Application Performance: A Hidden Cost of Cloud Computing
September 03, 2013
Michael Kopp
Share this

In December 2012, Research in Action (on behalf of Compuware) conducted a survey of 468 CIOs and other senior IT professionals from around the world. The survey determined cloud computing to be the top IT investment priority for 2013. No surprises there, as clearly these professionals are being driven by the promised benefits of greater agility, flexibility and time-to-value.

What is surprising is the fact that 79 percent of these professionals expressed concern over the hidden costs of cloud computing, with poor end-user experience resonating as the biggest management worry.

According to the survey, here are the four leading concerns with cloud migration:

- Performance Bottlenecks: (64%) Respondents believe that cloud resources and e-commerce will experience poor performance due to cloud application bottleneck usage.

- Poor End-User Experience: (64%) End users may end up dissatisfied with the cloud performance due to heavy traffic from application usage.

- Reduced Brand Perception: (51%) Customer loyalty may be greatly reduced due to poor experience and poor cloud performance.

- Loss of Revenue: (44%) Companies may lose revenues as a result of poor performance, reduced availability or slow technical troubleshooting services.

Ironically, these responses come at a time when the cloud is increasingly being used to support mission-critical applications like e-commerce. More than 80 percent of the professionals surveyed are either already using cloud-based e-commerce platforms or are planning to do so within the next 12 months.

It used to be that issues like security and cost dominated the list of cloud concerns. But application performance is increasingly making headway as end users grow more demanding. For the average end user, 0.1 seconds is an instantaneous, acceptable response, similar to what they experience with a Google search. As response times increase, interactions begin to slow and dissatisfaction rises.

The impact of a slowdown can be devastating: Amazon has calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. In addition, Google itself found that slowing search response times by just four-tenths of a second would reduce the number of searches by eight million per day – a sizeable amount.

Inherent cloud attributes like on-demand resource provisioning and scalability are designed to increase confidence in the usability of applications and data hosted in the cloud. But the most common mistake that people often make is interpreting availability guarantees as performance guarantees in a cloud computing environment.

Availability shows that a cloud service provider’s servers are up and running – but that’s about it. Service-level agreements (SLAs) based on availability say nothing about the end-user experience, which can be significantly impacted by the cloud – such as, when an organization’s “neighbor” in the cloud experiences an unexpected spike in traffic.

Yet, despite the business critical nature of many cloud applications, our survey found that 73 percent of companies are still using outdated methods like availability measurements to track and manage application performance.

The fact is that most traditional monitoring tools simply don’t work in the cloud. Effectively monitoring and managing modern cloud-based applications and services requires a new approach based on more granular end-user metrics such as response time and page rendering time. This approach must be based in an understanding of the true end-user interaction “on the other side” of the cloud. It must enable cloud customers to directly measure the performance of their cloud service providers and validate SLAs. With this type of approach, cloud customers can be better assured that application performance issues will not undo the benefits of moving to the cloud.

ABOUT Michael Kopp

Michael Kopp is Technology Strategist, Compuware APM Center of Excellence. He has more than 10 years of experience as an architect and developer. Additionally, Kopp specializes in architecture and performance of Big Data and Cloud environments.

Share this

The Latest

June 18, 2024

With the rise of digital transformation and the increasing reliance on applications for business operations, the need for application performance management (APM) has become more critical ... This blog explains what APM is all about, its significance and key features ...

June 17, 2024

Generative AI (GenAI) has captured significant attention by redefining content creation and automation processes. Despite this surge in GenAI's popularity, it's crucial to highlight the continuous, vital role of machine learning (ML) in underpinning crucial business functions. This era is not about GenAI replacing ML; rather, it's about these technologies collaborating to supercharge intelligent automation across industries ...

June 13, 2024

As organizations continue to navigate their digital transformation journeys, the need for efficient, secure, and scalable data movement strategies has never been more critical ... In an era when enterprise IT landscapes are continually evolving, the strategic movement of data has become a cornerstone of maintaining agility, competitive edge, and operational efficiency ...

June 12, 2024

In May, New Relic published the State of Observability for IT and Telecommunications Report to share insights, statistics, and analysis on the adoption and business value of observability for the IT and telecommunications industries. Here are five key takeaways from the report ...

June 11, 2024
Over the past decade, the pace of technological progress has reached unprecedented levels, where fads both quickly rise and shrink in popularity. From AI and composability to augmented reality and quantum computing, the toolkit of emerging technologies is continuing to expand, creating a complex set of opportunities and challenges for businesses to address. In order to keep pace with competitors, avoiding new models and ideas is not an option. It's critical for organizations to determine whether an idea has transformative properties or is just a flash in the pan — a challenge tackled in Endava's new 2024 Emerging Tech Unpacked Report ...
June 10, 2024

The rapidly evolving nature of the industry, particularly with the recent surge in generative AI, can catch firms off-guard, leaving them scrambling to adapt to new trends without the necessary funds ... This blog will discuss effective strategies for optimizing cloud expenses to free up funds for emerging AI technologies, ensuring companies can adapt and thrive without financial strain ...

June 06, 2024

Software developers are spending more than 57% of their time being dragged into "war rooms" to solve application performance issues, rather than investing their time developing new, cutting-edge software applications as part of their organization's innovation strategy, according to a new report from Cisco ...

June 05, 2024

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) is continuing to see massive adoption and expanding use cases, despite some ongoing concerns related to bias and performance. This is clear from the results of Applause's 2024 GenAI Survey, which examined how digital quality professionals use and experience GenAI technology ... Here's what we found ...

June 04, 2024

Many times customers want to know why their measured performance doesn't match the speed advertised (by the platform vendor, software vendor, network vendor, etc). Assuming the advertised speeds are (a) within the realm of physical possibility and obeys the laws of physics, and (b) are real achievable speeds and not "click-bait," there are at least ten reasons for being unable to achieve advertised speeds. In situations where customer expectations and measured performance don't align, use the following checklist to help determine the reason(s) why ...

June 03, 2024

With so many systems potentially impacting applications performance, it is critical to find ways to separate insights from data that is often white noise. When cross-functional teams have clear alignment on what KPIs matter to them and their users' experiences, they can implement tools and processes that best support them. In the end, there must be collective ownership ...