azure-aws-logosI had a very interesting conversation with a friend over the weekend on Cloud platforms. One thing I learned is that Microsoft Azure beats Amazon as Cloud Platform in an evaluation performed by Nasuni. It’s their second state of cloud storage report and sets an interesting benchmark for evaluating cloud providers.  The report concludes

Microsoft consistently performed better than the other  CSPs in the tests, delivering the best Write/Read/Delete  speeds across a variety of file sizes, the fastest response  times and the fewest errors. Not only did Microsoft outperform the competition significantly during the  raw performance tests, it was the only cloud storage  platform to post zero errors during 100 million reads and  writes. In those categories where Microsoft was not the  top performer (uptime and scalability variance), it was a  close second.

For these reasons, Microsoft has replaced Amazon to  achieve the top performer position in the 2013 report. Cloud storage is a rapidly evolving market with new providers and new offerings entering all the time. The results in this report illustrate that product parity does not yet exist in this market. While offering “cloud storage” is relatively easy, delivering a high performing, reliable and scalable solution requires significant focus, advanced technology and continuous investment.

This lead to a very nerdy discussion on reads, writes, transferring data between data centres and some of the limitations of Amazon relative to Azure as a cloud platform, particularly from an enterprise perspective. Writing data to different data centres at no additional cost is an important feature in Azure.

Amazon being a pioneer in this space have tended to get much of the oxygen. It’s important to remember that the race is only beginning. As is the benchmarking.

On a side note I think Microsoft should drop “Windows” from the “Windows Azure” brand and just go with Microsoft Azure. It’s about as useful as calling X-Box  ”Windows X-Box” would be.