What is Stress Testing?

Consider a government recruitment website where usually the traffic is less but let’s say the result of a prominent exam is declared. What happens then? The traffic immediately spikes as the word spreads and all those hundreds of thousands of people rush to the website to check their results. Usually when such a scenario is not planned for, the website cannot handle this unusual traffic and breaks down. Stress Testing is recommended to know such extreme load handling capacity of a system.

Stress Testing is in fact a brute extension of Load Testing. Also known as Endurance Testing, Stress Testing is a type of Performance Testing which is performed by overloading the AUT for a short period of time in order to determine its maximum capacity before it breaks down.

Stress Testing is a very useful technique deployed to determine how robust a system is under extreme load conditions.

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Benefits of Stress Testing

Stress Testing gives the development team a fair idea of how a system responds under extreme stress conditions. It may be necessary to display appropriate error message to the user if such unusual stress conditions arise and the infrastructure cannot be scaled as fast.

Also, for some businesses, a system failure can result in a significant revenue loss. Consider an e-commerce website experiencing downtime during the peak shopping season. This can not only result in immediate revenue loss, but can harm the reputation of the business in long term by ripping it of its goodwill. Such an e-commerce company would lose its clientele to competitors who have a well tested website and is ready to respond to such unuusal traffic.

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