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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Performance" to cloud providers typically means only availability

One reason cloud performance monitoring is so critical is that cloud provider service is so nebulous. "Performance" to cloud providers typically means only availability; and even availability is only loosely guaranteed. For Amazon Web Services, as an example, unavailability means no connectivity at all during a five-minute period; if your user has a lousy, erratic, miserably slow connection, as far as Amazon is concerned, they've delivered. And availability means availability when it leaves Amazon's door; whether or not anything actually reaches your user is not Amazon's problem (regardless of their choices for ISP and connectivity). Oh, and the burden of proof is on you, the customer. For all intents and purposes, Amazon is not even checking to see if you even have service.

This is not to dump solely on Amazon. The same guarantees, or lack thereof, are typical of many cloud providers. In addition to the caveats above, scheduled and emergency downtime is excluded from availability guarantees; penalties for unavailability are minimal, and certainly not commensurate with potential business damages; and any other kind of performance is not included in the service level agreement.

An ideal cloud-client working relationship includes substantial SLAs, external monitoring of SLA parameters that is visible to both provider and client, and meaningful recourse if the service falls short. In lieu of this ideal, however, the onus is on the enterprise to put cloud monitoring and measurement in place and to hold their provider accountable – so they can either get the service level they need, or switch to a better provider.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Elephant In The Cloud: Performance

For all of its tremendous potential, there’s one thing that will make or break the SaaS model both for vendors and users: Web Performance. No longer is technology contained within the walls of the enterprise, running on its own proven network, controlled closely by its own IT department. Now, the nerve center of the enterprise, the productivity of workers, the integrity of information assets is controlled by an outside entity, flows through the various pipes from a remote data center over the Internet into the enterprise’s network and ultimately, into a browser. And that presents challenges both for performance and user experience.

The problem with the browser being the front-end for SaaS applications is that users have very clear expectations of a browser experience, based on their use of the Web. Users go to a site and expect it to load fast — in two seconds or less. They don’t like to wait, and won’t. Google says that for every additional 500ms of delay, the site loses 20 percent of its traffic. With fast broadband and wireless connections everywhere, users expect blazing speed when they fire up their browser.

Read More http://keynote.com/benchmark/SaaS/article_industry_focus_cloudy_applications.shtml

Tablet Problem? Or Tablet Opportunity?

Yes, it’s another form factor, and more operating system permutations, still more network connection considerations, and additional development expense. But tablets could actually be a bright spot for content owners looking to attract audience and advertising dollars.

This past holiday season, iPad users showed themselves to be valuable customers, buying more and spending more than other mobile shoppers. And a number of studies indicate that tablet users are avid content consumers as well.

More than three-quarters of tablet owners use their device every day, on average for 90 minutes. More than half use it daily to get their news, and many now spend more time on news than they did pre-tablet. In fact, the only thing they’re more likely to use their tablets for than news is to browse the Web.

These numbers are likely skewed, as most current tablet owners have pricey iPads; they tend to be higher-income, better educated, often middle-aged consumers. As the market expands down to lower-priced Kindle Fires and others, tablet demographics will likewise gravitate toward a more mass consumer profile.

Read More: http://keynote.com/benchmark/SaaS/article_three_screen_optimization.shtml