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Failover Testing in Software Testing

Last Updated : 16 Jan, 2024
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Software products/services are tested multiple times before delivery to ensure that it is providing the required service. Testing before delivery doesn’t guarantee that no problem will occur in the future. Even sometimes the software application fails due to some unwanted event due to network issues or due to server-related problems. Failover testing aims to respond to these types of failures.

Suppose that the PC gets off due to some technical issue, and on restarting we open the browser, then a pop-up is shown saying Do you want to restore all pages? On clicking restore, all tabs are restored. The process of ensuring such restorations is known as FAILOVER TESTING.

What is Failover Testing :

Failover testing is a technique that validates if a system can allocate extra resources and back up all the information and operations when a system fails abruptly due to some reason. This test determines the ability of a system to handle critical failures and handle extra servers. So, the testing is independent of the physical hardware component of a server.

It is preferred that testing should be performed by servers. Active-active and active-passive standby are the two most common configurations. Both the techniques achieve failover in a very different manner but both of them are performed to improve the server’s reliability.
For example, if we have three servers, one of them fails due to heavy load, and then two situations occur. Either that failed server will restart on its own or in another situation when the failed server cannot be restarted, the remaining servers will handle the load. Such situations are tested during this test.

Considerable Factors Before Performing Failover Testing :

  1. The budget has to be the first thing to be taken into consideration before thinking about performing the Failover test.
  2. The budget is connected to the frameworks that might crash or break down under pressure/load.
  3. Always keep in mind how much time it will take to fix all the issues caused by the failure of the system.
  4. Note down the most likely failures and organize the outcomes according to how much harm is caused by the failure.

Considerable Factors While Performing Failover Testing

  1. Keep a plan of measures to be taken after performing a test.
  2. Focus on the execution of the test plan.
  3. Set up a benchmark so that performance requirements can be achieved.
  4. Prepare a report concerning issue requirements and/or requirements of the asset.

Working of Failover testing:

Failover Testing

Failover Testing

  1. Consider the factors: Before performing failover testing like budget, time, team, technology, etc.
  2. Analysis on failover reasons and design solutions: Determine probable failure situations that the system might experience. Examine the causes of failover, including software bugs, hardware malfunctions, network problems, etc. It provides fixes for any flaws or vulnerabilities found in the failover procedure.
  3. Testing failover scenarios: It develops extensive test cases to replicate various failover scenarios. This covers both unplanned failovers (system or component failures) and scheduled failovers (maintenance). Test cases ought to address many facets of failover, such as load balancing, user impact, network rerouting, and data synchronization.
  4. Executing the test plan: To reduce the impact on production systems, carry out the failover test plan in a controlled setting. Keep an eye on how the system behaves during failover to make sure it satisfies the recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPO and RTO, respectively).
  5. Detailed report on failover: Keep a record of the failover testing findings, including any problems you ran across, how long it took to failover and how it affected customers or services. Assess problems according to their severity and offer suggestions for improvements.
  6. Necessary actions based on the report: Distribute the report on the failover test to all pertinent parties, such as project managers, developers, and system administrators. Determine what needs to be done and prioritize it based on the report’s conclusions. This might involve fixing found flaws in the system, updating failover setups or improving the documentation.

Benefits of Failover Testing:

  1. Determines Vulnerabilities and Weaknesses: Failover testing helps in locating holes and vulnerabilities in the system by simulating different failure scenarios. Organizations can address any problems before they have an impact on production settings by taking a proactive approach.
  2. Verifies Redundancy Procedures: Redundancy mechanisms are frequently incorporated into systems to improve reliability. In order to make sure that these systems such as redundant servers, databases, or network paths, work flawlessly in the event of a breakdown, failover testing verifies their efficacy.
  3. Improving the User Experience: Consumers anticipate consistent and dependable service availability. By reducing interruptions and ensuring service availability even in the face of unanticipated circumstances, failover testing contributes to the provision of a positive user experience.
  4. Encourages Compliance: Failover testing supports organizations in demonstrating compliance with these rules by ensuring that systems can recover within prescribed times.
  5. Encourages Continuous Improvement: Organizations that regularly test their systems can learn from each test cycle, fix problems found and upgrade their failover procedures to meet changing business needs and technological advancements.

Examples of Failover Testing:

  1. Banking and Financial applications
  2. Telecom applications
  3. Visa applications
  4. Trading applications
  5. Emergency service business applications
  6. Government applications
  7. Defense service-related applications


Once the failure in a system is identified, the issue is resolved and the system gets back to its previous form. The prime purpose of this test is to ensure that retain data and resources on time when crashes happen. A complete plan to improve system dependability, reduce downtime and guarantee business continuity in the case of failures or unexpected events must include failover testing.

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