Load testing is one of the multiple facets of performance testing as a whole to fully exercise the software and hardware and identify any weaknesses, as well as benchmark where and when the issues arise. During load testing, a normal load, heavy load, and a projected growth load is determined by using usage statistics. Starting with the lighter load, the number of concurrent users is incrementally increased until the system starts to respond more slowly. The increase is continued until the system actually stops responding at all, thereby discovering the failure threshold. This information is used to determine the load boundaries and locate the bottlenecks.
Load testing tools such as LoadRunner, Cloudtest, and Rational are commonly used and data is gathered during the test. This data is vital to help identify performance bottlenecks, point to infrastructure weaknesses, and help you to make plans for future scalability due to growth. Load testing can tell you exactly how many users or transactions your site can handle before response times increase.
Generally, this test will uncover buffer overflow issues, memory leaks, or load balance problems. Performance optimization can then be completed and hardware changes or additions can be made to increase the failure thresholds as needed.
Every site has its breaking point and QA Mentor’s Performance Testing services can help you find yours so you can fix inefficiencies prior to release, add additional hardware, or be prepared for future scalability needs with our Capacity Planning Services.