While the Cloud platforms vendors (Amazon, IBM, Google, Rackspace etc.) are fighting to offer the cheapest and the most flexible environment for companies to use, we see some cloud testing services coming our way. After all James Whittaker did predict it, so it must be true
While cloud computing for business is still in its infancy and challenges still being worked on (security, lock-in, SLAs, regulatory compliance, privacy, data integrity etc.) a cloud platform offers some valuable advantage compare to a typical owned IT environment: on-demand access, scalability, elasticity and of course lower cost (you pay for what you use). For companies delivering online solutions to customers, it’s definitely a good option to validate the scalibity and behavior under stress of such solutions.
For a company such as Experian, providing best of breed information,analytical tools and marketing services there is a real opportunity to match quickly new market requirements. The world is transforming itself and whoever is able to rapidly adapt, will emerge at the top of the pack. We need to act fast, deliver these new products and ensure the same level of quality our customers expect from us.
As my growing organization is picking up additional product responsibility, I need to be a bit creative to manage 2 important challenges:
- An increasing need for a larger and flexible heterogeneous hardware environment primarily used for compliance and performance testing.
- A need to ensure adequate and flexible testing capacity to be able to cope with aggressive release timeframe.
On May 14th, Google has experienced one of its largest public outage. Not only Google homepage was down but it also affected most of Google’s services including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Apps and AdSense. Google has taken responsibility for the problem. Urs Hoelzle, SVP of Operation at Google, released the following statement:
Imagine if you were trying to fly from New York to San Francisco, but your plane was routed through an airport in Asia. And a bunch of other planes were sent that way too, so your flight was backed up and your journey took much longer than expected. That’s basically what happened to some of our users today for about an hour, starting at 7:48 am Pacific time.
An error in one of our systems caused us to direct some of our web traffic through Asia, which created a traffic jam. As a result, about 14% of our users experienced slow services or even interruptions. We’ve been working hard to make our services ultrafast and “always on,” so it’s especially embarrassing when a glitch like this one happens. We’re very sorry that it happened, and you can be sure that we’ll be working even harder to make sure that a similar problem won’t happen again. All planes are back on schedule now.
It looks like cloud computing is going to be very hot in 2009. After Amazon, Microsoft and Google, IBM is planning to make its push in the cloud computing space. This is definitely a good news for everyone looking to use these type of service. As mentioned in one of my previous post, this is something I’m looking into in 2009 to add flexibility to my organization’s test infrastructure. This healthy competition is definitely going to bring better service and drive cost down !
Excerpt from the Reuters article
BOSTON, April 23 (Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) plans to launch cloud computing services this year, taking on companies such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Google Inc (GOOG.O).
Company spokeswoman Kelly Sims said on Thursday the first of these new services will enable developers to write software that works with the emerging new technology.
Cloud computing systems run software and store information in remote, large-scale data centers that users and programmers access over the Internet.
In addition to the service for developers, the company also plans to introduce clouds that allow businesses to run business applications and virtualize personal computer networks, Sims said.
As all my testing teams are geographically distributed, I am obviously always trying to maximize the effectiveness of our test hardware infrastructure while looking very closely at costs (especially in this tough economic environment). I’m particularly trying to reach optimum flexibility and scalability for our environment. All the products I’m responsible for are developed and tested at different pace. They also might be at different maturity level requiring different test focus (I’m particularly thinking about performance and benchmarks). Continue reading