The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

NEW Web Services Performance Certification Program

I’m very excited to announce the new SOASTA Performance Certification Program designed to enable companies deploying software in the Cloud, at hosted data centers, or behind corporate firewalls to certify that their websites have been tested and have met or exceeded industry benchmarks for performance at peak levels of user traffic.  For the past ten years, the dirty little secret in the web development  community has been that whether due to cost, complexity or lack of resources, the vast majority of web applications and sites have not been tested at normal user volumes, much less for unexpected spikes in traffic. Which means our user communities have become the testers for virtually every website, a risk that has proven very costly time and again.

Times are changing–for every new service there are at least five competitors. Having a website that is slow to download or crashes frequently is no longer be tolerated.  “To our customers, performance matters!” said Lew Moorman, President, Rackspace Cloud. “By utilizing the SOASTA Performance Certification program our customers will have the ability to isolate performance issues before they occur by simulating real world user activity and traffic. Performance certification ensures that websites are being tested, which only leads to greater levels of reliability.”

Supporting SOASTA in this performance certification initiative are industry leaders in cloud computing including platform vendors, testing companies and independent cloud service providers. They include 3Tera, Appistry,, Enomaly, GoGrid, Hexaware Technologies, Intuit, JackBe, PowerTest, Rackspace, Rightscale, rPath and Zephyr. Concerns over performance and reliability are consistent themes heard by each of these companies when their customers face the uncertainties of extending access to applications outside the firewall, not to mention moving those applications completely offsite. This diverse group of companies represents all aspects of the application lifecycle, from development to deployment, all supporting the need for independent, external validation of end-to-end performance.

Many companies are currently considering or have already moved their applications to the Cloud, typically to lower costs and/or to take advantage of the elasticity of the compute power offered by the Cloud. However, just as in the data center, simply adding low cost servers doesn’t solve most performance problems. Performance-related issues, such as latency or an actual website crash, are often the result of a change to the deployment environment, changes in the application itself, or the inclusion of third-party content. The only way to certify a site’s performance is by simulating both expected and potential peak traffic while monitoring the impact. With Performance Certification, this is no longer too expensive or too complex to achieve and alleviates additional strain on internal resources.

“Improving performance cannot be achieved solely by adding hardware,” said Michael Crandell, CEO, Rightscale. “Web applications and deployment stacks are complex and must be tested under real world traffic conditions to assess what actual performance will be in production. Having a certification process that ensures sites are tested is an essential element of cloud computing development.”

We are very excited about this new program to certify websites and application performance! We are particularly appreciative of all of our partners who also feel that “Performance Matters” in delivering the best possible user experience.

Tom Lounibos

About the Author

Tom Lounibos

As CEO of SOASTA, Tom brings more than 30 years of experience building early stage software companies, leading two companies to successful IPOs. Tom is a regular speaker at both cloud and testing events, and has become a leading advocate in using the cloud to empower individuals and accelerate changes in how applications are built, tested and deployed. Most recently, Tom served as President and CEO of Kenamea. Prior to Kenamea, he was CEO of Dorado Corp., a financial services software provider. Previous to Dorado, he was EVP of Sagent Technology through its 1999 IPO, entrepreneur-in-residence at Crosspoint Venture Partners, and held executive positions at Digitalk Corp., Knowledgeware (KWI) and Encore Financial Services. Tom also serves on several boards in the Silicon Valley.