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Spike Testing

In this section, we are going to understand Spike testing, which is an essential part of Software testing.

And we also learn about its needs, the purpose of Spike testing, why we need to perform the spike testing, the process of Spike testing, spike testing tools, and the advantage and disadvantages.

Introduction of Spike Testing

As we learned earlier, the testing process is the essential part of SDLC, which evaluates the multiple software components like speed, scalability, and dependability.

It is a subcategory of stress testing that guarantees that the developed application works under enhanced and reduced load created by n-numbers. And the system's performance is detected.

It ensures that no issue won't occur in the speed of software, constancy, and scalability after the product's delivery.

In other words, we can say that the spike testing is performed to check how essentially the system responds with unpredicted increases and failure of users.

The objective of the Spike Testing

The significant objective of spike testing are as follows:

  • The primary purpose of executing the spike testing is to govern whether the system will crash or remain in case of important alteration in load.
  • To notice the performance or the behavior of an application under sudden altered load.
  • To analysis the recovery time between two points or spikes as it impacts the performance.
  • Spike testing is used to analyze the weakness of applications.

Spike testing Process

Spike testing is vital and is mostly done to test how a system reacts when there is an unpredicted change in user load.

The spike testing procedure involves continuous monitoring. It evaluates the application's vulnerability and checks its affected performance when there are a rapid enhancement and reduction of its load.

Throughout the process of software development, the spike testing is implemented in a precise environment. Therefore, the spike testing process aims to extend an application's maximum capacity to make sure the ideal user involvement.

The spike testing process completed in the below steps, which are as follows:

  • Setup the Test Environment
  • Detect the Maximum Load
  • Apply maximum load to the peak point
  • Evaluate the peak point performance
  • Apply minimum load/ Reduce the load to zero
  • Evaluate the performance in minimum load
  • Evaluation of Performance graph
Spike Testing

Step1: Set up the Test Environment

The first step of the spike testing process is setting up the test environment, which depends on the various parameters in the business needs.

The test environment setup is necessary to perform a successful test and retrieve a fair quality testing process. And we also ensure that no one is using the live environment to execute the spike testing in an application.

Step2: Detect the Maximum Load

After finish setting up the environment, the maximum load is initiated; a system can prevent and detect the full load size of the application or the software product, which has developed.

Here, the maximum load is the excessive number of users simultaneously using the system or the application.

Step3: Apply maximum load to the peak point

In the next step, we will enhance the load abruptly for a particular time, and after that, we will try to apply the maximum expected load to the peak point with the help of any performance tools.

Step4: Evaluate the peak point performance

Once the maximum load is applied to the peak point, we will evaluate the performance detected under the load on the peak point. It is used to check whether the system fails or survives under this unexpected increase.

Step5: Apply minimum load/ Reduce the load to zero

After that, we will decrease the load slowly to the lowest (zero to minimum load). The process is also executed rapidly, which means that the load is reduced from highest value to lowest possible value.

Step6: Evaluate the performance in minimum load

In this step, we will evaluate the performance under the minimum load to see whether the system survives or fails under this unexpected reduce load.

Step7: Evaluation of Performance graph

In the last step, the analysis of performance graph is done by seeing the metrics like virtual users, failures, and time-taken, etc.

The evaluation of the performance graph is essential for the test engineer in detecting when the application has undergone crashes, and reporting back to the developers to fix the issue depends on that.

Spike Testing

Spike Testing Tools

We have multiple spike tools available in the market, where some of them are open- sources and some of them are licensed tools. And each tool has its functionality, and approaches.

Some of the most commonly used spike tools are as follows:

  • Apache JMeter
  • LoadRunner

Apache JMeter

Apache JMeter is the most famous open-source tool in automation testing. It is mainly used to test the performance of both static and dynamic resources and dynamic web applications.

It can reproduce the extensive load on an object, server, and network to discover the complete performance in multiple load types. It helps the developers or the users to use the source code for the development of other applications.

Spike Testing

Characteristic of JMeter

Some of the significant features of JMeter tools are as follows:

  • It is entirely designed on the JAVA programming language and platform-independent to load the functional test behavior and measure its performance.
  • It keeps the various testing approaches like available, distributed, and load testing.
  • It provides a user-friendly GUI, which is interactive and straightforward.
  • It is incredibly extensible to load the performance test in multiple types of servers.

For more information about JMeter, refers to the below link:


Another spike testing tool is LoadRunner, which supports spike testing for the extensive range of protocols, number of technologies, and application environments.

It quickly identifies the most common causes of performance issues. And precisely predict the application scalability and capacity.

Spike Testing

Characteristic of LoadRunner

Below are the features of the LoadRunner tool:

  • We can get detailed performance test reports while executing the LoadRunner tool.
  • If we performed the LoadRunner tool, it reduces the cost of distributed load testing.
  • The LoadRunner tool supports XML language; that's why we can easily view and handle the XML data within the test scripts.
  • It provides the operational tool for deployment tracking.

Benefits and Drawback of Spike Testing

Following are the advantages and disadvantages of spike testing:

Advantage of Spike Testing

Some of the significant advantages of Spike testing are as follows:

  • While performing the spike testing, we can easily sustain the system from crashing under the load's spikes.
  • The spike testing will offer the test engineer the ability to test the system under an extremely high and low user load.
  • It is a beneficial testing process as it saves the software application from failure or crashes.
  • In the spike testing, the developers can avoid application failure since the issues are detected.
  • The most crucial advantage of spike testings is that it decreases the possibilities of failure for the system or software application.
  • Spike Testing is the most suitable testing to evaluate the software's performance even under such stressful circumstances.
  • It regulates the software performance and also ensuring a good quality product.
  • It is beneficial while we are retrieving the extreme case scenarios.

The Drawback of Spike Testing

Following are the disadvantage of not executing the stability testing on the system under test:

  • Spike testing required an independent testing environment.
  • To perform the spike testing, we need to set up special test conditions, which makes this process bit costlier.
  • While performing a spike test, the application's performance may worsen, slow, or stop altogether.
  • It is time taking process as compared to the other testing approaches.
  • Only the experts can implement the Spike testing.


In this tutorial, we understood the significance of spike testing in SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). We have also discussed the spike testing process, benefits, drawbacks and standard defects, etc.

We can say that the Spike testing helps us to find the extreme load and standard issues that can occur once the enhancement in load is applied.

Additionally, spike testing helps in confirming the software system's existing boundaries in the current effective environment.

The correct method to perform spike testing is to suddenly enhance users' numbers, followed by an instant reduction in the load.

Spike testing's primary focus is to detect the unexpected load and prepare the application to work on such conditions. The spike testing is mainly used to maintain the quality and the performance of the application or the software product.

Hence, if we implemented the spike testing in the initial stage of the Software testing process, we can verify its behavior and capabilities.

JMeter and LoadRunner are the most commonly used tools for spike testing.

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