Besides soccer, Argentines have another great love: asado. But making great asado for a large group of people is far more involved than firing up a gas grill and throwing on a batch of steaks for 6 minutes a side. It requires the right selection of meats, appropriate cooking area, sufficient guest capacity and an asador (the one who cooks) with experience.
Our company held an event with asado, and we considered whether we should invest in the resources to create it on our own premises. Ultimately we decided to try a local company that advertised the ability to provide asado as a service. We began the day of the event with a visit to the hoster. Immediately we saw capacity that was a clear sign of their ability to leverage economies of scale.
But would they have sufficient environments to support the different types of required event activities? The answer was a resounding yes. We easily dedicated one of the environments to testing both traditional and more progressive UIs.
We then selected a separate environment devoted to performance testing. For short bursts we performed well, but during the long running tests many resources were exhausted.
And we were able to safely identify potentially misbehaved tenants, before we exposed them in a more public environment.
Finally it was time for provisioning. The hoster provided many options, which could be selected individually or in combinations (select all was exercised by multiple tenants). The experience was entirely self service, requiring little more than a point (not even a click, just a point.)
In the production (consumption?) environment, the tenants were co-located, with very little isolation. The hoster optimized the environment to reduce communication latency. Parallelism was rampant, and communication protocols varied. Security was handled by each tenant monitoring their own resources.
As the tenant applications were busy executing, some required more resources. The hoster reacted quickly, quickly deploying more and satisfying even the most demanding tenants.
Finally it came time for deprovisioning and we reflected on our successful trial. We were sold on the experience. However, the results of the day did alter our view on one thing: we would definitely not describe Asado as a Service as something that enables the long tail; indeed, after a long day of consuming the service, we agreed it would be more accurate to describe it as promoting the wide tail.