Cloud’s Write Capability Limits Speed, Studies Find

New tests by storage vendor Nasuni have revealed that it takes ten times as long to move large volumes of data from the Amazon storage cloud to its competitors Windows Azure and Rackspace than it does the other way around.

According to a recent story in the ars technica blog Uptime, Nasuni conducted five series of tests, each time moving 12TB of data between two cloud services. Nasuni found that moving 12TB of data from Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) to Azure takes 40 hours, while moving the same amount from Azure to Amazon takes just four hours.

Why such a huge difference in speeds when moving data?

Nasuni said the “biggest limiting factor” is the cloud’s write capability, as all transfers to Amazon S3 were between four to five hours, while writing to Microsoft Windows Azure and Rackspace was “at least an order of magnitude longer.”

Some other data transfer time differences that Nasuni’s studies observed:

  • Rackspace to Amazon took five hours
  • Amazon to Rackspace took nearly a week
  • Between Amazon buckets took four hours

The test results varied by time of day and the number of compute machines to transfer the data, but these numbers represent the minimum time it takes to move 12TB.

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