Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud-based web service topped the list of the best performing cloud servers in a new report released this week. According to Ars Technica, the report comes from Compuware which used its CloudSleuth tool for the tests. They were conducted between August 2010 and July 2011. During that time period the CloudSleuth service performed 515,000 tests across 30 testing nodes around the world. The testing involved a simulated web site with two pages, one with a lot of smaller images and the other with a big 1.75 MB image.
The final results of the tests showed that the Windows Azure server completed the loading of the page in 6.072 seconds. Google's App Engine server loaded the same test site in 6.45 seconds. In fact during the year both sites improved on the test web site's load times with Windows Azure cutting it down to 5.52 seconds in July and Google App Engine reducing it to 5.97 seconds. Amazon's EC2 servers didn't fair as well; both of its cloud servers (one in Virginia and one in California) had load times of 7.20 seconds and 8.11 seconds, respectively.
Compuware admits that its testing methods are limited. For one thing, it doesn't include one of the most popular cloud services, Salesforce’s Force.com, in its results; but this kind of test can serve as a starting point for customers who are interested in comparing various cloud computing companies. The testing was also designed to be even across the board with Compuware product marketing manager Ryan Bateman saying, "We wanted to make sure we didn’t play to the strengths of any one specific provider and their ability to accelerate pages."