1. A method for detecting abnormalities in network element operation, the method comprising:initiating a stress test by an internal stress test module executing in a network element operating system of a network element, wherein the network element is configured to perform a plurality of network element functionalities, and wherein the internal stress test module applies the stress test directly to at least one of the plurality of network element functionalities, wherein the network element comprises a processor, wherein the network element operating system is executing on the processor or on a virtual machine executing on the processor;
monitoring, while the network element is subject to the stress test, at least a portion of the network element for abnormalities, wherein an abnormality comprises a measured performance that deviates from a nominal performance, but that does not cause erroneous behavior that results in a partial or complete loss of one or more network element functionalities, wherein the monitoring is performed using a plurality of abnormality detection modules executing in the network element;
making, by at least one of the plurality of abnormality detection modules, a determination that an abnormality exists in response to the monitoring, wherein the detected abnormality is indicative of an underlying problem in the network element; and
based on the determination, tracking the abnormality.