Difference between Stress testing and Load testing

Is your application performing well under certain load? Do you know what is the breaking point of your application or server? These two questions will hit in your mind if you want to make your application reliable after deployment. Basically, Stress testing and Load testing are taken under performance testing. Performance testing is a technique in which a system is tested for its factors like responsiveness, throughput, reliability, and scalability under the various workload. This investigates and measures the quality attributes of the system, such as speed, scalability, reliability and resource usage. Performance testing mainly includes load testing, stress testing, soak testing and spike testing.

Stress Testing v/s Load Testing

First of all Stress testing and Load testing can be interchangeably used to evaluate the performance of an application or server.
However, there is a thin line which differentiates both types of testing. Stress testing is the superset of load testing. The purpose of both load and stress testing might change depending on the situation. Therefore, it depends on you when to use which type of testing.

What is Load Testing?

Load testing is used to measure system behavior and responses under varying load conditions. In this way, you can evaluate the performance of web application, mobile application or server. In this testing, the main parameter to focus on is response time. You can evaluate how many users a server can handle concurrently in an effective way. Hence it helps in giving you an idea about application behavior under expected load condition.

What is Stress Testing?

Stress testing is used to observe the stability of the application or server. The main purpose of this testing is to identify the breaking point of the system. It defines the upper limit of the application by increasing the application environment to its maximum level. Under normal condition, an application can perform well but in the process of stress testing, a number of issues can be tracked in your application. However, it helps in determining the robustness of the application and also in ensuring its recovery from failure.

When to perform What?

However, In the software development process testing of components are common. Software development life cycle involves a smaller load testing before releasing an application. Hence it reduces the chances of failure or bug detection at a larger scale. In today’s era, most of the companies use the agile methodology for developing applications so for this they do stress testing on the application before deploying it to the production environment.

As we know the main parameter of load testing and stress testing are response time and throughput respectively. These are used to make your application more robust and reliable. Stress testing is mainly used by e-commerce companies to check the performance of their websites under the various workload. Because in the festival season there is a huge rush on their site. In conclusion, before choosing a particular form of testing, you need to first identify test objectives, key scenarios, and workload.

What are the benefits?

As I told earlier both types of testing have different purposes so it all depend on you when to perform what? A company can take advantage of stress testing by knowing about the issues that can occur under extreme conditions. The testing gives you knowledge about data losses and data corruptions, memory leaks, interlock issues, and synchronization in your application or server.
Various load and stress testing tools are available in the market. If you want to get information about these tools in details then please read this blog.

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