Performance Testing

Performance testing is a software testing method for evaluating a software application’s speed, response time, consistency, reliability, scalability, and resource use under a specific workload. The key aim of performance testing is to find and minimize performance bottlenecks in software applications. It is also known as “Perf Testing” and is a branch of performance engineering.

The aim of performance testing is to determine how well a software programme performs.

  • The application’s speed determines how easily it reacts.
  • The maximum user load that a software application can accommodate is determined by its scalability.
  • Stability – Determines whether or not the programme is stable when subjected to varying loads.

Why do Performance Testing?

A software system’s features and functionality aren’t the only thing to consider. The performance of a software application, such as response time, reliability, resource utilization, and scalability, is important. The aim of performance testing is to remove performance bottlenecks, not to find bugs.

Performance testing is carried out to provide information to stakeholders about their application’s speed, stability, and scalability. Quality Monitoring, however, shows what needs to be changed before a product is introduced to the market. Without performance testing, software is more likely to have problems including slowness while many people are using it at the same time, discrepancies across various operating systems, and weak usability.

Under planned workloads, performance testing will decide if their software meets speed, scalability, and reliability criteria. Applications that are released to the market with weak performance metrics as a result of insufficient or non-existent performance monitoring are likely to gain a bad reputation and fail to reach revenue targets.

Mission-critical applications, such as space launch programmes or life-saving medical devices, should also be performance checked to ensure that they operate without interruption for an extended period of time.

According to Dunn & Bradstreet, 59 percent of Fortune 500 firms have an average weekly downtime of 1.6 hours. Given that the average Fortune 500 company pays $56 per hour to its minimum of 10,000 employees, the labour component of downtime costs for such a company will be $896,000 a week, or more than $46 million a year.

Types of Performance Testing

Load testing: evaluates an application’s ability to handle expected user loads. Before the software application goes live, the aim is to find performance bottlenecks.

Stress testing: is the method of placing an application through its paces to see how well it manages heavy traffic or data processing. The aim is to figure out where an application’s breaking point is.

Endurance testing: ensures that the software can withstand the anticipated load for a prolonged period of time.

Spike testing: examines the software’s response to significant spikes in user-generated load.

Volume testing: entails a large number of measurements. Data is entered into a database, and the overall behavior of the software system is monitored. The aim is to measure the output of a software application with different database volumes.

Scalability testing: The aim of scalability testing is to see how well a software programme “scales up” to accommodate an increase in user load. It assists in the preparation of capacity expansion for your software system.

Performance Problems

Long Load time: The load time of an application is the time it takes for it to start up. This should be held to a bare minimum. Although some applications are difficult to load in under a minute, if at all possible, load times should be held to a few seconds.

Poor response time: The time it takes for a user to enter data into an application and for the application to respond to that input is known as response time. In general, this should be a very fast operation. If a consumer is forced to wait too long, they may lose interest.

Weak scalability: When a software product can’t support the planned number of users or can’t accommodate a wide enough range of users, it’s considered to have poor scalability. To ensure that the application can accommodate the estimated number of users, load testing should be performed.

Bottlenecking – A bottleneck is a barrier in a system that reduces the overall efficiency of the system. When coding errors or hardware problems cause a decrease in throughput under some loads, this is known as bottlenecking. One defective section of code is often the source of bottlenecking. Finding the section of code that is causing the slowdown and attempting to fix it there is the key to resolving a bottlenecking problem. Bottlenecking is typically alleviated by either improving or incorporating additional hardware. CPU utilization is a typical performance bottleneck.

  • Utilization of memory
  • Utilization of the network
  • Limitations of the Operating System
  • Usage of the hard drive
Performance Testing Process

The methods used in performance testing can differ greatly, but the goal of the test remains the same. It will assist you in demonstrating that your software system meets pre-defined performance standards. It can also be used to compare the performance of two different software systems. It can also assist you in identifying aspects of your software system that are causing it to work poorly.

Procedure for performance testing is mentioned below:

Determine the research climate: Understand the physical test environment, development environment, and available testing tools. Before you begin the testing process, learn about the hardware, software, and network configurations that will be used. It will assist testers in developing more effective experiments. It will also aid in the identification of potential obstacles that testers can face during performance testing procedures.

Determine the performance acceptance requirements: which include throughput, response times, and resource allocation targets and constraints. Outside of these priorities and limitations, it’s also important to define project success requirements. Since project requirements frequently do not provide a diverse collection of performance metrics, testers should be given the authority to set performance standards and targets. There could be none at all at times. Having a comparable application to compare to is a helpful way to set output targets where possible.

Plan and plan performance tests: Determine how end users’ behaviour is likely to differ and define key situations to monitor for all potential use cases. Simulate a wide range of end users, plan performance test data, and determine which metrics will be collected.

Configuring the test environment: Before running the test, set up the test environment. Also, put tools and other resources in their proper places.

Implement test design: Write output tests in accordance with your test plan.

Run the tests: Run the tests and keep an eye on them.

Consolidate, evaluate, and exchange test findings by analyzing, tuning, and retesting. Then fine-tune and monitor again to see if performance has improved or decreased. Stop when the CPU is the bottleneck, as changes begin to get smaller with each retest. Then you may want to think about increasing CPU capacity.

Metrics of Performance Testing

Processor Use – is the time spent by a processor running non-idle threads.

The amount of physical memory – available to processes on a computer is referred to as memory use.

Disk time – refers to the amount of time a disc is occupied by a read or write request.

Bandwidth – indicates how many bits per second a network interface uses.

Private bytes – are the bytes that a process has set aside that cannot be shared with other processes. These are used to monitor memory leaks and consumption.

Committed memory – refers to the volume of virtual memory that has been used.

Memory pages/second – the number of pages written to or read from the disc is calculated in memory pages per second. When code from outside the current working set is called up and retrieved from a disc, a hard page fault occurs.

Page faults per second – the processor’s average rate of processing error files. When a process needs code from beyond its working range, this happens again.

CPU interrupts per second – a processor receives and processes each second is measured in CPU interrupts per second.


Before selling any software product, performance testing is needed in software engineering. It guarantees consumer loyalty while also safeguarding an investor’s investment from product failure. Customer happiness, loyalty, and retention are typically more than compensated by the costs of performance monitoring.

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