What is software resilience testing?

Software resilience testing method aims to ensure the smooth running of applications under real or exceptional conditions. In other words, it tests the flexibility of the application or its ability to withstand stressful or challenging events. Like conformance, stress, load, and recovery testing, resilience testing is part of non-functional software testing. This type of test is sometimes referred to as IT resilience, application resilience testing, or chaos engineering.

Since it is impossible to prevent failure completely, resilience testing ensures that the software continues to provide essential functionality and avoids data loss even under stress. Constantly increasing customer expectations and business damage from business interruptions are reminders of the importance of minimizing disruptions and preparing for undesirable scenarios. Resilience testing can be considered as part of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

Use of flexibility tests

Flexibility testing is part of the software development cycle. It all starts with an application for the test. Then a customized environment is prepared for the tests. Flexibility testing typically includes the following steps:

  1. Determine metrics: Developers must choose the metrics that should be measured to accurately reflect software performance, such as in/out throughput, throughput, recovery time, response time, and metric relationships.
  2. Determine benchmark performance: You must then compile a performance benchmark that corresponds to the maximum load that the software can support without degrading performance. This makes it easy to distinguish normal deviation from performance and the indicator can be used to compare measurements during testing.
  3. Introducing and measuring disturbances: At this point we will try to bring down the system. There are many ways to do this: one can break communication with external dependencies, inject malicious code as input, deal with traffic control, limit bandwidth, shut down interface systems, remove data sources, and consume system resources. For each scenario, indicators are measured and observed according to the impacts on performance.
  4. Evaluate and process the results: Finally, the results are used to initiate discussions, correct the program, and evaluate the development teams’ practices. Additionally, these teams should optimize subsequent test scenarios in light of these findings.

The importance of flexibility testing

Resiliency testing helps reduce failures and security issues when the going gets tough, including protection against power or system outages, service outages, and natural disasters. In addition, they allow assessment of compliance with standards, best practices, confidentiality, as well as scalability.

These tests are especially important in multi-tiered infrastructures and environments. To reduce the risk of internal system downtime, a solution consists of migrating the software to the cloud and thus enhancing its resilience: if the cloud encounters disruptions, providers generally have complex recovery systems.

reliability or flexibility

In software, reliability and flexibility are often confused. Resilience is the ability to return to an ideal state or recover quickly from a problem. Reliability is the goal of developers, any system that works perfectly or without interruption. In the elasticity test, reliability is the expected result. The concept of resilience is also known as recoverability.

This profile has been updated in November 2020

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