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Web 2.0 applications place new and different demands on servers compared to their Web 1.0 counterparts. Simultaneously, the definitive arrival of pay-as-you-go "Cloud computing" and the proliferation of application development stacks present new and different degrees of freedom in deploying and tuning software-as-a-service. The authors first identify non-obvious challenges and caveats to performing "Apples-to-apples" comparisons of Web 2.0 application deployments. They then offer Cloudstone, a toolkit consisting of an open-source Web 2.0 social application (Olio), a set of automation tools for generating load and measuring its performance in different deployment environments, and a recommended set of constraints for computing a metric they believe makes more sense, dollars per user per month.
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