Jul 12, 2012

Does the cloud measure up for high performance?

Ansley Kilgore

Does the cloud measure up for high performance?Throughout our 15+ years in the delivery and IT Infrastructure services business, Internap has relentlessly focused on providing the highest performing services to our customers. In fact, our accelerated IP solutions are known the world over for consistently delivering market-leading performance and uptime. Now, with the introduction of our public cloud and dedicated hosting service we’ve added instant scalability and automated provisioning (acquired in January as part of Voxel’s VoxSTRUCTURE platform and now integrated into our performance datacenters) to our arsenal of high-performance hosting solutions. From “Layer 0” (colocation) to custom hosting deployments and dedicated hosting to public and provide cloud, Internap leads in high-performance IT solutions.

In the coming weeks and months you’ll hear us talk about this infrastructure tool set as a key differentiator — we leverage our wide platform, consultative engagement process and powerful automation to ensure our customers achieve the best possible “price to performance” ratios in the industry.

Internap Cloud Platform Measurement

Being focused on performance means that we’re constantly finding ways to measure and improve what we deliver to our customers. That’s harder than it sounds. Replicating “real world” usage is more of an art than a science, and we participate in every 3rd party performance measurement system we can find! A few months ago, right as we rolled out our cloud and dedicated hosting platform to five global locations (three in the US, one in Europe and one in Asia), we started working with Cedexis, a company similarly focused on high-performance delivery that leverages multi-platform (cloud/content delivery network) strategies for its customers.

Cedexis engaged with Internap to add its five global cloud locations to its performance-monitoring platform, an impressive technology stack (dubbed “Radar”) that leverages real users’ browsers to obtain reliable, actionable metrics. This is particularly important as many performance test methodologies are severely flawed and rely on either backbone-specific measurements or end users installing toolbars or other spyware infectected apps, which naturally jades what kind of results you get back. You can read more about Cedexis’ Radar here.

Overall, the experience has been great and the results insightful — not actionable, but more interesting and validating to our engineering teams who are focused on both the network and compute aspects of high-performance cloud platforms.

The Results

Cloud Providers Average ResponseCedexis measures both performance (primarily a response time metric) and quality (based on error rates of requests). The Internap public cloud (still dubbed “VoxCLOUD” for now!) performed well across the board, with our New York, NY location earning the top Performance and Quality Rankings and our other locations filling nicely in the top 10:

Performance Ranking
Quality Ranking (Errors)
2 EC2 East VoxCLOUD TX
3 VoxCLOUD TX Rackspace Cloud
4 Rackspace Cloud EC2 East
5 Azure North EC2 West
6 Azure South VoxCLOUD CA
8 GoGrid CloudSigma EU
9 Cloud Sigma Phoenix NAP
10 EC2 West GoGrid


MIRO-Enabled Cloud — Only from Internap

By no means is the Cedexis measurement comprehensive or absolute — but it’s a strong indication of the performance of Internap’s cloud and delivery solutions. But what makes our cloud perform so much better than Amazon’s? Or Rackspace’s? Did we buy the latest generation processors (yes!) or invest in the best datacenters (that too!). But in the end, it’s the network that affects cloud performance the most — and we’ve spent a decade and a half perfecting our Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) delivery technology to optimize, improve and scale Internet delivery. As the world moves more of its applications into the cloud, the network that delivers the content and application stack to the end user becomes even more critical.

At Internap, we’ll continue to develop cutting-edge and scalable cloud technologies, improve our price-to-performance ratio and offer higher levels of service to our customers. We trust that this will reflect in the experiences of our customers, and we’ll be watching 3rd party measurements, such as those from Cedexis, as key indicators of our performance position in the marketplace.

Need help choosing which cloud is right for you? Check out our Cloud Hosting Buyer’s Guide for more information.

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Ansley Kilgore

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