Scalability testing is a common term most of us come across while talking about software testing. Although the professional testers and developers are aware about it, many other people in the software sector may not be aware about it clearly. In short, scalability testing is the testing of a software application to test or measure its scale up or scale out features in terms of any of its non-functional abilities.
There are two major goals for conducting scalability test. One is to know the user limits and the other is to ensure that it works properly even when it is loaded heavily. The parameters, that are tested will be different depending on the nature of the application.
How to create scalability tests
As mentioned earlier, the application should be tested based on the load. In the initial stages, it may not be possible to know the exact load the application has to bear. You can estimate, but that will not be accurate. In future, the things may go wrong if you depend on such inaccurate estimations.
Hence, during scalability test, it is important to scale up in increments. In other words, the tests can be split into low, medium high loads. When you split into three sections, each section will test different aspects, with low load it tests the functionality of the application, with medium load it tests the extension upto which it can perform and with heavy load it tests its ability to cope up with the high load.
Cautions While Testing
You should keep the environment constant throughout the testing to get proper and accurate results. For example, if you are doubling the load the performance should decrease to half.
Purpose of Scalability Testing
Technology never stand still and as the technology improves, the number of persons opting for better technology will also increase. In such a situation upgrading of applications is necessity to meet the new challenges. Here the scalability test will help you take a decision on upgrading and also will help you to identify the areas where upgrading is required.
Two Types of Scalability
There are two different types of scaling called as Vertical scaling or scaling up and Horizontal scaling or scaling out. In scaling up, a component will be replaced with a new equipment to enhance the performance during upgrading and in horizontal scaling a new server will be connected to run the application in parallel with the original server.
Time to time upgradation is a must to sustain in the market and all applications and programs are coming up with regular upgraded versions. Hence, scalability testing is an important thing in the world of software and nobody can ignore it. This testing has to be done with high level of precision and perfection to get the accurate result and the upgrading without an accurate result may not be worth. Hence the demand for experts in scalability testing is increasing day by day and many institutes are offering courses in this scalability testing.