This conversation (er, debate) comes up a lot. What's the difference between performance, load and stress testing? I'm sure there's tons of *official* definitions. At the end of the day, I think about them like this:
- Performance - is about response, time lapses, duration ... etc.
- Load testing - is about test behavior under normal/peak workload conditions. Load is more about characterizing / simulating your actual workload.
- Stress testing - is about surfacing issues under extreme conditions and resource failures.
I could say more, but sometimes less is better. If you want to read more, check out our patterns & practices Performance Testing Guidance Project on CodePle or browse through Scott Barber's exhaustive collection of performance testing articles.