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Research Says SQL Server Faster on Azure than on AWS

Research firm GigaOm compared throughput performance between SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and SQL Server on AWS EC2, finding the former enjoyed a definite speed edge.

"Azure emerged as the clear leader across both Windows and Linux for mission-critical workloads, up to 3.4 times faster and up to 87 percent less expensive than AWS EC2," said Microsoft in commenting on the research in a Dec. 2 blog post. Note that for this sponsored report,Microsoft chose the competitors, the test, and the Microsoft configuration. The GigaOm Transactional Field Test that was used is a workload derived from the industry-standard TPC Benchmark E (TPC-E).

After conducting a number of tests, the GigaOm paper said: "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."

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[Click on image for larger view.] The images above are performance and price-performance comparisons from the GigaOm report. The performance metric is throughput (transactions per second, tps); higher performance is better. The price-performance metric is three-year pricing divided by throughput (transactions per second, tps), lower price-performance is better. (source: Microsoft).

In commenting on the tests, Microsoft said, "A key reason why Azure price-performance is superior to AWS is Azure BlobCache, which provides free reads. Given that most online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads today come with a ten-to-one read-to-write ratio, this provides customers with significant savings."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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