Spike Testing is a type of software testing in which a software application is tested with extreme increments and decrements in traffic load. The main purpose of spike testing is to evaluate the behaviour of the software application under sudden increment or decrement in user load and determine recovery time after a spike of user load.
Spike Testing is performed to estimate the weaknesses of software applications.
In this Spike Testing tutorial, we will learn-
- What is Spike Testing?
- Goal of Spike Testing
- How to do Spike Testing
- Examples of Spike Testing Scenarios
- Recovery Scenarios on Spike Loads
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Spike testing
- Spike Testing Tools
The goal of Spike testing is to see how the system responds to unexpected rise and fall of the user load. In Software Engineering Spike testing helps determine system performance will deterioration when there is a sudden high load.
Another goal of Spike Testing is to determine the recovery time. Between two successive spikes of user load, the system needs some time to stabilize. This recovery time should be as low as possible.
Here are the simple steps to perform Spike Testing:
Step 1) Determine the Load Capacity
Determine the Maximum User Load capacity of your software application.
Step 2) Prepare the Test Environment
Prepare the Testing Environment and configure it to record performance parameters.
Step 3) Define Expected Load
Apply expected maximum load to your Software Application using a Performance Testing Tool of your choice.
Step 4) Increase the Load
Rapidly increase the load to the system for a set period.
Step 5) Set the Load back to Normal
Gradually reduce the load back to its original level.
Step 6) Analyse the Results
Analyse the performance graphs and metrics like Failures, Time Taken, Virtual Users, etc.
- When an eCommerce store is launching special deals with great discounts such as on Black Friday.
- When a web application is live streaming a favourite TV program.
- When a flash sale is going on a daily deal site.
- When the certain content of a site goes viral over the Internet.
- A new system is released for production, and multiple users want to access the system.
- A power outage may cause all users to lose access to a system. After the outage issue resolved all users then log back onto the system simultaneously.
Three main recovery scenarios that can be configured to guard against Spikes are:
- Use cloud platforms like AWS, Azure to dynamically increase server capacity in tandem with the user load
- Do not allow the application-access to some users, so that system does not face heavy load. This stops people above the maximum designed load from entering into the system. Thus protects the system from the threat of an excessive load.
- The site admin allows users to join the system. However with warning that they may face slow response because of heavy load. This may result in the adverse effect on the system performance. However, the user will be able to work with the system.
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Spike Testing:
The Apache JMeter is a java open source spike testing tool. It is specially designed to load functional test behaviour and measure performance. This performance testing tool can be used to analyse and measure the performance of web application or a variety of services. Today, it is widely used for the functional test, database server test.
LoadRunner is a load testing tool for Windows and Linux, which allows spike testing of web and other apps. It helps to determine the performance and result of the application even under the heavy load.
- Spike Testing is a type of software testing in which a software application is tested with extreme increments and decrements in traffic load.
- The right approach to do spike testing is to unexpectedly increase the number of users followed by an immediate decrease in the load.
- The unexpected load is the main attribute of the deal.
- Examples of real-life Spike testing scenarios are – when an eCommerce store is launching special deals with great discounts such as on Black Friday. Alternatively, when a web application is live streaming a favourite TV program.
- JMeter is one such useful tool to do spike testing.