Cloud Hosting Provider Hardware Benchmarks

While running some hardware benchmarks on my new Core i7 Apple MacBook Pro, I got the idea to run the same benchmarks across several Cloud hosting platforms to see how their hardware stacks up. The tool I used to perform the benchmarks is Geekbench from Primate Labs. Now, this benchmark was designed to accurately test processor and memory performance so these benchmarks do not take into account disk i/o, network i/o, etc. In addition to the performance results, we learn a bit about the underlying hardware on the host machines that run these platforms. The different providers benchmarked here are: Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Linode, Rackspace Cloud Servers and Storm on Demand (by LiquidWeb).

Before we get to the results let me disclose the fact that I WORK FOR RACKSPACE (that is me on the front left). That being said, you can trust my benchmarks or not — that is up to you. Believe me when I say that I would not risk my credibility and reputation over some simple benchmarks. The good part is that you can very easily replicate these results on your own in just a few minutes and for less than a few dollars (total across all providers — isn’t the Cloud great?) if you want to see results first hand.

All providers were kicked with Debian 5.0 (64 bit) except for GoGrid where I had to use CentOS 5.3 (64 bit). The great thing about Geekbench is that there are no options, so no confusion. You can run the tests in 32 bit or 64 bit mode depending on whether or not you have a license. These tests were run in 64 bit mode so I could test the full potential of these systems.

Provider Amazon EC2 GoGrid Cloud Servers Linode Rackspace Cloud Servers Storm on Demand Servers
Server Size Large 2 GB 2080 2 GB 2 GB
Integer Score 1561 3183 3105 3979 2513
Floating Point Score 2438 4293 3919 5304 3568
Memory Score 1839 3431 2696 2485 5374
Stream Score 1375 4355 1991 1432 4945
Overall Geekbench Score 1904 3738 3196 3889 3697
Platform Linux x86 (64-bit) Linux x86 (64-bit) Linux x86 (64-bit) Linux x86 (64-bit) Linux x86 (64-bit)
Processor Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 270 Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E5520  @ 2.27GHz Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           L5420  @ 2.50GHz Quad-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 2374 HE Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU         750  @ 2.67GHz
Processor ID AuthenticAMD Family 15 Model 33 Stepping 2 GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 26 Stepping 5 GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 6 AuthenticAMD Family 16 Model 4 Stepping 2 GenuineIntel Family 6 Model 30 Stepping 5
Logical Processors 2 2 4 4 1
Physical Processors 2 1 1 1 1
Processor Frequency 2.00 GHz 2.27 GHz 2.50 GHz 2.20 GHz 2.67 GHz
Memory 7.51 GB 1.96 GB 2.81 GB 2.01 GB 1.68 GB
Processor Cores 2 2 4 4 1

*Note: You can click on the provider name at the top for a direct link to the Geekbench results browser.

You will notice that I tried to keep all the test instances right about the same size, or as close as I could. The only big variation comes with Amazon where the smallest instance I could build was of the Large variety (thought that might have given it an edge but apparently not). The Linode instance is positioned to be a bit more powerful as well and offers almost a full 1 GB more than GoGrid, Rackspace, and Storm due to their funky memory/price scale.

Now, we all know and understand that resources on the host machines that power these instances can fluctuate depending on many factors such as the time of day and extra resources that may be available (CPU bursting for example). Because of this I ran each benchmark 3 different times throughout the day: early morning, mid-afternoon, and late evening (~11:00PM CST). Every single provider showed their best results during the late evening test and these are the results posted here.

If you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to respond as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading!

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