Table of Contents
- Test Methodology
- Why Performance Matters
- Performance Findings
- Key Takeaways
- About Cloud Spectator and Anne Liu
In Fall 2014, Microsoft Azure released its D-Series Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), significantly improving performance over the standard A-Series.
Performance and pricing are both key considerations in evaluating public-cloud options. The notorious price wars between some of the largest providers have pressured the industry into cutting margins to stay competitive. Simultaneously, performance is quickly becoming a focus as providers introduce higher-performing offerings, such as Amazon EC2’s C4 Family, Rackspace’s Performance Servers, and Microsoft Azure’s D-Series. This report examines Microsoft Azure’s D-Series, and how it has improved from a performance perspective.
Key findings from this report include:
- The D-Series virtual machines (VMs) have higher vCPU, memory, and storage performance outputs than the A-Series VMs when examined across different machine sizes.
- A-Series VMs are priced lower, making them more suitable for applications like small websites and low-transaction databases.
- Applications that need higher-performance requirements (NoSQL clusters, high-transaction databases) will find a better fit with the D-Series or the more recently released G-Series.
Key Findings of vCPU, Memory, and Storage Performance
|vCPU||The D-Series’ vCPUs outperformed the A-Series’ vCPUs by 58%.||The vCPU performance of the D4 instances showed relatively large variation, primarily due to two abnormally low scores. This could be caused by a possible malfunction on one or more specific physical hosts.||The difference in physical hardware had no notable impact on the vCPU performance of the A-Series VMs.|
|Memory||The D-Series VMs displayed, on average, 65% more memory bandwidth than their A-Series counterparts.||The maximum memory bandwidth on the D-Series was 58% more than on the A-Series (17.2 GB/s vs. 10.9 GB/s).||Significant fluctuations on memory throughput were observed on the A2, A3, D2 and D4 instances. Variability ranged from 20% to 52% of the average across the five-day testing period.|
|Storage||The D-Series had an average of 6.3x more IOPS than the A-Series for local storage.||The D-Series write IOPS scaled significantly as the VM sizes became larger.||The A-Series showed much more storage performance variability than the D-Series. D-Series performance variability was under 5% for almost all measurements.|
Source: Cloud Spectator