Top cloud firms compared in survey to reveal which is best for business

An internet and cloud intelligence firm has released the results of a survey in which it unbiasedly compared the performance and connectivity differences between some of the world’s largest cloud network providers.

ThousandEyes conducted its research across the world’s top 5 public cloud providers – IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Alibaba Cloud. The aim of the report is to help business leaders make the right decision in adopting cloud.

The most significant results

Key findings from the report revealed that, slightly controversially, some cloud providers rely on the public internet to transport traffic, rather than their own support. Google Cloud and Azure were found to use their own private backbone networks, which helps with protection from the performance variation associated with delivering over the public internet. Whilst AWS and Alibaba Cloud rely heavily on the public internet, leading to greater operational risk. IBM’s approach varies regionally.

The geographical locations that have the highest performance variations across all cloud are Latin America and Asia.

Despite the fee, AWS Global Accelerator (which uses a private network), doesn’t always work as well as the public Internet. It was also discovered that the choice of broadband ISP makes a difference to the cloud and the type of broadband picked to connect each cloud even makes a difference to performance loss and gain.

A final key finding is that each cloud provider has to pay a fee when crossing China’s Great Firewall. Even Alibaba, which is based in China.

Missing performance data

Archana Kesavan, research author and director of product marketing at ThousandEyes said: “When businesses need to decide which cloud provider best meets their needs, one metric that’s notably missing from their assessments has been performance data, mainly because it’s never been available or has, at best, been myopic.”

“The second annual Cloud Performance Benchmark gives businesses that comparative data. Understanding cloud performance is essential for planning and for ongoing measurement so you can be assured that you’re providing customers and employees with the best possible performance,” Kesavan added.