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What is performance testing?

By Himanshu on 12/18/2022

What is performance testing?

A non-functional testing technique called performance testing is used to evaluate the system's responsiveness and stability under various loads. Performance testing assesses the system's attributes, such as dependability, scalability, and resource usage. Performance testing focuses on how a system performs while handling a certain load. The purpose of this is not to find software vulnerabilities or defects. Different performance testing approaches take results measurements in relation to standards and benchmarks. Performance testing assists developers in locating bottlenecks and removing them.

Performance testing: Why do it?

The features and functionality provided by a software system are not the only factors to consider. The performance of a software application, such as its response time, dependability, resource usage, and scalability, is important. The goal of Performance Testing is to eliminate performance bottlenecks rather than to find bugs.

Performance tests are carried out to provide stakeholders with information about their application's speed, stability, and scalability. More importantly, Performance Testing identifies what needs to be improved before the product goes to market. Without Performance Testing, the software is likely to suffer from issues such as slowness when multiple users use it at the same time, inconsistencies across different operating systems, and poor usability.

Their application will be put through performance testing to see if it satisfies the demands for speed, scalability, and stability under realistic workloads. Applications with inferior performance metrics as a result of inadequate or non-existent performance testing are likely to develop a negative reputation and fall short of planned sales targets.
Mission-critical applications, such as space launch projects or life-saving medical equipment, should also undergo performance testing to make sure they function flawlessly over an extended period of time.

Performance Testing Types:

• Load testing -: Load testing evaluates an application's performance under realistic user
  loads. Before the software application is made available to the public, the objective 
  is to  identify performance bottlenecks.
• Stress testing-: Stress testing includes putting a software through a lot of work to examine
  how it responds to heavy traffic or data processing. To detect an application's breaking
  point is the aim.
• Endurance testing-: To ensure that the software can manage the predicted load over an
  extended period of time, endurance testing is conducted out.
• Spike testing-: Tests the software's response to unexpected, significant changes in the
   load produced by users.
Volume testing-: A database is filled with countless information, and behaviour of the 
  software system as a whole is observed. The goal is to evaluate software
  application performance when handling various database volumes.
Scalability testing-: A software application's ability to "scale up" to accommodate an
   increase in user load is the goal of scalability testing. It aids in the planning of 
   software system capacity expansion.

Performance testing benefits:

• Performance testing verifies the system's responsiveness, load capacity, correctness,
  and other attributes.
• If anything goes wrong, it locates, follows up on, and fixes the problems.
• It guarantees the software's excellent optimization and permits a big number of
  concurrent users.
• It guarantees the fulfilment of both clients and final customers.

Performance testing drawbacks:

• Users occasionally may encounter performance problems in a live environment.
• Team members should have a high level of understanding while building test
   scripts or testcases in the automation tool.
• The test cases or test scripts should be highly proficiently debugged by team members.
• Low performance in the actual world may result in a significant drop in user numbers.

Most frequent issues identified during performance testing

Software engineers examine the software's performance in order to identify performance symptoms and problems. Speed-related problems, such as slow responses and protracted load times, are frequently noticed and handled quickly.

• Bottlenecking- When there is insufficient capacity to meet the workload, data transmission
  is interrupted or stopped.
• Poor scalability- Results could be delayed, errors could increase, or other unexpected
  behaviour could occur if software cannot handle the intended number of concurrent jobs.
  These effects include:
         Disk usage
         CPU usage
         Memory leaks
         Operating system limitations
         Poor network configuration
• Software configuration issues - Frequently, settings are not set to a high enough level to
   handle the workload.
• Insufficient hardware resources- Physical memory constraints or low-performing CPUs
   may be revealed during performance testing.

Steps to perform performance testing:-

The methodology used for performance testing can vary greatly, but the goal of performance testing remains constant. It can assist in demonstrating that your software system meets pre-defined performance criteria. It can also be used to compare the performance of two software systems. It can also assist in identifying parts of your software system that are degrading its performance.

1) Determine Your Testing Environment

Acknowledge your real setup, production environment, and testing tools. Whenever you begin testing, understand about the hardware, software, and network configurations that will be used. It will help testers in developing more effective tests. It will also help identify potential issues that testers may face during the performance testing procedures.


2) Determine the Performance Acceptance Criteria

This includes throughput goals and constraints, as well as response times and resource allocation. Outside of these goals and constraints, it is also necessary to identify project success criteria. Because project specifications frequently do not include a diverse enough set of performance benchmarks, testers should be empowered to establish performance criteria and goals. There may be none at all at times. Finding a similar application to compare to is a good way to set performance goals when possible.

3) Plan and Create Performance Tests

Determine how end-user usage is likely to vary and identify key scenarios to test for all possible use cases. It is necessary to simulate a wide range of end users, plan performance test data, and define which metrics will be collected.

4) Setting Up the Test Environment

Prior to execution, prepare the testing environment. Arrange tools and other resources as well.

5) Put the Test Design into Action

Create performance tests in accordance with your test design.

6) Execute the Tests

Carry out and monitor the tests.

7) Analyse, fine-tune, and retest

Test results should be consolidated, analysed, and shared. Then fine-tune and test again to see if performance has improved or decreased. Because improvements tend to get smaller with each retest, stop when the CPU is bottlenecking. Then you may want to think about increasing CPU power.

Tools used for performance testing
•    LoadNinja
•    HeadSpin
•    Blazemeter
•    HP LoadRunner
•    Jmeter 

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