Software’s Safety Net: The Benefits of Stress Testing

Don’t stress! For most of us, this is easier said than done. With the emphasis to excel in all aspects of our lives, it’s hard not to feel the pressure. This strain pushes us to our breaking points, creates mistakes, and lowers productivity.


Stress works the same way on your IT systems, pushing them to the edge to reveal weaknesses, glitches, and other possible bugs. Using this process to create a hostile environment, through an exceptionally high load intended to test the system to the breaking point, reveals a variety of factors to help improve system efficiency and the user experience before release.


In the rush to produce software to meet market demand, many organizations skip stress testing, assuming that performance testing is enough to ensure a capable system and a quality user experience. While stress testing is strongly related to performance testing, their results examine separate system elements and responses.


What’s the difference? Performance testing verifies how well your system performs (think user experience), while load testing – another form of performance testing – tells you how many users your system can handle. Stress testing, on the other hand, overburdens the system to test the boundaries’ limits before they break.


Simply, this method of testing shows the worst possible scenario and how to avoid it. Stressing your system reveals critical operational details, such as:

  • System boundary breaking points and load limits
  • Systems requirements perform as needed
  • Stability outside of normal usage
  • Project recovery time from overload and system failure


While conducting stress testing in addition to performance and load testing may seem excessive, the benefits are worth it. After testing is complete, you know that your system can handle whatever comes its way, from eager holiday shoppers flooding your website to a DDoS attack. In today’s highly-competitive marketplace, isn’t it worth creating a safety net?

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