Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Load Testing

What is Load Testing?

Definition of Load Testing

- Load testing is the act of testing a system under load.

Load testing is usually carried out to a load 1.5x the SWL (Safe Working Load) periodic recertification is required.

Load testing is a way to test performance of an application/product.

In software engineering it is a blanket term that is used in many different ways across the professional software testing community.

Testing an application under heavy but expected loads is known as load testing. It generally refers to the practice of modeling the expected usage of a software program by simulating multiple users accessing the system's services concurrently. As such, load testing is most relevant for a multi-user system, often one built using a client/server model, such as a web server tested under a range of loads to determine at what point the system's response time degrades or fails. Although you could perform a load test on a word processor by or graphics editor forcing it read in an extremely large document; on a financial package by forcing to generate a report based on several years' worth of data, etc.

There is little agreement on what the specific goals of load testing are. The term is often used synonymously with performance testing, reliability testing, and volume testing.

Why is load testing important?

Increase uptime and availability of the system

Load testing increases your uptime of your mission-critical systems by helping you spot bottlenecks in your systems under large user stress scenarios before they happen in a production environment.

Measure and monitor performance of your system

Make sure that your system can handle the load of thousands of concurrent users.

Avoid system failures by predicting the behavior under large user loads

It is a failure when so much effort is put into building a system only to realize that it won't scale anymore. Avoid project failures due to not testing high-load scenarios.

Protect IT investments by predicting scalability and performance

Building a product is very expensive. The hardware, the staffing, the consultants, the bandwidth, and more add up quickly. Avoid wasting money on expensive IT resources and ensure that the system will all scale with load testing.

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