How Stress Testing Can Save Your Business from Unexpected Failures

How Stress Testing Can Save Your Business from Unexpected Failures

Daniel Hall 08/07/2024
How Stress Testing Can Save Your Business from Unexpected Failures

Software stress testing is a common testing practice used to ensure that your software remains robust and resilient in any conditions.

But how exactly do you perform it without breaking your app and when do you really need it? This article aims to answer these and other questions.

What is Stress Testing?

The first question to answer: what is stress testing exactly?

It is the process of testing software in the conditions of extreme loads, or “under stress”. This process belongs to the performance testing category and aims to identify how well the software performs in stressful conditions and whether there are any vulnerabilities present. 

Examples of stressful conditions include heavy user loads or excessive data inputs. In this way, the process simulates real-life situations that software can undergo and helps understand whether the software can endure such conditions or it will crash. 

It is worth noting that when it comes to a businessto business stress test, it’s always bestalways the best to delegate the process to experienced professionals. And that includes software development companies. For example, our company is well-versed in delivering top-tier software products - but also SoftTeco provides stress testing services. Hence, this article is supported by our own experience and best practices on software stress testing that we’ve established throughout our work. We believe our knowledge about business stress tests will be valuable to those seeking effective methods of safeguarding their business apps and data.

Now, the key features of this testing type are:

  • Identification of vulnerabilities and risks is the main goal;

  • Replication of real-time scenarios;

  • The main focus is placed on extreme conditions beyond the normal operating point;

  • Often involves various departments working together.

As for the most common issues and errors detected during the business stress test, they include:

  • Concurrency issues

  • Memory leaks

  • Network failures

  • Issues with database

  • Corrupted security

Goals of Stress Testing

Goals_of_Stress_Testing.png

While the main goal is to uncover potential vulnerabilities, stress testing also helps achieve several other goals:

Identify the Breaking Points of the System

Stress testing normally pushes the system to its limits until it basically breaks. This helps determine the threshold and understand the capacity of the system, thus being able to optimize it later on.

Evaluate Stability 

It helps to understand how well the system can endure extreme loads and what causes crashes and issues. By analyzing this information, businesses are able to optimize and improve their software, safeguarding it from potential attacks or emergencies. 

Detect Hardware Issues

Stress testing helps detect not only software but hardware issues as well. In this way, you can learn whether any hardware component needs replacement or optimization and what damage can be caused by existing hardware issues.

Improve security

The ultimate goal of any testing process is to ensure that the software is secure and that existing vulnerabilities are detected and analyzed. With the help of the process, you can significantly improve the security of your app and apply preventative measures to avoid facing cyberattacks in the future.

The main types of stress testing

There are several types of stress testing, each designed to measure specific metrics and test various system elements. These types are: 

  • Distributed: also known as distributed client-server testing. This testing type implies conducting stress testing across all clients on the server. In this way, the server tracks each client’s status and in case the server does not receive a signal from the client, the latter will be checked.

  • Application: the main focus of this testing is on the performance and security of an application. Hence, it is aimed at detecting any vulnerabilities and issues that might disrupt it, such as network issues, data blocking, or performance bottlenecks.

  • Transactional: as the name implies, the process tests transactions between several apps and focuses on improving stability and performance of the system.

  • Systemic: this testing type is used to check whether the data from one app blocks the other. In this way, testing checks multiple systems running on one server.

  • Exploratory: aims to test how a system behaves under unusual or unlikely conditions that probably won’t happen in real life. Examples of such conditions are simultaneous activation of virus scanners or an unusual number of simultaneous user logins.

When Do You Need it?

Though stress testing is highly beneficial, it also means spending time, resources, and effort on the process. So for many organizations, it is not obligatory - but in some cases, it is highly recommended. 

Here are the cases when you need to implement the process:

The App is in Pre-Production Stage

To deliver a seamless user experience and minimize the chance of bugs and performance issues, the app should be thoroughly tested before it goes into production. Hence, stress testing in software testing is an essential component as it helps prepare the app for potential unexpected issues.

After Big Updates Were Made

It is a common scenario that an implemented update causes issues in the code, especially if the update is a big one. Software stress testing helps ensure that the app remains stable, and its performance is uninterrupted even after updating its major parts.

When the App is Scaled

If you want to scale your app and expand its functionality and capacity, it is a must to perform stress testing to see how well the app will handle the increased load. In this case, you can instantly learn what calls for optimization and what causes the app to crash.

When the App is Migrated

Migration to a new infrastructure is always a hassle since you need to make sure that there are no compatibility issues and that the app maintains the same level of performance in a new environment. Stress tests help identify whether the app is ready for the new environment and whether it has any performance bottlenecks.

The Biggest Benefits of Stress Testing

The_biggest_benefits_of_stress_testing.png

We’ve already discussed that the main purpose of the process is to ensure that the app is robust and reliable and doesn’t have unexpected security issues. Other benefits that this method brings are:

  • Improved performance: the app retains a high level of performance under any circumstances;

  • Better user experience: an app without any glitches and bugs delivers a superior user experience;

  • Better scalability: it helps ensure that the app can endure high loads and won’t break in case of an unexpected traffic spike (for example);

  • Improved risk management: through business stress test, companies better understand potential app’s flaws and can prepare for them in advance.

Bonus: Where to Find Stress Testing Services

Stress testing is a highly effective method of assessing an app and determining whether it remains stable under unexpected conditions. However, the process is also quite complex and requires knowledgeable experts to handle it. Hence, if you plan to perform stress testing, we highly recommend reaching out to a third-party service provider with solid experience in testing. 

Here are some ideas on where to find a reliable provider:

  • Clutch and similar platforms: there are many trusted IT directories that list top software providers based on the type of their services and domains of operations. The listings usually include clients’ testimonials, reviews, and ratings.

  • Network: the easiest yet highly effective way to find a suitable provider of stress testing service is through asking your network. Reach out to people whose opinion you consider valuable and ask them for recommendations.

  • Independent research: lastly, you can always perform independent research by filtering information on the Internet and independently reaching out to representatives of different companies.

Whatever method you choose, remember to look out for the following: solid experience with stress testing, industry knowledge, and a portfolio of similar projects. And obviously, a selected provider needs to have well-organized and transparent communication processes and should provide regular reporting so you can always know the status of your project and its progress.

By partnering with a reliable provider, you will invest in more secure and reliable software without risking its performance or data integrity. This, in turn, will result in superior user experience and a highly competitive software product, which is the ultimate goal of any business.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

 
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