We recently conducted the most extensive, publicly available study on the largest North American Cloud service providers (CSPs) to measure price-performance value across the industry. We set out to test 25 providers that met the criteria, however, only 17 providers with North American data centers were tested to find the top 10. We packaged our findings inside our Top 10 Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2016 pdf download, which focuses primarily on the ten CSPs that achieved the highest price-performance value in our study. The results are eye-opening, and emphasize the need to conduct performance testing to minimize expenses when considering a move to the Cloud; otherwise, you may end up overspending to maintain sufficient application performance.
Key Findings of the Best Cloud Providers 2016 Study
- Looking solely at performance, virtual machines (VMs) differed by more than 3.5x across CSPs in the industry. For block storage IOPS, that difference spread by 10x across the same CSPs.
- CenturyLink Cloud demonstrated the highest median VM performance within the top 10 best cloud providers.
- 1&1 Cloud demonstrated the best performance stability over the time period of the study.
- Rackspace Cloud demonstrated the highest median block storage performance within the top 10 best cloud providers.
- Ubiquity Cloud and Google Compute Engine demonstrated the best block storage performance stability over the time period of the study. The performance stability on the block storage for those CSPs is likely due to performance throttling, which controls performance for each VM to sustain a steady user experience.
- CSPs such as AWS and Google Compute Engine deliver IOPS proportional to the size of the block storage. AWS block storage demonstrates a controlled throttling that occurs at different points in time depending on block disk size.
- When looking at price-performance value, a 2.5x difference emerged among the top 10 best cloud providers; almost a 9x difference in value was demonstrated when we looked across all of the CSPs included in the study.
- 1&1 achieved the highest CloudSpecs ScoreTM in the ranking for 2016, indicating the best price-performance value in the study.
- Major CSPs like AWS (which actually scored higher in VM performance than half of the top 10 best cloud providers), did not rank within the top 10 due to higher monthly costs.
- 1&1, ProfitBricks, Ubiquity, CloudSigma and Google Compute Engine rank in the top half of the top 10 CSPs due to a combination of decent performance and highly competitive monthly pricing.
- For the price-performance value of VMs alone, 1&1 maintained the highest CloudSpecs ScoreTM. Regarding block storage value, ProfitBricks received the highest CloudSpecs ScoreTM.
Performance of the Best Cloud Providers
A lack of transparency in the public Cloud IaaS marketplace for performance often leads to misinformation or false assumptions. Users and potential users may be led to view Cloud computing as a commodity, differentiated mostly by services. The reality of performance in Cloud computing, though, impacts the user differently from one CSP to the next, involving everything from the physical hardware (e.g., Intel or AMD, SSD or spinning disk), to the cost of the virtualized resources. By identifying environments based on performance rather than resource count, users are able to maximize value in the Cloud.
The study tested four different VM sizes with attached block storage for each CSP. For each VM size and attached block storage, Cloud Spectator provisioned and tested three VMs simultaneously for a total of 12 running VMs (nine for the CSPs that didn’t offer the extra large size).
Discover more valuable statistics on the best cloud providers in North America. For more information on the results of the report and methodology, download a copy of the Top 10 North American Cloud Vendor Benchmark 2016 report. For a European view, take a look at our Top 10 European Cloud Service Providers report.