Amazon EC2 versus Google Compute Engine, Part 4

It has been a while since we have talked about cloud computing benchmarks and wanted to bring a recent and relevant post to your attention. But, before we do, let's summarize the story of EC2 versus Google Compute Engine. Our first article compared and contrasted GCE and EC2 instance positioning. The second article benchmarked various instance types across the two providers using a series of synthetic benchmarks including the Phoronix Test Suite and the SciMark.


And, less than a week after Data Community DC reported a 20% performance disparity, Amazon dropped the price of only the instances directly GCE competitors by, you guessed it, 20%. Coincidence?

Our third article continued the performance evaluation and used the Java version of the NAS Performance Benchmarks to explore single and multi-threaded computational performance. Since then, GCE prices have dropped 4% across the board to which Amazon quickly responded with their own price drop.

Whereas we looked at number crunching capability between the two services, this post and the reported set of benchmarks from Sebastian Stadil of Scalr compares and contrasts many other aspects of the two services including:

  • instance boot times
  • ephemeral storage read and write performance
  • inter-region network bandwidth and latency

My anectdotal experiences with GCE can confirm that GCE instance boot times are radically faster than EC2's and that the provided API for GCE was far easier to use (very similar to MIT's StarCluster cluster management package for EC2).

In general, this article complements our findings nicely, making a strong case to at least test out Google Compute Engine if you are considering EC2 or a long time user of Amazon's Web Services.

You can find the article in question here: By the numbers: How Google Compute Engine stacks up to Amazon EC2 — Tech News and Analysis