REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 15, 2000 — This week’s public debut of Microsoft Windows 2000 is likely to be welcome news to the thousands of companies that have hitched their business to the Internet. Test results just released by Compaq Computer Corp. show that Windows 2000 Advanced Server offers compelling business benefits when used as the operating system platform for an e-commerce site based on Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition.
Compaq’s findings validate Windows 2000 as an ideal platform for building e-commerce solutions around Site Server Commerce Edition, Microsoft’s comprehensive solution for engaging and transacting with customers and partners online. Compaq conducted its analysis using a script that mimics the online shopper experience. The script included a dozen operations typically performed during an e-commerce session, such as logging on, searching for products, adding and deleting items to a shopping cart and checking out. The tests were designed to measure the number of Active Server Pages (ASPs) serving up dynamic content that can be pumped through a simulated e-commerce site.
To assess the performance and capacity of Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition on Windows 2000, Compaq ran e-commerce scalability tests using one, two, four and eight processors in a server. Kevin Kenefic, a senior engineer in Compaq’s enterprise solutions and services division, reports that the number of ASPs per second increased 237 percent between the single-processor baseline and the identical scenario running on an 8-way server. Kenefic says that this inherent scalability offers companies a choice of two cost-effective ways to accommodate growth on an e-commerce site:
“Customers can continue to scale horizontally by adding smaller, cheaper boxes, or they can scale vertically by adding processors within the box.”
“This test result on Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition confirms the value of Compaq ProLiant 8-way servers combined with Microsoft Windows 2000 for e-commerce customers,”
says Paul Santeler, vice president, Enterprise Servers, Industry Standard Server Division, Compaq Computer Corp.
“Customers looking to expand their e-commerce reach can do so with the confidence that the commerce store they put in place today can scale to meet their needs in the future.”
To make it easy for customers to move forward on the new operating system technology, Microsoft developed Service Pack 3 for Site Server Commerce Edition, which enables current Site Server customers to run their applications on Windows 2000. Customers can achieve a dramatically better performance from a Site Server Commerce Edition-based site simply by upgrading to Windows 2000 and implementing this Service Pack.
Microsoft Tests Confirm Performance Gains
Microsoft conducted its own battery of tests to assess the performance of Site Server Commerce Edition running on Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, using a real-world process called Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA). The analysis found that on a dual-processor Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition server, upgrading from Windows NT 4.0 to the higher performance of Windows 2000 increased concurrent shopper capacity from 898 shoppers to 1,350 shoppers — a 51 percent improvement. On a four-processor Site Server Commerce Edition server, the upgrade increased concurrent shopper capacity from 1,111 shoppers to 1,750 shoppers — a 58 percent gain.
“Compaq’s and Microsoft’s findings show that Windows 2000 will enable Microsoft SSCE customers to accommodate a larger number of concurrent shoppers on a given configuration,”
explains Rebekkah Kumar, lead product manager for Site Server Commerce Edition at Microsoft.
“The ability to deliver more capacity with fewer servers offers valuable benefits to a business in terms of total cost of ownership (TCO).”
Better performance also has benefits beyond the infrastructure, Kumar adds. Namely, end customers tend to be more loyal to a site where they enjoy a compelling user experience.
CyberSource Scales Through High-Volume Holiday Season
The boost that Site Server Commerce Edition gains from Windows 2000 in test labs is just the latest event driving Microsoft’s platform on a solid upward trajectory for e-commerce deployments. Key industry players are also reporting e-commerce success stories and increased momentum for Site Server Commerce Edition in terms of customer adoption.
CyberSource Corp., a leading developer and provider of e-commerce transaction services, notes that hundreds of today’s customers have implemented CyberSource services with a Microsoft e-commerce solution. CyberSource, whose real-time services include credit card processing, tax calculation, Internet fraud screening, fulfillment management, gift certificates and promotional services, boasts more than 1,200 Internet merchants in 26 countries and serves both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer sectors. Customers running CyberSource services on a Microsoft platform include such recognizable names as Ashford.com, BUY.COM, Compaq, Godiva Chocolatier, House of Blues, Petopia.com, Proflowers Inc., Shopping.com and Varsity Books.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of e-commerce customers using a Microsoft platform, especially among our top-tier customers,”
says Doug Isom, product marketing manager at CyberSource.
“Customers choose to implement Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition because it’s proven to be a high-performance, highly scalable and reliable solution. In addition, it’s an easy platform to develop to, it comes with a complete set of tools and it’s designed for ease of integration with value-added services like those we provide at CyberSource.”
The total number of transactions processed by CyberSource during the fourth quarter of 1999 rose to a record 21.7 million — a 439 percent increase over its fourth-quarter 1998 transaction volume and an 84 percent increase over the number of transactions processed in the third quarter of 1999. To place these numbers in even clearer perspective, CyberSource processed two and a half times the number of transactions in the final quarter of 1999 that it processed in all four quarters of 1998 combined.
“We’re geared toward high-volume merchants with mission-critical sites,”
says William Donahoo, vice president of marketing at CyberSource.
“The scalability built into the architecture of Site Server Commerce Edition and CyberSource transaction services allowed our customers who are running on a Microsoft platform to pump through a high volume of transactions.”
E-Commerce Customers Line Up Behind Site Server Commerce Edition
Site Server Commerce Edition has shown tremendous momentum among e-commerce businesses and top shopping sites. Several surveys from Netcraft, an independent research organization, show that:
Site Server Commerce Edition powers 70% of commerce server sites in Shop.org’s top 100 shopping sites, while its closest competitor has only 15%.
82% of commerce server sites in Ziff-Davis/Interactive Week’s top 500 Web sites use Site Server Commerce Edition, compared to 8% who use its closest competitor.
An October 1999 Netcraft survey of sites using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security certificates shows that 73% of sites using commerce servers use Site Server Commerce Edition to power their e-commerce solutions, while 10% use its closest competitor.
These surveys demonstrate that Site Server Commerce Edition is not only widely adopted, but more of the successful sites using commerce servers today use Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition than any other commerce server.
Building on the Windows DNA Platform
Site Server Commerce Edition is part of Windows DNA, Microsoft’s platform for developing and deploying business applications using Web technologies. Windows DNA provides a platform, with Windows 2000 at its core, that enables corporate developers and ISVs to build secure, reliable and scalable e-commerce infrastructures; to develop Web applications that deliver solutions which integrate with legacy applications and with their suppliers and customers.
Windows DNA is recognized as a leading platform on the Internet today. According to Netcraft, a quarter of all sites on the Internet now run on Microsoft’s platform — more than run on Sun Microsystems’ Solaris platform. Microsoft’s e-commerce position is even stronger among heavily transactional sites. A majority of the Media Metrix top 100 shopping sites run on a Microsoft platform.
Site Server Commerce Edition is a key component of Windows DNA along with Windows NT and Windows 2000, Microsoft’s SQL Server TM database, Microsoft SNA Server and Microsoft Visual Studio. Microsoft Commerce Server 2000 — the next generation of Site Server Commerce Edition — will also join the Windows DNA family when it is released later this year. Commerce Server 2000 is designed to simplify the process of building sophisticated, customer-centric Internet and extranet selling sites.
“Commerce Server 2000 will offer business managers easier and more effective ways to control and manage their online business by giving them the tools they need to know their customers, understand how customers interface with the site and the effectiveness of their marketing programs, and determine the best way to reach and attract customers,”
“By enabling a deeper level of personalization, Commerce Server 2000 will help make e-commerce sites more relevant to users over time and help build loyalty in the customer base.”
Kumar adds that Commerce Server 2000 will provide a more scalable, high-performance and robust e-commerce foundation by fully leveraging Windows 2000, SQL Server and other Windows DNA 2000 technologies. Industry leaders that Microsoft partners with will help deliver complete customer solutions are enthusiastic about the direction charted by Commerce Server 2000, Windows 2000 and other key technologies for enabling Internet business.
“Site Server Commerce Edition on Windows 2000 is an even better platform for building e-commerce solutions than Site Server Commerce Edition on Windows NT 4.0,”
says Kenefic of Compaq.
“And when Microsoft comes out with Commerce Server 2000 later this year, that’s going to improve the picture even more.”