Cloud computing allows the deployment and delivery of application services for users worldwide. Software as a Service providers with limited upfront budget can take advantage of Cloud computing and lease the required capacity in a pay-as-you-go basis, which also enables flexible and dynamic resource allocation according to service demand. One key challenge potential Cloud customers have before renting resources is to know how their services will behave in a set of resources and the costs involved when growing and shrinking their resource pool. Most of the studies in this area rely on simulation-based experiments, which consider simplified modeling of applications and computing environment. In order to better predict service's behavior on Cloud platforms, we developed an integrated architecture that is based on both simulation and emulation. The proposed architecture, named EMUSIM, automatically extracts information from application behavior via emulation and then uses this information to generate the corresponding simulation model. We performed experiments using an image processing application as a case study and found that EMUSIM was able to accurately model such application via emulation and use the model to supply information about its potential performance in a Cloud provider. We also discuss our experience using EMUSIM for deploying applications in a real public Cloud provider. EMUSIM is based on an open source software stack and therefore it can be extended for analysis behavior of several other applications. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.