ThousandEyes report ranks the reliability of popular cloud platforms

9 Nov 2018

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A new report from network intelligence firm ThousandEyes compares the global performance of the three major public cloud players.

More and more enterprises are taking advantage of cloud platforms as they deploy applications and services to a broad array of users and consumers around the world.

A recent report from ThousandEyes compared the global network performance of the three largest public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure. The researchers analysed more than 160m data points and in-depth path traces to create the comprehensive report.

Architectural differences

With the AWS cloud platform, traffic enters the network closest to the target region; for GCP and Azure, traffic enters closest to the users. Regional differences in performance were also recorded, most noticeably in Latin America and Asia.

Intra-cloud network performance is strong, with multi-cloud performance between the three providers found to be consistent and reliable. Traffic between cloud providers almost never exits the three provider backbone networks, manifesting as negligible loss and jitter in end-to-end communication.

Microsoft Azure takes reliability top spot

Microsoft Azure provides the most predictable performance across the board, according to the ThousandEyes report. This means deployment of software on Microsoft’s platform can more reliably predict app performance than its competitors on average.

The use of Microsoft’s own proprietary backbone means Azure is fast and highly reliable. AWS uses public internet, while GCP uses a premium tier model over its own backbone and also offers a public internet standard tier.

Generally robust

In a general sense, the performance data indicates that network performance across the three providers is robust, with the exception of some geographical variations. When connecting Europe to India, GCP exhibited three times the network latency compared to AWS and Azure.

In Asia, AWS demonstrated 35pc less network performance stability than GCP and 56pc less than Azure. When connecting Europe to Singapore, AWS and GCP were 1.5 times slower than Azure.

Archana Kesavan, senior product marketing manager and report author at ThousandEyes, said: “Multinational organisations that are embracing digital transformation and venturing into the cloud need to be aware of the geographical performance differences between the major public clouds when making global multi-cloud decisions.”

Jason Bloomberg, president at Intellyx, said the ThousandEyes report “lifts the veil obscuring region-to-region and cloud-to-cloud performance within and between public clouds, providing IT infrastructure execs critical intelligence on the performance they can expect from single cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments”.

With an increasing number of organisations looking to the cloud to boost business efficiencies, research such as this report can help decision-makers make the choice that is most suited to their unique needs.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects