Stress tests conducted by Sydney-based researchers have revealed that the infrastructure-on-demand services offered by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft suffer from regular performance and availability issues, reports Australia’s CRN. The team of researchers, led by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in collaboration with other groups, spent seven months stress-testing Amazon’s EC2, Google’s AppLogic, and Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing services. The analysis simulated 2,000 concurrent users connecting to services from each of the three providers, with researchers measuring response times and other performance metrics. The research found some merit to vendors’ claims of "perceived infinite scalability." "With a simulation of 2,000 concurrent users, we watched the cloud services scale up and respond dynamically to that demand," UNSW Associate Professor Anna Liu said. But researchers also found that the three platforms delivered wildly variable performance results as they trialed, added, and dropped new features. Response times also varied by a factor of twenty depending on the time of day the services were accessed, she said, adding that the study revealed which of the three cloud infrastructures were best suited to particular applications…

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