It’s hard to really know what you get when buying cloud services today. Depending on the vendor they might sell their services with set amounts of “cores”, or “compute units”, or “vCPUs”. Storage might be spinning disks in speeds ranging from 7,200 RPM to 15,000 RPM or the storage might be newer solid state drives which come in MLC, SLC, and a large variety of performance levels. RAM quantities are fairly straight forward (though is that gigabyte 1,000 or 1,024 megabytes?) but the speed levels of RAM vary drastically.
For some users – it doesn’t matter a lot and they don’t care. Hosting a fairly small blog or content site? You might not care as much about the performance specifics. But if you’re hosting an e-commerce site or other web application with users who are sensitive to latency and load times – you should care. Or if you’re hosting *any* kind of site that expects a large volume of users and traffic – you should definitely care. Without an optimized application and high-performing platform, that “next user” could push you over the acceptable response threshold and create a poor experience for all of your users (not just that that one).
Well, now someone is working to pull back the curtains and communicate the performance of their cloud platform with comparable metrics that give a clear picture of what you’re buying and what you should expect from your solution. SherWeb, Microsoft hosting provider and parent of OrcsWeb, has published a series of posts highlighting not just the performance of their own platform, but comparable metrics for the other large providers so you can see how their cloud stacks up to the competition.
Their first post focuses on and highlights memory (RAM) speed. The second post talks about storage speed and performance. Then the third and last post talks about their processor performance and compares it to the other market options.
It’s nice to see some hosts finally being transparent and honest in what they’re selling and what their customers should expect from their platforms. Good job SherWeb.