale up or scale down the various attributes or performance testing principles such as:
    • Response Time.
    • Throughput.
    • CPU Usage.
    • Memory Usage.
    • Network Usage.
    • Transaction per second.
    • Hits per second.
  7. Usability Testing: This testing is said to be user-centric, as it evaluates the product by directly testing it on users. It helps us determine how usable, identifiable, and accessible an application is. This testing is done through Performance scripting, which contains actions performed by real-world users. Two methods by which Usability testing can be performed are:
    • Laboratory Usability Testing.
    • Remote Usability Testing.
    This testing uses the performance acceptance criteria to meet user expectations and avoid unexpected results.
  8. Resilience Testing: Resilience testing ensures the system is designed in a manner that it recovers from the difficult or stressed stage, without any loss of data. This test is conducted to:
    • Minimize the risk of failure by using various performance testing tools.
    • Ensure that the application performs well in real-life scenarios.
    • Recover from stressed conditions.
  9. Configuration Testing: This testing considers different hardware-software configurations such as browsers, drivers, system versions, hard drives, etc. to find out the optimal configurations in which the system can work easily without any bugs.
  10. Recovery Testing: It is done to check the restoring capabilities of the system after the crash or failure occurs. For example, you are downloading some applications in your device and suddenly your device switches off due to low battery. After restarting it, you check whether the application downloading continues from the previous stage or not. If it continues, then it has a good recovery rate.
  11. Isolation Testing: Isolation is the process of segregating the system components so that they can be tested individually, to identify the faulty domain.
  12. Security Testing: This testing protects the system from various ongoing attacks and ensures that the system under test (SUT) does not contain any vulnerability. It relates to the following attributes:
    • Availability.
    • Authentication.
    • Authorization.
    • Confidentiality.
    • Non-Repudiation.
  13. Throttle Testing: Throttling in performance testing refers to intentionally increasing or decreasing the internet service to check the software performance. It is used to:
    • Regulate network traffic.
    • Minimize bandwidth congestion.
  14. Breakpoint Testing: This technique identifies the maximum capacity of an application, below which the system can perform the required function.


performance testing types infographics


As we know, the success of an application depends upon its performance. Performance Testing Life Cycle ensures this by testing the software security, usability, stability, etc. to minimize the risk of failure. Moreover, it uses performance testing best practices, along with these tests, to achieve customer satisfaction.

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