Endurance testing is a non-functional type of software testing in which a software program is subjected to a high load for a lengthy period of time in order to assess its behavior under sustained use. The main goal of endurance testing is to make sure that the application can manage a large amount of data without losing responsiveness.
At the end of the performance run cycle, this type of testing is carried out. Endurance testing is a lengthy procedure that might take up to a year. External loads, such as Internet traffic or user actions, may be applied. This distinguishes endurance testing from load testing, which normally lasts a few hours.
Endurance denotes capacity hence Endurance Testing can also be referred to as Capacity Testing.
The primary goal of this testing is to uncover any potential memory leaks. As a result, memory usage is strictly monitored during this testing. I'm hoping you're familiar with the concept of memory leaks. Still, for those who are unfamiliar with the word, let me explain what a memory leak is.
A memory leak occurs when a software application fails to release unused memory, resulting in poor performance or failure.
A memory leak may not have an immediate impact, but it slows down the system over time, leaving no free memory and eventually resulting in an application or system breakdown. A memory leak is a problem that only becomes apparent after a specific amount of time has passed.
As a result, endurance testing is required to detect such faults.
However, it's feasible that your application will perform well for a short amount of time, say an hour, under a heavy load. However, if your application is consistently exposed to the same amount of stress for a longer length of time, say 3-4 hours, it will crash due to resourcing issues and insufficient disc space.
Another key issue that endurance software testing seeks to uncover is the degradation of its performance. It must be ensured that throughput or reaction times are equivalent to or better than at the start of the test following extended use.
The Endurance test also detects database connection difficulties. It's possible that if the database connection isn't closed properly, the system will crash.
The endurance test also checks for appropriate connection closure between the layers of the system, which would otherwise cause certain modules to hang.
In a nutshell, the endurance test's goal is to determine how the system performs over a lengthy period of continuous operation. Memory leaks, speed degradation, database connection difficulties, and other serious issues are detected as part of Endurance testing.
The following items are checked during endurance testing −
Test memory leakage − Checks are performed to see whether there is any memory leakage in the application, which could result in the system or operating system crashes.
Test connection closure between the layer of the system − If the link between the layers of the system is not effectively closed, some or all of the system's modules may be stalled.
Close the database connection successfully − If the database connection is not ended properly, the system may crash.
Test response time − As the application becomes less efficient as a result of lengthy use, the response time of the system is checked.
If the project requires constant operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and Endurance Test should last at least 72 hours. The rationale for this is because the program should be able to run unattended on weekends (as weekend support is costly for organizations).
As a result, we'll need to test the system under heavy load for a time slightly longer than a weekend. However, because conducting the test for 72 hours can be too taxing, we usually only do it for 12 hours.
Furthermore, there is no hard and fast rule for how long a soak test should last. It is mostly determined by aspects such as customer involvement, actual production use, and so on. The endurance tests might sometimes last a year!
The procedure for doing this test is as follows −
Create the Test Environment − This entails determining the hardware, software, database (along with its size as the test progresses), and operating system are required to run the Endurance test. It also entails assembling a team to conduct the endurance testing and delegating roles and responsibilities within the group. The test environment should be ready before the test is run, and it should be adequately separated from the live system.
Design, Review, and Finalize Test Cases − Test cases should be designed, evaluated, and finalized. This is also the time to develop the test execution strategy. The application's breakpoint should be identified, and the amount of load that will be applied to the application during an endurance test should be finalized.
Estimation of test cycles − This entails determining the length of each test phase and the number of test cycles required.
Risk Analysis − This is a critical step in the testing process. The risk factor is used to prioritize the test cases. The following are some of the risks and issues that a tester could encounter during the Endurance test −
Is the consistency of the performance test going to be maintained over time?
Are there any more minor concerns that haven't been addressed yet?
Is there any outside interference that hasn't been addressed yet?
Test Schedule − Establish a budget, deliverables, and deadlines.
Test Execution − This is when the endurance test is finally started.
Test Cycle Closure − Based on the exit criteria established during the test planning phase, close the test cycle. It could be determined by the number of flaws discovered, the length of the test, and so on.
The following are some of the advantages of this testing
It assures that an application is fit for use.
It identifies problems that might otherwise go undetected by other performance tests. During volume testing or stress testing, for example, you might not notice a memory leak.
Enhances the application's sturdiness: It detects performance degradation issues that may arise under high continuous demand and then fixes them, making the application more resilient.
It describes the long-term behavior of the system under strain. In other words, it monitors the system's long-term viability.
The data from the endurance test can be used by the customer to validate or improve their infrastructure requirements.
It might be difficult to determine how much stress is appropriate.
If the Test Environment is not isolated, Endurance Testing may result in application and/or network failures, causing a substantial interruption.
Over-stressing the system can result in permanent data loss or corruption.
After the stress is lifted, resource utilization remains quite high.
Some of the application's components aren't responding.
The end-user is aware of unhandled exceptions.
While stress testing pushes the tested system to its breaking point, endurance testing pushes the application to its breaking point over time.
When software operates for an extended period of time, for example, the most difficult issues - memory leaks, database server use, and unresponsive system – occur. If you skip the endurance tests, you'll have a hard time finding such flaws before deployment.
Rational Performance Tester
What is Endurance Testing? We learned about it in this article. What steps must be taken? Its benefits and drawbacks, as well as the many instruments available.
The following are some major takeaways −
Endurance testing (also known as soak testing, longevity testing, or capacity testing) is a sort of non-functional testing that determines whether a software system can withstand a large expected load for an extended period of time.
Load Testing is a subset of this.
Memory leaks, speed degradation, database connection difficulties, and other serious issues are detected as part of this testing.
The length of an endurance test is determined by the needs of the business, project, and client. It can endure anywhere from 5 to 10 hours, a few days, a month, or even a year.
It strengthens the application and prepares it to withstand enormous weights indefinitely.
The Endurance test should not be done manually because it is quite time-consuming. It's largely automated.
It should begin with the creation of an isolated test environment, followed by the creation of test plans, the estimation of test cycle time, the analysis of risk, the preparation of the test schedule, the execution of the endurance test, and ultimately the closing of the test cycle.
Apache Jmeter, LoadStorm, LoadRunner, LoadUI, Appvance, OpenSTA, WebLoad, and IBM Rational Performance Tester are some of the best tools for Endurance testing.