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What is Spike Testing ? : A Definitive Guide | Expert’s Top Picks | Free Guide Tutorial

Last updated on 02nd Nov 2022, Artciles, Blog

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Pavni Krish (Senior QA Engineer )

Pavni Krish is a Senior QA Engineer in manual testing with 8+ years of experience and she has skills in TestLodge, Zephyr, TestLink, Trello, Jira, Basecamp, Sauce Labs, and Browser Shots.

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    • In this article you will get
    • 1.What is Spike Testing?
    • 2.Objectives of Spike Testing
    • 3.Types of Spike Tests
    • 4.Spike Tests vs. Other Performance Tests
    • 5.Spike Testing Process
    • 6.Advantages and Disadvantages of Spike Testing
    • 7.Example Spike Testing Scenarios
    • 8.Recovery Scenarios on Spike Loads
    • 9.Tools for Spike Testing
    • 10.Conclusion

What is a Spike Testing?n

Spike testing is be referred to as a software performance testing type that is done by sudden increase or decrease in a load on the software application or the system. This load is generated by the large number of users. During this time, the system’s behavior is be constantly monitored. The primary objective of a spike testing is to comprehend whether a system is going to survive or fail in the situation of dramatic change in load.

Objectives of a Spike Testing

The objective of a spike testing is to figure out how the system will be responding to the unforeseen rise and fall in the user load. In the world of software engineering, this process helps to comprehend system performance. Here is what can be expected out of spike testing:

  • Evaluating a software application or system’s behavior under abrupt changes in a load.
  • Monitoring performance of the system under the abrupt changes in a load.
  • Keeping track of system’s failure under extreme load.
  • Comprehending a recovery time between two various spikes.
Objectives of Spike testing

Types of Spike Tests

Spike tests have been segregated into a three types, such as:

1.Constant Spike Test:A constant spike load can be applied to the server after a specific time interval. All of spikes have similar heights in this type, meaning that they have a same load.

2.Step-up Spike Test:In this spike test, a gradually increasing a spike load is applied to a server after a certain time interval. Here, response time should be evaluated at each spike and analyzed the deviation from a baseload response time.

3.Random Spike Test:In this type, a random spike load is applied to a server at random intervals. Such a test type is conducted for the application that often gets spikes in a production environment.

Spike Tests vs. Other Performance Tests

Although spike tests come under a load testing category, they are not a same as every other load test. For instance, the goal of performing load testing is to evaluate a system’s behavior under normal conditions and load spikes. Unlike a spike testing, load tests are generally performed with various loads, over a variety of a time periods.

Stress tests, on other hand, are the same as spike tests. However, they concentrate more on discovering a maximum capacity of users before the system crashes. Stress tests assess the application by consistently increasing the user load until an entire system starts malfunctioning.

Spike Testing Process

1. Test Environment Setup:First of all, a test environment is set up to execute the successful testing. This step aims to get adequate a quality testing process.

2. Determining Extreme Load:Once an environment has been set, an extreme load that the system can resist is be discovered. It refers to a maximum number of users that can use software application or system simultaneously.

3. An Increment of the Load to Peak:In this step, the load on a software application or the system is increased to a peak point. This step is be executed abruptly, which means the load is not increased the gradually but suddenly.

4. Peak Point Analysis:At this step, system’s behavior is monitored under a load on the peak point. The objective here is to find out whethera system is going to crash or survive under a increased load.

5. A drop in load that reaches zero:At this point, load is suddenly decreased to a zero or minimum possible load. This step is be executed abruptly as well.

6. Minimum Load Analysis:At this step, a system’s behavior is monitored under minimum possible load. The system’s performance is be monitored closely.

7. Performance Graph Analysis:The system’s performance graph, which was formed by a suddenly increasing and decreasing the applying load, is be evaluated. With this step, the objective is to assess a kind of spikes that were formed.

Spike testing process

Advantages and Disadvantages of Spike Testing

Advantages of Spike Testing:

  • Spike testing helps to maintain an entire system under an extreme load.
  • It is also be essential in saving a software application or the system from crashing.
  • Spike testing decreases possibilities of failure for a software application or the system.

Disadvantages of Spike Testing:

  • Spike testing needs an experts to perform the process.
  • This testing methodology is be extremely costly.

Example of Spike Testing Scenarios

When an eCommerce platform has launched special offers and deals with the great discounts.A power outage may lead to all of users losing access to a system. Once the outage problem has been resolved, users get to log back in at a same time.When an OTT platform has a live-streamed favorite TV program.A new system getting released and more users wanting to access a same.When flash sale is live.


And can use a cloud platforms, like Azure, AWS, and more to increase server capacity dynamically in tandem with a user load. Don’t offer the application access to ach other user. This way, a system will not face any heavy loads. Also, this will even avert people above a maximum designated load from the accessing the system; thus, protecting it from a excessive load.Being a site admin, and can let users join the system. However, this can come with the warning that they might experience a slow response because of a heavy load. This might also result in the negative effect on the system’s performance. However, user can still work along.

Tools for Spike Testingn


The Apache JMeter is the java open-source tool for a spike testing. Specifically, it has been designed to the measure performance and load functional test behavior. Also, this testing tool can be used to measure and evaluate a performance of web applications along with the several other services as well.


Loadrunner is the another load testing tool that is used for a Linux and Windows. It enables a spike testing of websites and the other relevant apps. Also, a LoadRunner helps find the performance and output of an application even during times it’s under a heavy load.


In an overview, spike testing is the software testing method that is used for a testing the unusual increase and decrease in a load. The unexpected load is a primary attribute of an entire deal. Since there are tools available to help with process, there should not be any main issues whatsoever.

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