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Testing Performance Is Key to Cloud Success

Denise Culver
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Denise Culver

It's difficult to track just how many companies are now moving their data from servers into the cloud, where a third-party network of remote servers stores and manages all of their data. Some estimate that more than half of US businesses now use cloud computing.

Such numbers make it easy to understand why companies are turning to the cloud: It is affordable, convenient and provides ample storage space. Most important, however, is its accessibility, which enables users to access documents, videos and any other saved files from any device with Internet access. With cloud services, users connect at home, at work or on the go via a laptop, desktop, smartphone or other handheld device.

Some of the world's largest tech companies, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Rackspace (NYSE: RAX), Salesforce.com Inc. and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), have launched cloud services. Some of the key factors to consider when choosing a cloud provider traditionally have been features, mobile access, ease of use and support services.

Today, however, possibly the most important factor concerning cloud services is how well the cloud is tested for performance. Just as, in days past, no responsible IT manager would have utilized internal servers without proper testing and measurement, the same holds true for today's cloud servers.

In fact, the reality is that cloud servers need more strenuous testing for performance under real-world, real-time testing scenarios, because they're often hosting information for hundreds, if not thousands of companies, all of which are placing the security and stability of their corporate data in the hands of that cloud server.

This is just one of the key findings in this month's Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, "Performance Monitoring Proves Key for Cloud Services." This report examines the cloud performance testing market, analyzing features that are most predominantly used in solutions found in the marketplace today, as well as features that are likely to gain traction over the next two years. It also discusses drivers and challenges in the industry and includes a comparative analysis of solutions available on the market. Finally, it examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that are likely to occur in the industry over the next 18-24 months.

Cloud testing is only going to become more important in the future. One company is predicting that by 2015, end-user spending on cloud services will be more than $180 billion. Meanwhile, the global market for cloud equipment is expected to reach $79.1 billion by 2018. In just 2014 alone, businesses in the US are expected to spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services.

All those figures point to the reality that the cloud has become a necessary and desirable business tool. Nevertheless, that tool will only be appealing as long as it works -- and works well. As cloud computing continues to grow, cloud testing must do likewise, to ensure that the viability and utility of the tool doesn't fall by the wayside.

— Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider

Performance Monitoring Proves Key for Cloud Services, an 18-page report in PDF format, is available as part of an annual subscription (six bimonthly issues) to Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900.

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User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 2:33:07 PM
Re: How easy we forget
@Phil_Britt -- I think it's ironic that companies don't test unless forced, and yet should something fail it will be many times more expensive than if the problem was caught earlier via testing.

It's like insurance.  It's always a good idea to have it, but people ignore it because of the negative association with misfortune and because it doesn't deliver an immediate benefit.  But if you don't have it and misfortune occurs, it's many, many times worse.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 9:56:00 AM
How easy we forget
You are absolutely right about the need for stress tesitng of cloud solutions, but it always seems that a high percentage of companies don't stress test systems unless required by regulations (financial services).

I'm not suggesting companies be required by regulatrion to stress test, but companies should look at it like disaster recovery testing. They should look at the cloud and other systems as very likely to succumb to Murphy's law.
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