UK firm takes risk out of Web launches


UK firm takes risk out of Web launches

Karl Schneider

Amid a spate of high-profile e-commerce launch problems, a new UK company is claiming it can take most of the technical risk out of launching online services.

DeRiskIT has developed test systems and procedures it claims will enable firms to identify potential problems, such as capacity bottlenecks or functional errors, before an e-commerce system goes live.

The firm has teamed up with Sun Microsystems, IT equipment rental firm Livingston, Uunet and Logica to deliver its services. It is now negotiating with insurance companies, with the aim of creating low-cost insurance packages which would protect firms against problems that arise with systems that have been tested.

At the heart of the testing systems is DeRiskIT's uplink load cannon, which can test how e-commerce systems will deal with realistic volumes of transactions, using transaction data captured from the systems themselves. Based on a bank of Sun Enterprise servers, the uplink load cannon can generate real data for millions of simultaneous transactions and squirt this into e-commerce systems under test from either outside or inside the firewall.

During the test DeRiskIT captures point-to-point transaction times throughout the process, identifying bottlenecks under particular load conditions.

BT Cellnet is using the technology to test new systems for selling BT's Genie Wap phones over the Net. Logica has also signed up to use DeRiskIT's test procedures on the e-commerce development projects it manages.

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