If you want to launch a product that performs well in the market even when bombarded with excessive traffic, you want to make sure you have performed sufficient tests during the production and development.
Load testing is a type of performance testing used to ensure that a product holds up well when it is continually accessed by users worldwide.
It uses simulated traffic to test various scenarios on a system or application. It also helps to determine how the product will behave under different circumstances.
You can also see how well the application will hold up when accessed by users from different geo-locations and with different tools such as proxies. Read an article by Oxylabs to learn how residential proxies help perform load testing.
And because of this, several issues can arise when you fail to perform load testing properly or completely neglect it.
This article will see what load testing is and the risks that may arise when you don’t perform it before launching a system, application, software, or server into the market.
A Definition of Load Testing
We can define a load test as a type of performance test carried out on every system approaching launch to determine how well it handles traffic from concurrent users over some time.
The test uses virtually generated users to simulate traffic, representing actual life events. The system is then judged based on its performance using those defined criteria.
Bottlenecks and drawbacks can also be identified at the end of the test, and the recommendations are made to initiate adjustments and improvements.
Load testing is a vital part of the production process. It is integrated into every product development process to ensure that only near-perfect finished applications are launched into the market.
Uses of Load Testing
There are several use cases of load testing, and from what we see above, it is almost impossible to finish a product without running repeated load tests amongst other tests.
But below are the specific uses of load testing in the development of an application:
1. To Mimic Real User Behavior
The primary use of a load test is to mimic how regular people behave when using a system online. Load testing tries to replicate this behavior and see how well the application can handle it.
This provides a general overview of the capacity of such a system and gives room for improvements before the system is deployed.
2. To Identify Problems
No new system is without problems, but if they can be identified early, these problems can be fixed to produce a more refined application.
Load testing helps identify bottlenecks and pullbacks that can be fixed promptly to improve the system.
The Risks of Underperforming or Not Performing Load Testing At All
Several risks are associated with not performing adequate load testing or neglecting the idea altogether.
1. Financial Loss
One of the most significant disadvantages of not running a load test is that you spend too much on the recurrent issues that will later riddle the system immediately when it starts getting concurrent traffic.
2. Poor Response Time
An understated application is bound to have several challenges later in the future. Primarily among these challenges could be poor response time, where it takes too long for the system to respond to queries from real users.
This can result in frustration, making the users abandon the application for more responsive ones.
3. Poor Scalability
It is also clear that a system that has not been appropriately tested might have difficulty scaling to handle more tasks.
This can be a massive problem as the idea of every business is to expand and grow. If a system can scale to handle more users and tasks, then that system should not even be in the market in the first place.
How to Choose a Load Testing Tool
Before you choose a load testing tool, there are several things you need to put into consideration, including the following:
1. Does It Enable Faster Test Design
Before you settle for a tool, one thing to check for is whether or not it allows for a faster test design and whether it includes a GUI with playback capabilities.
This can allow you to run your load test repeatedly without stressing too much.
2. Does It Leverage Automation
One thing you don’t want to do is to run load testing manually. Not only will generating traffic this way be very slow, but the results may also contain too many errors and inaccuracies.
A better option is to use tools that allow for and use automation to run the process from start to finish.
3. Easy Maintenance
It is one thing to own a system; it is another to maintain it properly to ensure it works smoothly for a long time.
It is best to use tools that make maintenance easy and inexpensive. This can add up to reduce the overall cost of using those tools while increasing productivity.
Perhaps the most important factor before opting for a tool is how much it costs. However, you will need to balance this with how well the tool gets the job done.
As a rule of thumb, the proper testing tool for you should help you produce the perfect application while remaining within your budget.
Load testing, by all indications, is a necessary stage in product development and launching but deciding on what tools to use for this very important process can be tricky.
Above, we have highlighted critical factors before considering a given tool. However, the size of your company and your specific needs may even be the most significant determiners of what you choose.
For instance, you may even see that manual load testing works if the needs are basic enough, while automated and sophisticated licensed tools work for complex cases.