For the past 12 months, CloudSleuth, a service provided by Compuware, has been pulling in millions of network performance data points in order to compile a report that compares the network performance of leading cloud providers. A sample of the report results is shown below and more details can be found on the CloudSleuth’s blog post. We commend Compuware for taking a leadership role in providing these necessary benchmarks and reports of the cloud space as this type of 3rd party, independent analysis is extremely useful and helpful to those shopping for the right cloud to support their business.
At GoGrid, our technology stack is not simply around infrastructure devices like servers, firewalls, storage and load balancers. We also view Operating System choice, horizontal & vertical scalability, CPU and I/O performance, our partner ecosystem, our image management and deployment systems, and yes, network management, availability and performance as well. By doing just a bit of research, you will see that cloud providers vary greatly in what they can or cannot offer and how well they do it.
It is significant to note that this performance study ranks all types of cloud service providers juxtaposed together — PaaS, IaaS and even VMware shops. We call this out because there are definite distinctions between types of cloud (see Cloud Pyramid below). As we use this important data to better educate our customers and prospects, there was an interesting fact that bubbled up – if you segment and categorize the results, GoGrid’s network led the IaaS category.
(Note: categorization of PaaS/IaaS added by GoGrid)
Compuware mapped out its benchmarking strategy to measure the differences in network performance of these leading clouds. The Compuware team pulled statistics from 25 providers from different presences around the globe (as part of the Gomez Performance Network). The results are interesting, to say the least, especially since the analysis clearly indicates that GoGrid’s US EAST data center was the best performing within main IaaS providers (e.g., Amazon, Rackspace and others).
According to CloudSleuth’s blog post announcing these results: “Performance calculations are done based upon the region’s backbone nodes. For example, the response time averages displayed in the ‘Provider Response Time’ list for North America are based on the data retrieved from the 19 backbone nodes that make up the region. European averages are based on the 5 nodes in that region. The World perspective includes data from all 30 backbone nodes and is represented in the data provided here.”
PaaS is not IaaS – So, Who & How to Choose?
We are very delighted to not only be included in the report, but also by the results that show GoGrid’s leading position in performance benchmarking, especially within those cloud providers categorized in the IaaS space. Remember, Platform as a Service is very different than Infrastructure as a Service (as we outline within the Pyramid.GoGrid.com site). When choosing a cloud provider, be sure you look not only at what it offers (raw infrastructure vs. access to frameworks only), but also various performance and reliability benchmarks, like the ones provided by this CloudSleuth 12-month report.
In evaluating and selecting a cloud provider, you need to look at the big picture, which encompasses more than just the features you get, but also how well these features and the network in general perform. You may have your business running in a state-of-the-art cloud, but if there is latency or lag time when serving applications from your site, you lose customers and in turn, lose business. Also, choosing a Cloud Platform provider like Google App Engine or Microsoft Azure may actually be limiting your choices and throttling what you can do with that particular cloud.
Be sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of what the technology can or cannot do for you. Does your environment need more than what the provider offers? You may have to travel further down the cloud pyramid. Is network performance the only benchmark that you are concerned with? Probably not, but the Compuware report should provide you with one check mark in the box during your evaluation of cloud providers.
As we continue to upgrade and fine-tune our network as well as release innovative and new services and enhancements for the GoGrid cloud, we look forward to continuing to set the standard for the best benchmarks within the IaaS provider marketplace.
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