Performance Testing Explained: A Short Guide


Have you ever had to deal with extremely slow loads, and struggle with the performance of a software, network, web/mobile application, or device?

If so, together, let’s discover how performance testing addresses these challenges, benefits your business, and learn about the main types and steps for software performance testing, along with real-life examples.

What is performance testing and what factors does load testing help determine?

Performance testing is a critical software testing process that measures performance-related aspects, including speed, stability, response time, and reliability of your software under various workloads. Whether you're browsing an e-commerce website, streaming movies, booking travel, or performing complex actions on the web, seamless operation without interruptions, delays, or errors is expected.

Performance testing enables developers to understand how well your software performs under specific loads and stress. The goal is to enhance your software system’s scalability, speed, and overall performance, ensuring that it can accommodate a large number of users simultaneously without experiencing unresponsiveness, system crashes, or inconsistencies across different operating systems.

This ultimately leads to an enhanced user experience and increased satisfaction levels. And more importantly, unresponsiveness can cause your business to lose money and result in wasting unreasonable resources on recovering it urgently.

Top Reasons For Performance Testing

  1. Check your system reliability: Verify that your system can handle users without crashing.
  2. Minimize scalability issues:
  • Disk usage: Make sure to reduce the storage footprint of your software and that your system will not hang in production because disk space is over.
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit): If your software demands too much CPU power ,and can't automatically scale itself, it will hang under high loads.
  • Network usage: Since your software interacts with the internet, excessive network usage will lead to slow performance or connectivity issues.
  • Other bottlenecks include memory leaks, operating system limitations, poor network configurations, etc.

Steps For Performance Testing: Real-Life Scenario

1. Understand how many concurrent requests the system can handle.

Imagine you're getting ready to launch a new game. With its modern features, you anticipate your gaming application will be gaining massive popularity among users, expecting thousands of gamers to use it simultaneously.

To understand how many concurrent requests your gaming application can handle, you and your development team/partner should define specific performance goals and metrics. These goals could include response time, network throughput, and the maximum number of concurrent players or requests the system should be able to handle in the long run.

2. Identify which actions might generate the highest loads in advance.

In order to test the expected load of your gaming application, start by following these steps:

  • Start by gathering requirements related to the expected load: The load testing process will vary depending on whether you expect hundreds or thousands of requests.
  • Planning Stage: Make sure to plan the system architecture, technologies and components based on your expected load.
  • Creating Comparable Load/Traffic: One of the challenges in performance testing is generating load or traffic that accurately reflects expected real-world usage.
  • Establishing Measurement/Test Environment: It's crucial to set up an environment to measure various parameters under load, including CPU usage, amount of transactions per second, etc.
  • Using Telemetry: The system should be made observable using telemetry (the process of gathering the performance data and transmitting it to a remote location for monitoring and analysis)
  • Run Tests: Real-Life Testing Approach:

- Recording traffic from multiple users in real-life scenarios,

- Repeat the recorded traffic, keep multiplying the amount each time (e.g., 100, 1000, etc.)

3. Modifying requests:

This is done by imitating a large number of players interacting with the game simultaneously. Gradually increase the load until the system reaches its capacity or exhibits performance issues.

4. Monitor System Metrics

Monitor system metrics such as CPU usage, memory consumption, and network bandwidth to understand what performance bottlenecks and resource constraints occur as the load increases. Once you identify these, analyze the performance data to determine at which point the system starts to degrade in performance.

5. Optimize and Retest

Use the data you’ve acquired from the performance test to optimize the gaming application to improve its performance and scalability, including game logic, server configurations, or scaling infrastructure resources.

6. Review

After following these steps, you can assess how well the gaming application performs under various load conditions and ensure that it provides a smooth and immersive gaming experience for players.

Main types of Performance Testing

  1. Stress testing: Testing the system's response to high workloads and determining its breaking point.
  2. Load Testing: The system’s performance under anticipated loads and identify performance bottlenecks.
  3. Volume testing: Testing the system’s performance with large volumes of data to prevent performance issues or data loss.
  4. Scalability testing: Testing how the system handles increased demands (traffic) and workload without crashing.
  5. Endurance testing (Longevity or Soak testing): Testing the software’s ability to handle the estimated load over an extended period.
  6. Isolation Testing (Unit Testing): Testing individual components of a software system in isolation from the rest of the system.

What tools are used for performance testing?

  1. NeoLoad- An automated performance testing platform for enterprise organizations, continuously testing from APIs to applications.
  2. LoadNinja- A cloud-based load testing and performance testing platform for web applications and web services.
  3. BlazeMeter- A continuous testing platform providing enterprise-level GUI (Graphical User Interface), functional testing, performance testing, API functional testing, etc.
  4. Gatling- A load testing tool for web applications, particularly designed for DevOps and Continuous Integration.
  5. Wrk and wrk2- A modern HTTP benchmarking tool capable of generating significant load when run on a single multi-core CPU.

What else to consider?

  1. If you want to understand how web platforms manage to handle a large number of concurrent users without any disruptions under high traffic, consider platforms like Udemy or Netflix.
  2. Depending on your software you might need continuous performance testing to ensure it’s always ready for peak demands, particularly if you're rapidly scaling.


Throughout this guide, we've explored the critical importance of load testing, stress testing, scalability testing, and other performance testing methodologies and the huge roles they play in ensuring the reliability, performance, and scalability of software systems. By proactively identifying and addressing performance issues and vulnerabilities, businesses can provide seamless user experience, minimize downtime. With the right tools, developers can help your business achieve increased customer retention, and ultimately stay ahead of your competition at all times.

For businesses seeking to elevate their software performance and looking for performance testing services, reach out to SCD Company at*

Feb 21, 2024