Cloud Performance: Who is the Fastest ?

For any organisation considering deploying applications to the cloud, performance of the selected provider is a primary consideration. Cost, reliability are others too, but if a provider cannot deliver an acceptable level of performance then any advantages in cost savings and improvements in reliability are quickly lost. Having helped many organisations deploy applications to the cloud as well as deploying them for my organisation, I am continually looking at the performance metrics of the providers we use. It was thus with great interest that I read the results of a recent survey by Compuware that ranked the major cloud computing providers on performance for the month of April. Compuware have an application that they have deployed to the major cloud providers and monitored its performance during the month. The top five performing providers were reported as

  • Google App Engine
  • Windows Azure (US ventral)
  • GoGrid(Us-East)
  • Opsource (US-East)
  • Rackspace(US – East)

Compuware stated that there is very little difference between these top 5 organisations in delivered performance. The most glaring omission from this list of top performing providers is of course Amazon. They actually came in 6th and this in the month when they had the large outage.

The results published by Compuware are interesting, but what do they really tell us? No details of the application or type of application were released. Is it one application that the same code base is deployed to all the vendors or the same application implemented in different programming languages deployed to the respective vendor platforms? There are many many unanswered questions that the survey results raise.

For somebody with little knowledge of Cloud Computing and the different vendor offerings, the Compusware results appear conclusive, but for those with a good knowledge know that Google is prepared for Java and Python applications, Azure for .NET applications for instance whilst Amazon is prepared for all types. Google Amazon and Microsoft Azure offer cloud scale storage which is not available from some of the other providers – were any of these used in the application. In reality, whilst I welcome the comparison study Compuware have published, it’s very difficult to directly compare all the vendors equally as their offerings are not equal. As a result, unless more details of the study are made available, it could be that apples are being compared to pears.

To be able to make sense of the different Cloud Computing products available, and to recognise the reality and limitations of reports such as the Compuware one, which can then be used by organisations to make well informed decisions on moving to the cloud, a lot of information and knowledge is required. This exact knowledge can be gained by attending Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course, which provides detailed technical and business information on all the major Cloud Computing products, enabling informed business driven decisions to be made about Cloud Computing and its adoption. If you would like to know more about Cloud Computing, why not consider attending ? It would be great to see you at one of the courses, a complete schedule can be found here.

Chris Czarnecki

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