Nothing new under the clouds

So you just moved your application into a cloud, abandoning those servers in your own data center? Will there be any change in what to performance test? Given the underlying driving forces as lined out in this blog at Dynatrace by Daniel Kaar, I think the answer is no.

In the past, you ran your application in your own data center, on your own servers. When you hit a limit on what your application delivered on your hardware, you had tough choices to make. Buy new hardware and wait for it to be delivered and installed? This did cost not only money but, even worse, time. Rewrite your application to actually use your hardware efficiently? Again, we’re talking time here, even more time. Yes, we might save money on the hardware if we manage to get the application to perform ten or hundred times better – but it takes time until we’re up and running. Your countermeasure might be to put a few extra servers on the side so you can quickly deploy them if this, or one of your other applications, requires them. Did you calculate the cost for constantly keeping extra servers on the side, extra servers which quickly become obsolete? Well, that was in the past.

Now, you’re running your application in a cloud. When hitting a limit, you order a few more servers and, as long as your application scales, you’re up and running inside minutes or hours. Hitting a limit, you can push it further away. It’s as if the limit doesn’t exist any more. With no limits, shouldn’t everyone be happy? Not quite. Those extra servers didn’t come for free. When they’re used, you have to pay for them. That extra hardware is operational cost.

Cost has moved. We have less fixed costs today but more operational costs. In the end, the costs are still there.

Am I, as a performance tester, worried by the cloud scenario? Not a bit! There still are so many badly performing applications out there. Data center or cloud, do you prefer to pay too much in fixed costs or rather too much in operational costs?

Or do you prefer to get a clear picture of how good or bad your application performs? Maybe you even want to control its performance and costs?

Nothing new under the clouds.

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