Even though the economy is not nearly as robust as it once was, many companies are looking forward to do some robust business via their Web sites during the upcoming holiday season.
The problem is that many of them are in the final stages of testing new application and infrastructure upgrades with little or no testing in terms of maximum stress loads. In years past, IT organizations more or less accepted the risks associated with launching a new Web site under the assumption that a site that became overwhelmed due to popular demand was more or less a good problem to have.
But in this economic climate, every dollar counts. And when it comes to thoroughly stress-testing a Web site, there really is no excuse anymore for being unprepared. There are now a number of cloud computing services that allow companies to leverage their infrastructure on demand to test various Web performance scenarios. In fact, Hewlett-Packard today became the latest cloud computing vendor to offer such a service with a new Elastic Test offering.
Providers of cloud computing services are looking for ways to differentiate their services at a time when the amount of raw computing horsepower available in the cloud is exceeding demand. Providing application testing facilities on demand is one way cloud computing providers are trying to differentiate themselves, but even here we're already starting to see a number of offerings that together help create a buyers' market for cloud computing services.
In the meantime, the good news is that the risks associated with launching a new Web site are being sharply reduced.