What is volume Testing?

Volume testing is a kind of software testing where a large amount of data in input to the software and is seen whether the software is able to stand with that load of data.

It is the way of inputting values which are either higher in range or are many in numbers, sometimes more than what the software can handle.

Volume testing is also somewhat related to analyzing the efficiency and checking the performance, which seems similar to the strategy of the load testing, but both are different concepts and one should not be confused.

The main objective of volume testing is to make a load test. The idea behind the fact is that any software may perform well when the data input to it is very small or not much load is applied to it. But when the software is made to handle a very large amount of data. Then it may fail.

The different reason to perform volume testing are as follows:

  • The see the performance of the software when the load is applied.
  • To see that when the system break or is not able to perform when the load crosses the threshold.
  • The measure the stability of the system, when the load is just below the threshold.
  • The check the validity of the output of the software when the

Some reasons for software failure for heavy load are as follows:

  • Function overflow: The function overflow happens, when there are loops or conditions inside which are not well defined and thus overflow happens. This is at the functional level of software.
  • Overflow data types: This happens when the data type such as array or stack is declared in such a way that the data range overflows in the run time. This is also a functional level error.
  • Mis-integration: The problem in integration may cause the leakage of data or internal data redirection may occur which it may create an overflow of data.
  • Memory address error: The software stores the data in some memory location. No doubt, that there are data server for the system, which may have

What are the main uses of Volume Testing?

  • Volume Testing is used to check the system behavior after the big volume of data is applied to the system.
  • Volume Testing assures the stability of the system when a larger volume of data is input to the system.
  • Volume Testing measures how the software will perform when it will be made to work in an environment where there is a possibility of a spike in input data.
  • Volume Testing helps us to guess the bottlenecks much before the software is launched.
  • Volume Testing is also helpful to check whether the addition of new databases to the software will cause a system failure or whether the software still performs well under such conditions.
  • Volume Testing helps us to find the exact point at what the system breaks, this is helpful in the case of software which cannot be improved more, but at least can be recovered, if the load or volume threshold of the software is known.
  • Volume Testing can assure that, there is not much difference in the behavior of the software with a normal amount of data or a heavy amount of data as input.
  • Volume Testing is carried out so that, no crisis has to meet at the end, which leads to money loss.
  • Volume Testing is performed to see what are the different types of problems that are emerging due to the heavy load applied to the software. Sometimes, it may happen that, there is error emerging with a big volume of data, but those are ignorable problems and do not cause any harm to the software.

Compliance Testing

Things to be checked in Volume Testing

There are certain things which are to be checked while carrying out Volume testing. The are some attributes like performance, speed, efficiency, load balance, etc which are to be seen while performing volume testing.

It has to be mentioned that, performance testing, usability testing, are different topics and are discussed separately. But here, we deal with all the attributes while keeping in mind, that we are testing when the threshold for volume is reached or has been crossed.

Now what are the things needed to be checked:

Speed :

There is certain software which needs to operate at a certain speed and less than the threshold is not required or does not fulfill the criteria for the software to be used in the practical field. For example, if large customers access to a commercial website causes the software to wait, it will not be eligible for practical use.

It is to be mentioned that, there are softwares which tends to get slower with the course of time. But that okay, because speed is always not the concern for software or system's performance.

For example, there is software which is used to transfer funds from one bank to the other. Now, here the concern for security is more than the speed. The funds may be transferred in one, two or even three business days, but there should not be lack to atomicity or inconsistency in the software.
Response Time :

This is the time, between making the request to the software and getting the output from the software. This is a major criterion for analyzing the performance of the software. Therefore, when the load is heavy, the response time of the software must be checked. And software hang is likely to occur while in load.

The software with bugs or memory address error, will also behave well and provide positive feedback while in the test with a normal load. But the same attribute may be largely manipulated while the load is heavier compared to the normal.

Memory Resources Availability:

Memory resource availability is one of the main attributes of volume testing. It can be clearly understood that, when the load is higher on software, it is the memory which is responsible for addressing it. Now there may be many reasons for which the software is unable to address memory in the required time.

This may happen if, the software is designed in such a way, that heavy load was never a concern for software development. Also, the connection of the software to the memory may be poor, and the software may have a good addressable memory, but it may not be able to access that with that much speed.

For example, A google drive application is faster and has addressable space which can meet all user requirements. But if the internet connection is slow, then the speed is ultimately slow.
Data replacement:

This is one of the options that the software might choose when the load is higher. For the naive users or the user dealing with real-time data only, it may seem okay. Because no other data record which saves previously is required.

But the effect, which is done to deal with the data replacement is severe. To address the load, the software may be deleting the previous data or may be overwritten. In this case, the user may not find his/her own history later on.

A risk in load:

This has to be analyzed whether, in the case of overload, there is any potential risk. It may happen that, the software is able to handle data overload and also the efficiency and all other attributes which are of main concern are normal, but still the risk factor may be there.

For example, the software may be used in a bank where multiple forms are submitted to create users account. Now, when the software is handling the scenarios keeping all the attributes of the software normal, still some minute leakage may be there inside it, and due to overloaded data, it may store the improper result.

This is an example, where risk can be a major problem during the time when the software has to handle a large volume of data.

Age Testing

Volume Testing VS Load Testing:

One may have a question in his/her mind, that, why to compare Volume Testing with Load testing. As mentioned earlier, the strategy of volume and load testing is almost the same, just the difference is their end-objective.

While in volume testing we apply maximum load and study the software behavior, in the load testing we apply minimum as well as maximum load and observe the software behavior.

Therefore, it's necessary to compare and see how volume testing and load testing are different. Below are the points mentioned:

  • Volume Testing is done by applying large volume data into the software and observe the performance. On the other hand, in Load testing, the load is applied in maximum and minimum as well and the software behavior is analyzed.
  • Volume Testing is sometimes done by connecting the software to a database and the flooding the software to check the load balancing ability of the software. On the other hand, in the Load test database remains the same, just the load in increased keeping in mind the customer's maximum expectation from the software.
  • Volume Testing is sometimes carried out to see where the software breaks down exactly. This is a scenario when the tester is aware that the software must break or hang. On the other hand, in the case of load testing, there is no such objective, but the performance, efficiency, usability remains the main concern of the testing.
  • Volume Testing is carried out by less professional personnel also. On the other hand, the load test is recommended to be done by professionals only, as usability, performance, efficiency, etc are involved.

Black Box Testing

Steps involved while carrying out volume testing

There is no formal or defined way to carry out volume testing, instead, there are requirements and procedures which should be followed to get better results in volume testing.

  • The test of the software should be carried out with a normal load and the performance, efficiency and usability should be recorded before the actual volume testing is carried out. This should be done because, in some case, the issue may be residing somewhere else, and may reflect bad result for load, which not fake.
  • When volume testing is complete, then the servers should be disconnected and the logs should be checked and recorded.
  • To maintain a real-time record of how the software's performance traces its path when chunks of data are input to the system at once.
  • To check whether all the databases and the memories which the software requires to perform its execution, are addressable and are well connected.
  • Checking the consistency of the software, that is, whether the software is moved to a next consistent state and can be recovered back to the original state, in case of break down.
  • This has to be kept in mind that the volume testing should not any case, damage the software permanently, leading to a great loss of business or of the entire software development process.
  • The system resources such as the CPU, Memory, databases, cache etc are connected as per the requirements
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