A Complete Guide to Endurance Testing

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | June 15, 2021
A Complete Guide to Endurance Testing With QASource

Endurance testing in software testing is a kind of non-functional test that is performed to evaluate the software applications’ behavior under high loads for an extended amount of time. It is performed during the last stage of the performance run cycle, and sometimes, can last for as long as a year. 

The following are some of the goals of running an endurance test:

  • Check the system for memory leaks
  • Discover how the system performs under prolonged usage
  • Ensure that the system’s response time improves after running the test
  • Determine number of transactions/users the system can support while meeting all performance goals

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to create an endurance test strategy, including:

  • What is endurance testing in software testing
  • What to monitor during endurance testing
  • What are the main differences between endurance testing vs load testing
  • How do you perform endurance testing
  • Identify  endurance testing  scenarios with real time example situations
  •  Which UI automation testing tools are best for endurance testing

What To Monitor in Endurance Testing

Endurance tests are conducted to find unusual behavior in the system that occurs over extended periods of time when loads are high. Your system may run just fine during normal situations, but may crumble in certain areas during high peak volumes, and that’s where endurance testing comes in.

Before we describe every endurance test with example scenarios, let’s look at what you should monitor when running endurance test cases:

  • Memory Leak: Is there any memory leakage in the application? This can often crash your application or operating system.
  • Normal Response Times: Prolonged use of your software can impact your system’s performance, leading to less efficient response times.
  • Successful Closure of Test Database: Your application is prone to system crashes if the database connection does not close successfully.
  • Closure of Connection Between System’s Layers: Different parts of the system’s module may get stalled if the connection between the layers is not closed properly.

Endurance Testing vs Load Testing: The Main Differences

Put simply, an endurance test is a sub-type of load testing. Load testing, when leveraging cloud, is meant to test your application by increasing the load on your system constantly and steadily until it reaches the threshold limit. Endurance testing takes this concept a step further to make sure your software behaves as expected when under heavy loads for extended periods of time.

Here’s a breakdown to help you remember the difference:

Endurance Testing Load Testing
Workloads during testing are natural, expected loads. Tests may or may not run under specified load limits.
Workload during testing is unexpected and varies over time to examine how your system handles the situation.
Tests for problems that grow over time and can lead to system crashes, including memory leaks and system degradations.
Tests for problems that occur in real time, including immediate system crashes and response time delays.

How To Perform Endurance Testing

Now that you understand what endurance testing is in software testing, let’s look at some of the different test strategies. The best way to approach endurance testing is by creating actionable steps that take you from start to finish. You should plan to create the following when devising your endurance testing plan:

  • Testing Environment: What hardware, software and operating systems are required for testing? What roles and responsibilities does each team member have during testing? What is your common database production size and yearly growth?
  • Test Plan & Scenarios: Do you plan to run tests manually, with automation, or a mixture of both? How do you plan to test the stress of the system? How do you plan to test the system’s breaking point? What is your test case design and review process?
  • Test Estimation: How long will it take to complete testing? How many testers are involved during testing? How many test cycles are required to complete testing?
  • Risk Analysis: Does performance remain consistent over time? Does external interference impact the application? Are there any minor issues not yet addressed?
  • Test Schedule: What is your budget for testing? What is your timeframe for testing? What are your expected deliverables during testing?

Keep in mind that endurance testing requires a significant amount of time in order to check system performance over prolonged use. You should base your time duration on real-world factors that reflect actual production use of the system. Some tests may require hours to complete while others may be running for years.

Endurance Testing With Real-Time Example

Here’s an endurance test with an example situation that many of us understand: memory leakage.

A memory leak occurs when weak programming code results in a failure to release objects that are no longer used. Available memory wears down gradually over time, which can slow down your application and, worse, stop it completely from working.

The goal of running an endurance test is to prevent such scenarios.  In endurance testing, your QA team runs your system for an established amount of time under certain amounts of load to see if any leakage in memory occurs.

Advantages of Endurance Testing

There are so many reasons why endurance testing should be included in your QA test strategy. When best practices are applied, your team can expect endurance testing to:

  • Find performance-related problems in order to maintain the software’s durability
  • Detect bugs related to memory leaks
  • Confirm to your development team that your application can perform as expected for long periods of time without maintenance
  • Prevent scenarios that would result in reputation damage or customer dissatisfaction
  • Reduce maintenance costs by addressing issues early before they evolve into severe system damage
  • Improve infrastructure by addressing time-related faults and bugs

Disadvantages of Endurance Testing

In order to test correctly, endurance testing requires a lot from your team. In fact, your QA testers can expect to face many challenges when running endurance tests. Even with the best of intentions, endurance testing is:

  • A time-consuming process, taking as long as 12 hours or even days to complete
  • A costly investment, as it requires your system to run continuously throughout the test 
  • High maintenance, as it requires its own testing environment to not interfere with other testing or cause application failure and data loss.

Endurance Testing Tools

The best way to run endurance test cases is with the support of endurance testing tools. Endurance testing already requires long periods of time for testing, so running these tests manually can take your QA team too much time to complete without a guarantee of test accuracy. 

There’s a lot of things to consider when choosing a test automation tool for endurance testing. Our experts at QASource recommend checking out these testing tools for your QA strategy.

  • JMeter: This open-source software is freely available at platform-independent. Apache JMeter is a great performance testing tool that can run endurance testing with real-time example scenarios. This testing tool easily integrates with Selenium and can also perform unit testing.
  • LoadRunner: Considered a leader in performance testing, LoadRunner supports scripts from Selenium and JMeter by declaring an interface library. Similar to JMeter, this endurance test tool also excels at running both integration testing and unit testing. LoadRunner may not be a free tool, but it does allow free trials to a certain number of users.
  • Appvance: Alongside endurance testing, Appvance can be used for security, performance and functional testing. This AI-driven automation tool provides a virtual user dashboard and real-time analytics.
  • OpenSTA: Open System Testing Architecture - commonly known as OpenSTA - is written in C++ by CYRANO and is supported by Microsoft Windows OS. This open-source tool can be used to perform scripted HTTP and HTTPS heavy load tests with performance measures. 
  • WebLoad Professional: This endurance testing tool supports both Perfecto Mobile and Selenium. You can expect various pricing plan for this performance testing tool. Like NeoLoad, WebLoad Professional offers a free plan with limited users.

Is your team ready to carry out these best practices for endurance testing? Partner with a QA services provider like QASource. Our team of QA experts specializes in a variety of testing services with years of experience performing endurance testing across industries. Let us help your team through the process of endurance testing so your system always runs at peak performance, no matter the load demands. Get a free quote today


This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.