I won’t play the game of “My top 10 predictions for 2011″ unlike a lot of bloggers. The reason? I’m very bad at this game and you’ve read too many predictions already. So today I will give you one and only one prediction. That’s a fairly big risk I’m taking here but I’m so confident that I think the odd are with me. Yes my fellow readers, 2011 will be the tipping point for Cloud Testing. Read on and tell me in the comments part if we’re not in front of a perfect combination leading to Cloud Testing going mainstream.
1/ Cloud adoption
Unless you’ve been sleeping in the cave the last 18 months, you can see what’s happening in the industry today. Cloud computing is reaching maturity and is not limited to scientists looking for processing power, nerds playing with virtual box or your typical startup which is looking for agility. Nope, Cloud Computing is ready for the Enterprise application from financial services, telco, retail to media and ISVs. They’re all looking for flexibility, scalability, cost reduction. But they want some guarantee, they want to make sure this new window of opportunity doesn’t lead to a painful migration phase. They want (and deserve) a smooth ride. The only way to guarantee this smooth ride from a performance and reliability perspective is to test their application with the proper tools and from a realistic environment. Something that can simulate a proper load, coming from different geography, with real-life latency figures etc. Testing from a QA lab, as large as it might be, is not a solution anymore. Leveraging the cloud for testing is the only answer.
2/ Performance data explodes
Haaa the good old days of client-server! Performance data was coming from fairly simple environment: A few servers, your client and a huge monolithic database. Things changed to accommodate for increasing volume: Scalability lead to farms of server, cluster of databases and your same old desktop client. Cloud computing add another (big) level of complexity. We’re talking thousand of servers, distributed databases all around the world, CDNs, Routers, Load Balancers, Proxies, firewall, you name it ! And your client can be anything from a Desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, your car etc. If you’re serious about performance testing, you want to expose all these components during your test and measure their behavior. You end up with terabytes of performance data and you better have the right tool and environment to aggregate and correlate these data if you want to find all your potential bottleneck. You need enough processing power and a large amount of storage. And if you want to get your measurement in real-time (as you should want) you want to be as close as possible from your application and its surrounding components. Yes, you want to test from the cloud.
3/ Internet traffic explodes
New data from TeleGeography’s Global Internet Geography study reveal that international Internet traffic grew 62% in 2010. While down slightly from the 74% growth recorded in 2009, it is well in line with previous years.
Growth rates varied significantly by region. The regions experiencing the fastest growth in international Internet traffic between mid-year 2009 and mid-year 2010 were Eastern Europe and India/South Asia, where average traffic growth exceeded 100%, and the Middle East, where traffic rose just under 100%. Even relatively ‘mature’ markets are still growing rapidly: western European international Internet traffic increased 66%, and the US and Canada’s international Internet traffic climbed 54%.
And I think we’ve seen nothing yet. With the wild adoption of devices such as smartphones and tablet the trend is going to continue strong. Then in a few years, we’ll see the Internet of Things really take off and the carrier better be ready for this (and we haven’t finished talking about net neutrality …). Web applications and infrastructure will have to get ready for this growth and test, test, test again. From the cloud to simulate realistic traffic.
4/ No business can afford downtime or slow performance in this highly competitive economy
I won’t give the complete list of online business which lost a lot of money due to outage from their online operation: Best Buy (recently), Bank Of America, Chase, Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, Twitter, Gmail, foursquare, Tumblr and the list goes on and on … We’re talking big businesses, financial impact going beyond multiple million of dollars and an impact on their brand which make them lose customers it took them so long to acquire. Going into 2011, they can’t afford these problems anymore and they better get ready as the environment is highly competitive and customer degree of attention and patience is falling fast. If they want to get the trust from their customers, they need to invest in the right tools and technology to guarantee proper business operation. If they’ve been relying on aging tools (Yes HP LoadRunner I’m talking about you!), not fit for today’s environment, they should make the switch. Fast. NOW !
I’m in an odd situation here where I try to stay as objective as possible and avoid proselytism. Yes, I work now for SOASTA and I think we’re leading the Cloud Testing movement especially for testing in production, large volume and Enterprise application. But if you’re a regular reader, you know that I’ve been enthusiast for Cloud Testing for a while now and I haven’t changed. I really think today, condition are perfect for Cloud Testing to help customers get ready for the future. I think the competition will become fierce in 2011 with new players coming in this hot market. I’m actually eager for this … it will push us beyond our limits to offer more to customers … We already have some ideas about it .. Stay tuned !
With these words, I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!