Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure are top dogs in cloud storage

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When it comes to the best-performing cloud service providers (CSPs), the winners are Amazon (s AMZN) S3 and Microsoft Azure (s MSFT), according to a suite of performance and scalability tests performed over the last two years by Nasuni. And, of the 16 large CSPs tested, only six even made the cut at all.

For its “State of Cloud Storage” report, Nasuni — a provider of data continuity services that run on any CSP —  tested everything from API integration (how well the CSP allows integration with outside services), performance (how fast data moved into and out of the cloud); and stability (response-time consistency and frequency/duration of downtime).

For example, Nasuni tested the average write and read speeds for large, medium and small files; how often the CSP experienced outages; and how long downtime lasted.

The six “best in show” cloud services also included AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service (s T), Nirvanix, Peer1 Hosting, (s PIX) and Rackspace Cloud (s RAX). But Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure were “clearly the standouts,” according to the report which also stated:

Though Nirvanix was faster than Amazon S3 for large files and Azure was slightly faster for writing files, but 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. And though Microsoft Azure had a slighty 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 report did not name the CSPs that didn’t make it through the process.  It did note that EMC’s (s EMC) Atmos Online did pass performance, stability and scalability testing, but the service was discontinued earlier this year, replaced by the EMC Atmos platform solution, which lets businesses host their own clouds.

Based on these results and other anecdotal evidence, Microsoft has made big strides with its Azure investment, but Amazon remains the king of cloud based on the sheer amount of work handled.

10 Comments

Eddie Gear

How save is it to use Cloud storage. I’ve been hearing of various cloud services being hacked and data loss. What is your take on security when it comes to Could Storage. What do you think that Microsoft and Amazon will have to say about it.

Eddie Gear

Honestly, not every one is craving for my data on my PC. But when it comes to a big network like amazon or microsoft there are a lot of people who would like to see it go down. I would not want my data to be there when it does. Right?

Louis Abate

The main difference between cloud storage and cloud compute is the notion that cloud storage can remain encrypted at rest. If one were to generate their own encryption key, there would be no way a third party (cloud storage provider or malicious hacker) could read that data stored in the cloud.

Eddie Gear

Louis, are you telling me that I can use services like Dropbox to store data on cloud and it would remain safe without anyone hacking into it. Would love to know more.

Louis Abate

Eddie, the key word here is “can”. Nasuni was designed such that the customer is the only party holding the key. In this case no one, not Nasuni or the CSP on the back-end, could ever gain access to their data. This blog post does a better job explaining how key handling impacts overall security of data stored outside of one’s “four walls”: http://www.nasuni.com/blog/20-encryption_keys_user_data_and_subpoenas

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