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Monday, 09 November 2015 09:52

Real-time benchmarking of cloud SLAs on IaaS

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New German start-up allows businesses to create real-time, real-life comparative benchmarks to test service availability and performance on Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud services

A new German-based start-up ASCAMSO aims to help businesses benchmark their applications over a number of Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions. The new ASCAMSO cloud service procurement platform is now in public beta and ASCAMSO claims the new service measures the actual availability and performance of IaaS cloud services in real-time and uniquely links the results with reviews of other service features to generate use case-based ratings.

"The cloud services market is opaque; it's a so-called 'lemon market'," explains ASCAMSO founder and Managing Director, Jan Thielscher. "Prices refer only to how the services are supposed to perform, which under regular operating conditions is not always achieved. This can pose a significant risk to service consumers, depending on the application for which they use the service. ASCAMSO enables IT to precisely assess this risk, for the first time."

Until now, prospective cloud service buyers had to either simply trust the service provider's promises or consult expensive market reports by independent analysts that tend to be more general in nature. ASCAMSO claims to be application specific and works by leading users through a process that includes needs assessment and the use case, and then maps this to a performance comparison with service provider "short-list" before generating a price comparison list, with the best-value service based on the needs specified.

The system calculates real-time solutions by creating virtual resources from IaaS providers and then installs testing software called "satellites" on these. These simulate configurable usage patterns, measure actual availability and performance of the respective service and then display the corresponding results in a dashboard. The platform also references service provider evaluations obtained by ASCAMSO specialists in extensive testing. These include hundreds of evaluation scores on such characteristics as IT security, data protection and sustainability. ASCAMSO makes the measurement tools available publicly on the internet for viewing.

Jan Thielscher: "Our platform allows more specialised small and medium-sized service providers to break out of the constricting price war situation. There is definitely a demand for services with specialised performance characteristics, but in the past, no compelling offerings for these were marketed. That is going to change with ASCAMSO."

The public beta is available until November 26, 2015 and is free. 

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