SQL Transaction Processing, Price-Performance Testingv1.0

Microsoft SQL Server Evaluation: Azure Virtual Machines vs. Amazon Web Services EC2

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Cloud IaaS SQL Server Offerings
  3. Field Test Setup
  4. Field Test Results
  5. Price Per Performance
  6. Conclusion
  7. Appendix
  8. About Microsoft
  9. Disclaimer
  10. About William McKnight
  11. About Jake Dolezal

1. Summary

The fundamental underpinning of an organization is its transactions. It must do them well, with integrity and performance. Not only has transaction volume soared of late, but the level of granularity in the transaction details has also reached new heights. Fast transactions greatly improve the efficiency of a high-volume business. Performance is incredibly important. Any network latency, delays in the database, API/microservices calls, and other processes need to be eliminated.

There are a variety of databases available to the transactional application. Ideally, any database would have the required capabilities; however, depending on the scale of the application and the chosen cloud, some database solutions can be prone to delays. Recent trends in information management see organizations shifting their focus to cloud-based solutions. In the past, the only clear choice for most organizations was on-premises data using on-premises hardware. However, the costs of scale are chipping away at the notion that this remains the best approach for all, or some, of a company’s transactional needs. The factors driving operational and analytical data projects to the cloud are many, but the advantages, like data protection, high availability, and scale, are realized with an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) deployment. In many cases, a hybrid approach serves as an interim step for organizations migrating to a modern, capable cloud architecture.

This report outlines the results from a GigaOm Transactional Field Test, derived from the industry-standard TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E), to compare two IaaS cloud database offerings:

  1. Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances
  2. Microsoft SQL Server Microsoft on Azure Virtual Machines (VM)

Both are installations of Microsoft SQL Server and we tested on both Windows Server OS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS. However, there are some distinct differences in the two infrastructure offerings that impact performance.

The results of the GigaOm Transactional Field Test are valuable to all operational functions of an organization, such as human resource management, production planning, material management, financial supply chain management, sales and distribution, financial accounting and controlling, plant maintenance, and quality management. Today the underlying data for many of these departments is in SQL Server, which is also frequently the source for operational interactive business intelligence (BI).

Microsoft SQL Server on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines (VM) indicated 3.4x better performance on Windows over Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2). Microsoft SQL Server on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines had 3x better performance over AWS when tested on Linux Server OS. SQL Server on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines (VM) had up to 86.8% better price-performance when comparing Azure Hybrid Benefit to AWS License Mobility for three-year compute commitment, and up to 32.2% better price-performance when comparing the high-speed disks of AWS io1 and Azure Ultra Disk.

The parameters to replicate this test are provided. You are encouraged to compile your own representative queries, data sets, and data sizes, and test compatible configurations applicable to your requirements.

Full content available to GigaOm Subscribers.

Sign Up For Free