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Key Types of Performance Testing

The following are the most common types of performance testing for Web applications.

Term

Purpose

Notes

Performance test

To determine or validate speed, scalability, and/or stability.

  • A performance test is a technical investigation done to determine or validate the responsiveness, speed, scalability, and/or stability characteristics of the product under test.

Load test

To verify application behavior under normal and peak load conditions.

  • Load testing is conducted to verify that your application can meet your desired performance objectives; these performance objectives are often specified in a service level agreement (SLA). A load test enables you to measure response times, throughput rates, and resource-utilization levels, and to identify your application’s breaking point, assuming that the breaking point occurs below the peak load condition.
  • Endurance testing is a subset of load testing. An endurance test is a type of performance test focused on determining or validating the performance characteristics of the product under test when subjected to workload models and load volumes anticipated during production operations over an extended period of time.
  • Endurance testing may be used to calculate Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), Mean Time To Failure (MTTF), and similar metrics.

Stress test

To determine or validate an application’s behavior when it is pushed beyond normal or peak load conditions.

  • The goal of stress testing is to reveal application bugs that surface only under high load conditions. These bugs can include such things as synchronization issues, race conditions, and memory leaks. Stress testing enables you to identify your application’s weak points, and shows how the application behaves under extreme load conditions.
  • Spike testing is a subset of stress testing.  A spike test is a type of performance test focused on determining or validating the performance characteristics of the product under test when subjected to workload models and load volumes that repeatedly increase beyond anticipated production operations for short periods of time.

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