The test measured the amount of time taken for 12TB of data, composed of 22 million files at an average size of 550KB, to be transferred from one cloud to another.
Over five separate measurements, the shortest time clocked for the data transfer was four hours, managed by one AWS S3 (simple storage service) cloud server to another and a Microsoft Azure cloud to AWS S3. A transfer from a Rackspace server to an AWS S3 server took slightly longer at five hours.
Transfers from Amazon’s cloud to Azure’s and Rackspace’s were significantly slower. S3 to Azure took 40 hours while S3 to Rackspace took a massive 115 hours. Nasuni said the biggest limiting factor for these speeds appears to be the cloud’s write capability. Transvers to S3 servers were much shorter, because it writes faster.
“Enterprise IT professionals increasingly want to know that any data they store in the cloud is not ‘stuck’ in that cloud,” said the CEO of Nasuni, Andres Rodriguez. “Vendor lock-in is a real fear and no one wants to be confined to one cloud any more than they would want to be limited to one disk drive or one storage array.
“Enterprises must maintain flexibility and these tests demonstrate that, while data can be moved from cloud-to-cloud relatively quickly with some providers, others require an unacceptable amount of time to complete.”
Nasuni highlights that it typically uses its own back-end cloud storage as previous test proved it to be a better performer. For this most recent study, it used AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) m1.large size computers for the transfer tests, but added that the results could likely be different if powered by a different provider.
Other limitations and variables not checked included the time of day the tests were conducted (to observe bandwidth differences) and transfers between Rackspace and Azure servers.
Nevertheless, Nasuni maintains that Amazon’s cloud service remains the best for data transfer.
“Amazon once again ranks at the top of the list, a full 10 times better than the next best cloud storage provider,” the company said. “This speaks to Amazon’s time in the market, architecture, operations, etc. Also not surprising from our previous report is that Azure is still in second place and Rackspace a more distant third place.”