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Results of cloud provider informal stress tests published

Nasuni, a next-generation enterprise storage company, has released the results of a 26-month intensive stress test of 16 major cloud storage providers (CSPs). According to the company, only six of the 16 CSPs tested provided the minimum level of performance, stability, availability and scalability that organizations need to take advantage of the cloud for primary storage, data protection and disaster recovery.

Although informal, the Nasuni stress tests, which comprise multiple use cases, mark the most extensive research done to date to gauge CSPs’ effectiveness in real world use.

The six CSPs that passed were:

  • Amazon S3
  • AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service (powered by EMC Atmos)
  • Microsoft Windows Azure
  • Nirvanix
  • Peer1 Hosting (powered by EMC Atmos)
  • Rackspace Cloud.

Two CSPs emerged as top performers in the Nasuni study: Amazon S3 and Microsoft Windows Azure, with Amazon S3 being the standout across all evaluation areas.

Since April 2009, Nasuni has conducted ongoing tests of the 16 largest CSPs. These tests are tiered so each CSP must pass the first test before proceeding to the next test. The five testing stages are as follows:

  • API integration, to ensure that it is possible to test the service at all;
  • Unit testing, in which larger software components are broken down into their building blocks (units) and then tested for inputs, outputs and error cases;
  • Performance testing, to measure how quickly one can interact with the cloud, how fast data can move back and forth to the cloud, and the impact of a higher level of stress;
  • Stability testing, to assess the long-term reliability of each CSP; and
  • Scalability testing, to understand how well each CSP handles high object counts.

Though Nirvanix was 17 percent faster than Amazon S3 for reading large files, and Microsoft Azure was 12 percent faster when it comes to writing files, no other vendor posted the kind of consistently fast service across all file types as did Amazon S3.

Amazon S3 had the fewest outages and best uptime, and was the only CSP to post a 0.0 percent error rate in both writing and reading objects during scalability testing. And though Microsoft Azure had a slightly faster average ping time than Amazon S3 (likely because Amazon S3 is much more heavily used than Microsoft Azure), Amazon nevertheless had the lowest variability.

The Nasuni Stress Test of CSPs is an ongoing process, so these standings could change in future reports. To view the Nasuni Stress Tests of Cloud Service Providers, go to www.nasuni.com/cloudreport

•Date: 14th December 2011 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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