what is a performance testing

What is performance testing? And it’s types?

NB: This article does not contain technical data, but rather is aimed at business, to show the main points in performance testing and how this can affect your business.

Performance testing is a collection of tests that helps to determine the efficiency, stability, resource consumption, and various other factors belonging to an application, whilst its being used. It can help you appropriately design your application to the scale you need. Since every business has a different number of users, and they usually do
grow over time due to popularity, a performance test helps ensure that your application can accommodate accordingly. Especially now, when the growth of computing power has decreased, the volume of processed data increases, and the number of users and requests to systems continue to grow, the issues of performance and its testing are becoming a topic of discussion in the professional world.

Here, we decided to cover the main types of tests and what to consider when performing them in order to obtain relevant results.

Here are the most common types of performance testing

Stress Test

This is a common test performed for systems like e-commerce websites. Often this type s carried out if the owner of the webpage foresees a sharp increase in the load of their system. Like on a special sale day when many users attempt to purchase items, the load will suddenly increase. This test, which is usually done first, will replicate that kind
of situation. The load would gradually increase, until the application stops working correctly. At the end of the test, the number of users that the application withstood, meeting the performance requirements, and how many it could not, are recorded. The number of users that the application withstood during the test, will be the performance limit for your webpage.

Load Test

This test begins with the system being loaded for 4-8 hours. At this time, performance metrics are collected, things like the number of requests per second, transactions per second, response time from the server, percentage of errors in responses, utilization of hardware resources, etc. The collected metrics are checked to make sure that they
comply with the specified requirements. The output also has localization of bottlenecks in the applications performance and defects, has detailed profiling of all system components, and shows the utilization of hardware resources under the target load. Overall, we get an answer the big question, does the system meet the performance requirements?

Volume Test (Testing on large amounts of data)

The point of this test is to figure out what would happen to the system with an increase of data over time. This type of testing helps make a prediction about the health of the application, and is similar to load testing in that it applies a similar load. Thus, we can find the answer to questions about how the performance of the application will differ in years to come and under a growth in audience.

Scalability Test

The load profile is the same as for load testing. This particular test answers questions like: Will the performance of the application increase if additional hardware resources are added? Will the performance increase in proportion to the amount of hardware added?

Performance testing can also be categorized into check lists

When testing sites, the following is checked:

  • Number of Users: How many requests were made during a specific period of time?
  • Response Time: How much time does it takes to fulfill user requests?
  • Requests Per Second: How many requests are sent by users to the server?
  • Transactions Per Second: Measures the number of transactions sent by users to the server
  • Percentage of Errors: What is the percentage of errors in the total number of responses to the user per unit of time?
  • Processor: How much is the processor loaded when performing a task?
  • RAM: How much of the physical memory, MB, is used up?
  • Hard Disk: How much of the disk space has been used?

When testing mobile applications, the following is checked:

  • The process of the application working in the same way in different network conditions
  • Searching for various untrusted places that can disrupt the performance of the applications
  • Whether the application can handle the required load volumes
  • What is the response time, because it must meet the requirements
  • Whether the application is stable with a large number of users
  • If the application will work with an unstable internet connection
  • And to observe the client-server configuration, which should provide the desired performance.

When testing games, the following is checked:

  • Games are checked in different settings (minimum, medium, and maximum quality mode)
  • The average FPS (Frames Per Second) is measured at different settings
  • The load of the central processor is checked in different game modes (menu, loading, gameplay, etc.)
  • RAM load is checked
  • The performance of the game is assessed
  • The behavior of the system is checked when minimizing or expanding the game, with different settings.

Performance Testing Tools

Also, in performance testing, there are many tools that can help do these kinds of tests.
Here are some examples:

  • LoadView: One of the most powerful performance testing tools, it utilizes popular features like “Point and Click” scripting, global cloud infrastructure, and real browser testing.
  • Apache JMeter: This is a load testing tool developed by the Apache Software Foundation. The program implements mechanisms for authorizing virtual users, supports user sessions. It has an organized log of test results and various visualization of those results to offer you (i.e. diagrams, tables, etc.).
  • MSI Afterburner: This allows you to display various characteristics of the overlay, as well as monitor the resource consumption of the application. It includes free tools, it has many settings, and is easy to use. It also allows you to track FPS, CPU load, GPU load, RAM load, fan speed and much more. You can download it here.
  • FPS Meter (Android): This displays FPS (frames per second) on top of all windows in any game or application. This allows you to measure the actual performance of the device.
  • GameBench (Android and iOS): This tool is good because it can run any game or application on the device, and simultaneously work in the background. It would monitor and record performance, battery consumption, and all the while the user can continue to play their game undisturbed.

Summing up, we can say that performance testing is a rather important part of checking a software product. With the large variety of types available (load, stress, stability, ect.), each of is responsible for checking the performance of the system under certain conditions to ensure the overall functionality of the software. This will make it possible for anyone to be positive that their system is capable of performing the assigned tasks quickly and efficiently.

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