Microsoft Windows Azure tops Cloud speed tests

Leaves Google App Engine, Amazon EC2 and Rackspace in its wake

17 cloud provider sites ranked in order of average global GPV performance, Aug 2010 – July 2011.

17 cloud provider sites ranked in order of average global GPV performance, Aug 2010 – July 2011.

Microsoft’s Windows Azure has come out on top in a year’s worth of Cloud speed tests, beating Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, Rackspace and 20 others.

Performance management software company Compuware today released one-year average performance results of 25 leading Cloud service providers in the world.

Windows Azure topped the list, with an average response time of a little more than six seconds; followed by Google App Engine in second place, recording an average test time of 6.45 seconds; Go Grid and OpSource ranked third and fourth respectively with an average response time of less than seven seconds; and Rackspace came in at number five, posting an average time of 7.19 seconds.

According to the release, one of the obstacles to widespread use of Cloud-based applications is user frustration with poor performance, which includes page load times reaching six seconds, resulting in the page abandonment rate to approach 33 per cent. This can leave users with a negative impression of a site and make them unlikely to return.

“Organisations need to understand what levels of performance — i.e. speed and availability — are needed from their Cloud-based applications in order to deliver fast, reliable and highly satisfying end-user experiences,” said Steve Tack, chief technology officer of Compuware’s APM business unit, in a statement.

“Simply using hardware availability SLAs to manage service providers isn’t effective from an end user perspective. Organisations need to measure the true experiences of their most important end-user segments, including those that are far away, to ensure their Cloud service provider can deliver fast and reliable experiences in key regions.”

The results were obtained from “more than half a million” trials the company conducted using its testing application, CloudSleuth, to measure global service quality from the end users’ perspective.

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