"Publication - is the Auction Of the Mind of Man" Emily Dickinson
Thursday, May 12, 2011

I have run some simple performance tests on Azure table storage. Thinking about them reinforced in my mind what kinds of applications should run on Azure, and the relationships between Azure storage tables and SQL Azure.

I have found insert rates on the order of 30-200 milliseconds for a single insert into Azure table storage . It is also on the order of magnitude found in the more elaborate testing reported in Early Observations on the Performance of Windows Azure (Zach Hill, et. al.). This paper looks at the performance of Azure tables, blobs, and queues under various circumstances including the number of concurrent clients.

These rates not blazingly fast. On the other hand, these performance numbers are good for a huge percent of applications that are written. It also may mean that you do not want to do a large number of small inserts into table storage.

Thinking about these results reinforced in my mind that the point of table storage is not that it is super fast, but its performance is more consistent than a relational database where massive scalability can lead to performance degradations in the lock manager. I would assume you would see these kinds of numbers in all of the major cloud vendors such as Amazon and Google.

It also got me thinking about the types of applications that should run on Azure, or any cloud platform for that matter.

The big advantage of cloud computing comes from its elastic scale, and its opportunity to outsource parts of the application stack (virtualization, operating systems, networking, etc.). This comes from the economy of scale of commodity hardware. On the other hand, if you are sophisticated enough, and you have the money, you could buy more sophisticated hardware, and get greater performance.

If you need really high performance (say you are doing online transaction processing) cloud computing is not for you, and probably will not be for another 30 years.

5/12/2011 8:36:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) | Comments [0] | All | Cloud Computing#
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