Testing the capacity of any system or software is something that every business needs to do. This is because launching a website, server, or software without first confirming how well it can hold up in the presence of heavy traffic can bring some severe consequences.
For instance, a system or application that collapses under heavy traffic can cost a brand not just a lot of money to fix. Still, it can also damage the brand reputation as customers will be left unsatisfied.
The cost of fixing a system downtime is now known to be hundreds of dollars. Therefore, it is imperative to thoroughly test a system or application before throwing it into the real world.
What Is Load Testing?
Load testing can be defined as a form of performance testing that mimics real-life users and sends traffic continually to a system or application to see how much it can handle. Here’s a blog post on load testing if you want to get deeper into the topic.
It is essential to measure any system’s load handling capacity and determine the evident and hidden bottlenecks while providing recommendations that can lead to general improvement.
In general, load testing helps save the company money while preventing reputational damages and user frustration.
The process occurs in several stages: setting up an environment, defining your performance criteria and metrics, planning the test and establishing a solid baseline or benchmark, running the test, and measuring the results before implementing recommendations and making adjustments.
How Does It Work?
Load testing works by using virtual users to represent real-life users and scenarios. The more accurate the test, the fewer problems the system would have when launched or used.
The testing works by having the traffic generators load the system with traffic load continually. As more traffic is sent to the system, the baseline and benchmark determine how well the system holds up.
There are so many instances where this testing comes in handy. For instance, an airline can test its website before running a promotion to see how well it can handle an influx of visitors rushing to purchase tickets and book flights.
A company can also test its website to see how well it handles traffic just before releasing a new and rare product. This is commonly done by shoe companies that release limited sneakers every season. The system is often tested first to see how it would handle the overwhelming traffic that precedes the release.
Advantages of Consistent Load Testing
There are so many advantages and reasons why you should perform regular load testing, but we will focus on the central three:
- Mimicking User Behavior
You can never precisely tell what can happen in real life, but you can get close by using load testing.
Load testing tries to behave like real-life users while accessing the system. It creates traffic and scenarios that get very close to what can happen in the real world and continually loads everything onto the system.
The catch here is that if a system can handle these virtual events, it can perform exceptionally well in real life.
- Identifying System’s Bottlenecks
Every software and application comes with bottlenecks and drawbacks. It is part of what makes them tools, and while some of these problems are obvious and can be easily fixed, others are more salient and require some digging before they can be discovered and fixed.
The drawbacks can then be fixed before the application is launched to prevent a less than an optimal product.
This saves the company money, but it can also prevent you from facing any form of embarrassment online.
- Providing Confidence in The System
And because load testing works to ensure improved functionality and performance, the confidence in the system is often also improved.
For instance, figuring out and fixing the bottlenecks increases your trust and confidence in that application, making it more likely for you to push out an almost perfect product. It will, in the end, save you stress, time, and money and make your real-life users happier to use those services.
The primary objective of load testing is to mitigate the common problems with sending out an unfinished product.
Load testing helps to spot out issues earlier and perfect the functionality and performance of any system or application.
When done correctly, it provides all the information you need to examine a system closely to ensure higher efficiency under overwhelming traffic.