Performance Testing vs. Load Testing vs. Stress Testing

Testing is one of the ways by which a specific parameter is evaluated under different conditions or situations. Testing can be defined of various types such as performance, load or stress testing depending on the parameters which need to be tested. Let us see a difference between all these three types of testing.

Performance Testing:It is one of the ways to evaluate the performance of system components under specific conditions. Performance testing is a long term process in which different parameters can be evaluated and included such as Stress, load testing, endurance, spike, scalability, reliability, capacity and volume testing etc. This type of testing method is basically used to provide a benchmark results and standards for application. The results of this testing does not mark it as pass or fail but instead different parameters can be tested based on the required characteristics to be tested. The applications developed these days are tested against some specific parameter such as throughput, latency, speed, scalability, stability, response time etc. So basically all these parameters can be evaluated under performance testing.

Load Testing:This type of testing is nothing but a subset of performance testing. In this testing procedure, load on the application is increased for a specific interval of time until it reaches the threshold point. The main idea behind this type of testing is to check the upper limit of application parameters in terms of its software and hardware aspects. Examples of load testing can be run on various applications at the same time starting from testing one application and so on. Load testing can be used to determine the throughput, adequacy of Hardware environment, load balancing, peak production load and how much different type of applications it can handle in order to achieve optimum performance levels. If multiple applications are running on the server then one can see the performance of system. Endurance test can also be considered to be a type of load testing. One can evaluate the performance of metrics such as failure and mean time of failure or success.

Stress Testing:This type of testing can be used to evaluate the performance of application beyond a specific load limit and under different conditions. This functionality testing is basically tested to identify the system status under high or peak hour load. Normally these can be issues related to high stress such as memory leak, race conditions etc. Some of the experts have even called as a type of fatigue testing as well. It is essential for the applications developed these days to be tested under different stress conditions and this can be a useful method of testing the dimensioning limit of an application for deciding the peak hour load traffic. One of the most common types of stress testing also involves spike test. Under a spike test, application is subjected to different load conditions for a specific interval of time. The analysis under different load conditions can help identify situations under which production operations would be subjected to different conditions. Stress testing can be useful way to check the errors in performance and evaluate the slowness of application at different user loads. Apart from this it can also be useful to identify whether there are any security loop holes in the system under over loads or how the hardware responds under different load conditions. Some of the testing methods have been useful to also identify the data corruption issues under over loads as well.

There can be various type of testing methods used to check the performance of an application or product. The idea is to test under specific parameters and evaluate the performance of these parameters under different situations. This can help make a better and robust application.

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