Cloud 600

Businesses could be losing money because of their inability to manage the performance of the cloud computing platforms they use. That's according to a survey from Compuware which found that 57 percent of European businesses were stopping further investment in the cloud until the providers can guarantee better performance.

The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, foud 72 percent of businesses said that their cloud platform was hampering their ability to maintain set levels of service, something that could have a debilitating effect on a company's revenue. Richard Stone, cloud computing solutions manager at Compuware, said "For companies with revenue-generating websites, there's a direct correlation between performance and revenue. If a site's not performing, then it's losing money."

He said that enterprises had shifted their attention from security problems in the cloud to performance. "Security was the problem a few years ago but it's now about performance and availability,"

He said that what would have made things worse was that factors that affected that performance were often out of the hands of the enterprise itself. "With cloud, what the neighbour does affects you, you can see peaks and troughs in performance that you can't influence – you need to be able to measure that."

Stone said that companies were set to implement more rigorous SLAs to keep tabs on performance. According to the survey, 84 percent of respondents said that SLAs should go beyond simple availability metrics and should take into account end-user experience.

This would mean tougher negotiation with cloud providers, something that enterprises seem well prepared for – 67 percent of respondents said their teams had the skills to do this.

Stone stressed the importance of taking the cloud providers' own statistics as guidance. "I don't think people fully understand SLAs. If you look at Amazon's or Azure's SLA – the cloud providers only look at availability rather than performance. Make sure you're measuring the stuff in real time."