Load, stress and performance testing: When do we use it?

There are many testing methods that can be used to verify and optimize the performance of our applications. The most commonly used testing methods include load testing, stress testing and performance testing. In this article, we'll look at when to use these testing methods.

Non-functional test types

Load testing, stress testing and performance testing are testing methods aimed at checking and optimizing software performance. Although these tests serve similar purposes - as all three are non-functional software test types - there are differences between each method that should be considered when applying them in practice. Each type of test focuses on different aspects and serves different purposes.

Load testing in practice

During load testing, we check the loadability of the IT system, that is, how much load the system can withstand without reducing the response time. Load testing simulates real application load. This test is usually performed to determine the capacity of the system.

During load testing, we check the following:

  • The response time of the system under load,
  • The use of system resources (CPU, memory, etc.) under load,
  • System stability and reliability under load.

With the help of load testing, we identify the weak points of the system and optimize its performance. This improves the user experience and increases the reliability of the system.

Stress testing in practice

Stress testing is a non-functional testing method in which we expose the system to extreme loads in order to find out how the overload affects the system. This test is usually used in situations where the system is exposed to an unexpectedly increased load.

During stress testing, we check the following:

  • System stability under extreme load,
  • The ability of the system to stabilize after loading,
  • System reliability in unexpected situations.

With the help of this type of test, we can determine whether the system can handle unexpected loads and quickly recover its stability, and whether the application remains continuously available to users.

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Performance testing in practice

Performance testing is used to measure and check system performance. The purpose of performance testing is to find out whether the system meets the expected performance levels and user needs. In practice, during performance testing, we measure the response time, speed and scalability of the system with various tests.

During performance testing, we check the following:

  • The response time and speed of the system,
  • The scalability of the system,
  • System performance under load.

With the help of performance testing, we can optimize the performance of the system. The result is a fast and reliable application that meets user needs.

Complementary tests

Load test, stress test, and performance test are all testing methods that can be used to check and optimize the performance of our applications. Load test checks the loadability of the system, stress test examines the limits of the system, while performance test measures and checks the performance of the system. In practice, these testing methods do not replace but complement each other in order to ensure the reliability, stability and efficiency of the IT system for users.

Performance testing tools

Today, performance tests are increasingly performed with the help of automated platforms, which not only speed up, but also greatly facilitate the execution of performance tests.

ProofIT's PeACE performance testing and evaluation tool meets the performance testing needs of all companies with complex IT systems. In addition, the formulation and implementation of the tests can also be taught to users without technical programming knowledge. Thus, in the case of PeACE, the production and interpretation of measurement results do not require difficult and expensive development resources.

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Sources: 1, 2

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