The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

What Happens When Vendors Repackage Old Technology and Call it a Cloud Service?

In an effort to remain relevant, some software vendors take marketing advantage of the newest hot technology fad at the expense of their own customers. Cloud computing (the newest hot trend) has definitely been defined and positioned by some traditional software and hardware vendor’s marketing organizations to meet their specific agenda, which usually means extending the life of an existing product or product line.  It has become a virtual “cloud rush” as to how many times “cloud computing” can be mentioned in product and marketing collateral. . . including collateral for products that were first developed back when Bill Clinton was president!

A great example of this “cloud rush” is Hewlett Packard with its LoadRunner product.  LoadRunner was developed in the early 90’s to help corporate development teams test client/server applications.  It became, over time, the de-facto standard testing tool for most enterprise companies and was priced accordingly.  Entry-level pricing began at $100,000 and if you needed to simulate thousands of users the cost skyrocketed into the millions of dollars very quickly.

Today, HP is attempting to “perfume the pig” so to speak, by repackaging LoadRunner into a new cloud-based service called Elastic Test. To the uneducated observer it simply looks like a new cloud service for testing web applications.  The problem is that it’s the same LoadRunner product built almost 20 years ago to test client/server applications and it carries a lot of technology baggage along with it. Subsequently, HP chooses to pass along a lot of this baggage in the form of costs back to its customer base.  For example, an entry-level HP virtual test will take weeks to develop and will have a “starting” cost of $45,000.  Hardly living up to cloud computing’s value proposition for on-demand services that provide ease, speed and affordability.

Newer players are quickly swooping in to fill in the gap left by HP’s lack of R&D in the cloud space. New players such as SOASTA, whose CloudTest service was built exclusively to leverage cloud computing for testing. It offers a low-cost, highly scalable and easy-to-use on-demand test model for customers.  As a comparison, the $45,000 “entry-level” HP Virtual Test that takes weeks to perform and deliver results, can be done within 24 hours at a cost of $750 using SOASTA’s On-Demand CloudTest service. This lower cost model also delivers greater quality testing. Traditionally, you may have only performed 6-8 performance tests on a client/server application because of the cost and time required.  Now, with true cloud testing services like SOASTA CloudTest, you can perform hundreds of tests for significantly less cost and in the same amount of time it takes to perform 6-8 traditional tests. This impact is significant, delivering greater reliability in your web applications.

Customers choosing to stay with HP as their test vendor out of loyalty will continue to have to deal with a 20 year old technology trying to conform to a 2009 eco-system, as well as pay a premium of up to 45X for that loyalty.  This, in a world where websites need more and more performance testing as they become more complex and we reach higher and higher spikes in user traffic.

Cloud computing is a “game changer” for customers seeking greater levels of web reliability. It enables new, leading-edge, agile and cost-effective cloud testing services.  However, be careful of impostors claiming to offer cloud services . . . more often then not you will be able to recognize them by their price tags and by the lack of quality in the actionable intelligence they deliver.  SOASTA CloudTest is the cloud leader in delivering the highest quality performance intelligence available on the market today.

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.