Volume Testing

Volume testing confirms that any values that may become large over time (such as accumulated counts, logs, and data files) can be accommodated by the program and won’t cause the program to stop working or degrade its operation in any manner.
Risk if not completed – It may not be possible to operate the complete system with all data in place if the volume of expected records is not checked during testing and verified to work correctly and completely.

Volume Testing is one of the most underrated aspects of Performance testing. You have to know a lot in advance in order to complete Volume testing properly.

  1. What are all the items that are being accumulated in the system?
  2. How big could those accumulated values become?
  3. What happens if the field is overrun?

An example:

Stock Exchanges report on the total volume (number of shares) traded as well as the volume of each individual listing on a daily basis. An estimate is made of the maximum number of shares that might be traded for any particular stock in one day along with the total volume on the exchange. These estimates are based on past experience as well as trends. A number of years ago, one exchange had a run on a single stock. The number of shares traded in the single day exceeded the limits of the field for the individual stock and brought down the entire exchange. The overall total shares traded field had no problem but the individual stock did. It took quite a while for the exchange to come back up.

Many items are not a concern when it comes to Volume Testing but there are always those few that need to be analysed and a determination made as to whether they will have problems at some point in the future. This is largely a mathematical analysis.

Discussion Questions

  1. How do you define Volume Testing?
  2. Was the Volume Testing successfully completed?
  3. Were other items discovered later?

Next Week: Monthly Meetings