There are network performance and connectivity differences between the five major public cloud providers – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Alibaba Cloud and IBM Cloud.
Some cloud providers rely heavily on the public Internet to transport traffic instead of their backbones, which can impact performance predictability.
Google Cloud and Azure rely heavily on their private backbone networks to transport their customer traffic, protecting it from performance variations associated with delivering over the public Internet.
AWS and Alibaba Cloud rely heavily on the public Internet for the majority of transport, resulting in greater operational risk that can impact performance predictability. IBM takes a hybrid approach that varies regionally.
Latin America and Asia have the highest performance variations across all clouds, whereas in North America, cloud performance is generally comparable, according to Cloud Performance Benchmark revealed by ThousandEyes, the Internet and Cloud Intelligence company.
AWS Global Accelerator doesn’t always out-perform the Internet. AWS Global Accelerator was introduced in November 2018 to let customers use the AWS private backbone network for a fee – rather than use the public Internet.
Broadband ISP choice makes a difference in cloud performance. Businesses looking to get every performance edge possible should consider which broadband ISP provider they select, depending on which cloud they most heavily rely upon. There are performance gains and losses depending on which broadband provider businesses use to connect to each cloud.
Alibaba experiences packet loss when crossing through China’s Great Firewall just as all the other cloud providers do, showing it does not get any preferential treatment.
Enterprises serving customers in China, but hesitant to pick a hosting region in China due to stringent regulations on traffic and data privacy, might consider Hong Kong as a viable option. Alibaba Cloud traffic experienced the least packet loss from Hong Kong to China, followed by Azure and IBM.
“Understanding cloud performance is essential for planning and for measurement so you can be assured that you’re providing customers and employees with the best possible performance,” Archana Kesavan, research author and director of product marketing at ThousandEyes said.