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Microsoft's cloud is slower than Google's, Amazon's, benchmark says

Over the past month, App Engine was speedier than both Azure and EC2, but Azure is fighting back.

By Microsoft Subnet on Tue, 07/06/10 - 3:42pm.

Over the past month, Google's cloud, App Engine, performed faster than all of the other major clouds, including Microsoft's Azure. Azure was also consistently slower than at least one of Amazon's EC2 data centers, according to a live benchmarking service known as CloudSleuth.com.

Ironically, I was poking into cloud benchmarking hoping to learn that Microsoft Azure was faster than both Amazon and Google. I learned about the CloudSleuth.com from a blog post on MSDN when a Microsoft employee was bragging that Azure was outperforming the others this week. That result must have been a blip in the data because as I sliced the data, Azure never landed on top.

Google's average was about 1 second faster than Azure's, at least for the last 30 days.

Cloud Benchmarks
Click to enlarge graphic.

CloudSleuth was created as a free online service by Compuware. These are the same folks that built the Gomez benchmarking tests that monitor Web app performance metrics such as comparing the same Web site loading into different browsers. (Compuware is a vendor of application performance monitoring tools.) Ergo, CloudSleuth uses the Gomez Performance Network (GPN) to measure the performance of an identical sample application running on several popular cloud service providers.

One day soon, CloudSleuth hopes to let users upload and compare their own cloud app to be benchmarked across the participating cloud vendors.

While playing with this site, I noticed that in the past few hours and days, Azure has been performing faster than all the other clouds except OpSource. (By the way, CloudSleuth names OpSource as a partner, though I can't say that this partnership affects the benchmarking results. The 30-day result clearly showed Google App Engine as faster than OpSource, but much of the time, OpSource lands on top.)

CloudSleuth shares all the details about the app used to benchmark the tests. It uses the default recommended configurations for each cloud service, although there are inherent differences between "old fashioned" hosting providers today known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service providers (PaaS) which includes Azure and App Engine. The sample app is an e-commerce Web site.

Speed isn't the only consideration when comparing cloud services. But it is interesting to see that during any given period, an IaaS isn't always faster than a PaaS and vice versa.

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