20 Feb 2013, CIOL Bureau, CIOL
BANGALORE, INDIA: Microsoft Azure Blob Storage has beaten Amazon S3 to emerge as the best cloud service provider (CSP), in terms of performance, scalability and stability, in 2013. Moreover, Microsoft also emerged as the only cloud storage platform to post zero errors during 100 million reads and writes.
This is according to a report from cloud storage provider Nasuni, which ran a test to assess six CSPs - Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HP Cloud Object Storage, and Rackspace Cloud Files. In 2012, Amazon S3 was the winner.
The report noted that Azure, which is still very young in terms of market presence, though is showing positive growth, Amazon, which is a strong player has the potential to outsmart every other player in the market.
"Even though Azure has not been in the market as long as S3 and does not have nearly the same volume of storage under management, it is clear that Microsoft's investments in Azure are starting to pay dividends and that the technology they are providing to the market is second to none. Amazon is still a strong player in this market, and is well positioned to continue to improve their platform producing better results.
Last year, CSPs delivered over an exabyte of data under contract. This heralds a new era for how storage is delivered and consumed. Amazon's S3 service crossed the 1-trillion-object mark, and all major CSPs dropped their prices multiple times.
"In our 2012 report, Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage were the two strongest players in the market and that, although other offerings showed potential, they had not yet matured enough for use in enterprise storage solutions," adds the report.
The report also notes that overall, the CSPs tested this year demonstrated clear advancements over last year, including improved performance and fewer errors. It is clear that the minimum bar is moving upward, which is excellent news for the cloud storage market as a whole. As more CSPs mature into enterprise-class cloud storage providers, organizations and vendors will be able to leverage competitive advancements in price and technology to improve their overall storage infrastructure.
"While offering 'cloud storage' is relatively easy, delivering a high performing, reliable and scalable solution requires significant focus, advanced technology and continuous investment. While Microsoft has secured the leadership position this year, it is quite possible that things could change again next year. In the two years this report has been published, there was a different leader each year," the report adds.
The report also notes that HP, which is a relative newcomer to the CSP market, shows strong performance in write and read tests, suggesting that improvements in stability could make it a strong player in future.