We are testing clouds

Cloud computing offerings are changing rapidly. Even the offerings of the individual providers are regularly being further developed. This makes it almost impossible to keep track of things. We, the cloud report and Cloudical, would like to remedy this situation and examine the offers and evaluate them from an objective point of view. Our technicians have developed tests for this purpose. We test general information like onboarding, availability, SLAs, data centers, compute, storage, network, limitations, scaling, technologies, but also more internal information such as backup, security, image service, patch management, monitoring, CI/CD, as a Service offerings and, of course, the cost factor.

This results in rankings and tables help customers to inform themselves independently and to find the right provider for their needs. But not only readers of the cloud report receive comprehensive, independent data, providers can also find out about their market, see where their strengths lie in comparison. They can also identify their possible weaknesses and potentials, see feasible pent­up demand or discover approaches for further specialization and improvement.

Currently we have tested the providers AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IMB Cloud and the Open Telekom Cloud. You will find the evaluations sorted by individual topics.

The most tests are done by hand, but we automate them step by step. The new automation architecture in our test’s methodology allows us to meet the requirements for abstracting the resource layer for each cloud provider.

By using terraform orchestration jointly with ansible, stress performing tools and CI/CD on top of that. Enabling new small step in position to repeat those tests frequently to keep fingers on but­ tons when any new announcements have been presented by cloud providers. Infrastructure as a Code is a response to a quickly changing world.

On the global cloud market, every time new information is published presenting which provider has the strongest position, and we can easily verify it by the publicly available Google trends generator. The opinionated reports can present different results, but this method should show a general overview of current trends in the global market. The filters help adjust our self­made trends for different regions or periods.

As full­fledge cloud provider representing the best price­performance quality for container workload we would nominate for GCP. Google Cloud Provider has the best price for such a workload. It should not be surprised by anyone. Google released the first Kubernetes version in 2014. They are key players in the Kubernetes development field. The network band­ width between Frankfurt and London region was somehow disappointed for us. It could be a one­time issue.

We meet already black horses in the specific cloud services area. What about an unknown workload with many possibilities for optimization, the highest range of available services etc. In this category, we have at least two candidates, Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. The sub compute category for network part belongs to AWS – they have their own optimizedvirtualization Nitro which allows generating more bandwidth within the region. In the storage category, we measured the bandwidth and iops performance – Azure presented to be a good candidate for random trans­ actional workload, but the sequential workload would be recommended in AWS. All other subcategory belongs to AWS. In addition to that best fac­ tor for business justification is the final price for the cloud infrastructure. The overall charges in Azure vs AWS are 5% up to 20% higher. For that reason, AWS should be considered as a good enough cloud provider for general and a quite intensive workload. The battle between AWS and Azure is keeping going. AWS started innovatory services many years ago and now there are mature enough to create new trends in cloud services. On the other hand, Azure has an ace in the sleeve as Office365. The service fills the gap in every organization requirement and encourages them to use more Azure cloud products. The question, is it responsible to have all core applications in one cloud provider? I leave the answer to decision­makers.

Do we have more players in this battle? Of course, we do. Cloudical doesn’t diminish its importance. Regard IBM Cloud something needs to be stress. The company is known from the enterprise market and has a mature relationship with the biggest customer in the world. Due to the historical reason and taken decision they are facing with the integration issues. The developed separately products Blue­ Mix, Softlayer, Watson, IBM Cloud VPC (gen 1, gen2) it cost them much more effort to integrate each other, but due to the last Red Hat acquisition deal, it gave them new fresh air in cloud offers. In our opinion, the OpenShift off­prem is one of the game­changer services in their cloud portfolio. Many companies are interested in this product and the license can cost them a fortune with long project integration. To decrease risk, the client can select IBM Cloud and OpenShift solution at a reasonable price.

Find the latest testresults here


Lukasz Stadnik – Senior Cloud Expert Cloudical Polska Sp z o.o.