Study: cloud services at least as fast as on-premise software

By Dawinderpal Sahota
02 Aug 2011 View Comments
An office building with a cloudy sky in the background

Cloud services can be at least as fast as on-premise environments, new research suggests.

The claim comes from a new report by cloud performance monitoring firm Intechnica. It undertook the research by installing an open-source, e-commerce application onto four different infrastructures: Azure, Amazon EC2, VMware and physical servers.

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Intechnica said it chose the application as it represented the two-tier application infrastructure that is common in many business applications.

The firm ran a series of performance tests, using its TrafficSpike tool to simulate key business transactions, including page browsing, searching and transactional processes.

It used a series of standard monitoring techniques, and analysed page response times as well as key system counters relating to the performance of the web and database servers.

The tests show that average reponse times for each service are as follows: Amazon EC2: 2s, Azure: 0.5s, VMware: 0.7s – and tradtional physical servers also performed with an average response time of 0.7s.

"In our tests, Microsoft Azure and our VMware public cloud both performed well, while Amazon EC2 performed the least well of our four environments," said Phil Horn, business development manager at Intechnica.

"This suggests in no way that Amazon EC2 is the least good cloud option. In different test conditions and using a different application, Amazon is quite likely to outperform the rest of the group. In fact, we were able to improve EC2's results by 57 per cent with some minor changes to the environment taking just a few hours."

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