There are many types of load testing, each of which performs a given function. For example, some load tests might test peak stress levels for an entire application by simulating the maximum expected number of visitors to a website. Others might maintain a ’steady state’ of users for days or weeks, looking for memory leaks. Still, others might assault a single application component, such as a load balancer, with requests to verify that it can hold up its end of the bargain in greater application environment.

Regardless of the specifics, all load tests aim to make an application stronger by locating the points where it breaks.

Load testing provides intelligence, it does not provide insurance. Load testing is active, while insurance is passive. Insurance is designed to pick up the pieces after disaster. Load testing is designed to anticipate and prevent disasters. Most people by health, auto or home insurance hoping they will never need it. Many people ‘get by’ without insurance through a combination of careful planning and good luck; neither will prevent the need for load testing. Load testing helps defends against threats that will be realized by all successful application or websites. Load testing helps business look beyond possible and make real business decisions based on actual.

Source : “Software Testing – Effective Methods, Tools and Techniques book authored by our director, Mr Pradeep Oak and published by McGraw Hill.