Cloud

Early Observations on the Performance of Windows Azure

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Executive Summary

A significant open issue in cloud computing is performance. Few, if any, cloud providers or technologies offer quantitative performance guarantees. Regardless of the potential advantages of the cloud in comparison to enterprise-deployed applications, cloud infrastructures may ultimately fail if deployed applications cannot predictably meet behavioral requirements. In this paper, the authors present the results of comprehensive performance experiments they conducted on Windows Azure from October 2009 to February 2010. In general, they have observed good performance of the Windows Azure mechanisms, although the average 10 minute VM startup time and the worst-case 2x slowdown for SQL Azure in certain situations - relative to commodity hardware within the enterprise - must be accounted for in application design.

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