With the ramping-arrival-rate executor, k6 starts iterations at a variable rate. It is an open-model executor, meaning iterations start independently of system response (for details, read Open and Closed models).

This executor has *stages* that configure target number of iterations and the time k6 takes to reach or stay at this target.
Unlike the ramping VUs executor, which configures VUs,
this executor dynamically changes the number of iterations to start, and starts these iterations as long as the test has enough allocated VUs.
To learn how allocation works, read Arrival-rate VU allocation.

note

Iteration starts are spaced fractionally.Iterations

do notstart at exactly the same time. At a rate of 10 with a timeUnit of 1s, each iteration starts about every tenth of a second (that is, each 100ms).

## Options

Besides the common configuration options, this executor has the following options:

Option | Type | Description | Default |
---|---|---|---|

stages^{(required)} | array | Array of objects that specify the target number of iterations to ramp up or down to. | [] |

preAllocatedVUs^{(required)} | integer | Number of VUs to pre-allocate before test start to preserve runtime resources. | - |

startRate | integer | Number of iterations to execute each timeUnit period at test start. | 0 |

timeUnit | string | Period of time to apply the startRate to the stages' target value. Its value is constant for the whole duration of the scenario, it is not possible to change it for a specific stage. | "1s" |

maxVUs | integer | Maximum number of VUs to allow during the test run. | If unset, same as preAllocatedVUs |

## When to use

If you need start iterations independent of system-under-test performance, and want to ramp the number of iterations up or down during specific periods of time.

note

Don't put sleep at the end of an iteration.The arrival-rate executors already pace the iteration rate through the rate and timeUnit properties. It's unnecessary to use a sleep() function at the end of the VU code.

## Example

This is an example of a four-stage test.

It starts at the defined startRate, 300 iterations per minute over a one minute period. After one minute, the iteration rate ramps to 600 iterations started per minute over the next two minutes, and stays at this rate for four more minutes. In the last two minutes, it ramps down to a target of 60 iterations per minute.

## Observations

The following graph depicts the performance of the example script:

Based upon our test scenario inputs and results:

- The configuration defines 4 stages for a total test duration of 9 minutes.
- Stage 1 maintains the startRate iteration rate at 300 iterations started per minute for 1 minute.
- Stage 2 ramps
*up*the iteration rate linearly from the*stage 1*of 300 iterations started per minute, to the target of 600 iterations started per minute over a 2-minute duration. - Stage 3 maintains the
*stage 2*iteration rate at 600 iterations started per minute over a 4-minute duration. - Stage 4 ramps
*down*the iteration rate linearly to the target rate of 60 iterations started per minute over the last two minutes duration. - Changes to the iteration rate are performed by k6, adjusting the number of VUs
- The script waits for a period of time (defined by the gracefulStop option) for iterations to finish. It doesn't start new iterations during the gracefulStop period.
- Our example performed, 4020 iterations over the course of the test.

## Get the stage index

To get the current running stage index, use the getCurrentStageIndex helper function from the k6-jslib-utils library. It returns a zero-based number equal to the position in the shortcut stages array or in the executor's stages array.

Using this feature, it is possible to automatically tag using the current running stage. Check the Tagging stages section for more details.