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Cloud Computing Conference Notes

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Software AG’s Miko Matsumura hosted a meet-up of customers, vendors, and press interested in cloud computing this week in Santa Clara, California. Miko organized a very good panel of presenters, including Michael Crandell from RightScale.com to talk about cloud infrastructure management, Tom Lounibos from SOASTA to talk about testing in cloud environments, (there were others but I had to take myself away for sales calls.)

Cloud computing delivers many benefits to the test vendors:
  1. Provisioning hardware to generate load just got a lot easier, and much less expensive. Cloud computing environments are used at commodity pricing.
  2. Cloud computing enables load generation from multiple geographical locations to more closely simulate real world user environments that previously available. For example, run a test from Asia and Europe on RackSpace, from Eastern US with Amazon EC2, and GoGrid in the Western US.
  3. Cloud computing makes it much easier to provide on-demand testing. For example, PushToTest OnDemand testing reduces costs by avoiding the necessity of making a big committment to a test platform up front.


Things I heard at the meet-up:

Miko says cloud computing helps the little guy to survive being "Slashdotted", where relatively small Web sites that get a lot of attention suddenly.

SOASTA customers include Tom told the audience, "We see an enourmous amount of tests for Sales and Marketing campaigns and new product launchs, then composite (RSS, CMS.)" Tom's view is that Cloud Computing is making it inexpensive to test at levels not previously fiscally possible. For example, Tom indicated the average cloud cost per test is $3,500, at levels of 15,000 to 200,000 simulated users.Dell, QTrax, GuestCentre, Activision, Hallmark.

Tom talked about Hallmark.com's testing. They only tested to 2,000 users in the past. Last week SOASTA did a performance test of 3,000,000 simulated users.

Tom said SOASTA generates geographically located simulated users by using multiple clouds: Amazon EC2 in New York, GoGrid in western US, RackSpace in Asia and Europe.

Tom attributes a story to Jonathan Schwarts of Sun Microsystems: The cost of electricity in Japan has been going up so fast that electricity now costs more than the cost of the server.

Tom relates benefits of performance and latency testing: Google says half a second page delay costs them $100M.

SOASTA stats: 500 On-Demand Cloud Tests, 6,500 Hours of testing, 50 Million Global Virtual Users in their cloud about

Seems like a good list of analyst/media companies to show us what's happening in the Cloud Computing space: Information Week, Gartner, and Cloud Computing Journal.

Michael Crandel on RightScale.com: RightScale has 100 paying customers ($500/month), 100,000 free users, and has managed 2 million hours of servers.

-Frank

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