Placing a Premium on Cloud Computing Performance

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Cloud Computing Performance Matters

Performance issues are already a major concern.

As cloud computing services gain more momentum, the question that many IT organizations are starting to ask is not when they will embrace the concept, but rather who to go with. After all, cloud computing is a nascent market where the volume of compute cycles available from suppliers already exceeds the available demand.

To help IT organizations figure out which cloud computing providers have the best service, Compuware this week released the results of a survey of 700 businesses in North America and Europe that find that IT organizations are now taking a much harder look at the performance capabilities of service providers in the context of enforceable service-level agreements.

The problem that most IT organizations face in this regard, says Richard Stone, cloud computing solutions manager at Compuware, is the fact that the metrics used for determining availability and quality of service are based on tools that the cloud computing provider makes available to customers. But Stone notes that much more goes into cloud computing performance than just the availability of service because of all the networks involved in creating what amounts to an extended IT supply chain.


To give IT organizations more insight into cloud computing services, Compuware recently rolled out CloudSleuth, a service that tracks the performance of the major cloud computing and software-as-a-service environments. In fact, the company recently released a ranking of the top 15 cloud computing providers in terms of performance that ranked the Microsoft Azure service first and the Google App Engine service second.

The new survey makes a direct connection between the performance of a cloud computing service and a customer's revenue. The 378 respondents in North America said that, on average, their companies were losing $1 million in revenue a year due to poor cloud computing performance, and as a result, 58 percent said they are hesitating when it comes to deploying additional applications in the cloud. How the respondents calculated the revenue estimates is not exactly clear. But the survey does show that there is a growing amount of concern over cloud computing performance and networks are the weakest link in the overall IT supply chain.

Ultimately, cloud computing may lead to increased demand for more dedicated networks. In the meantime, it's pretty clear that customers are starting to ask some tougher questions about the quality of service in the cloud. That should lead to tougher service-level agreements that take into account more than just the availability of a server. And once that happens, the inevitable weeding out of the weaker cloud computing service providers should begin in earnest.

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