Disk Throughput on Amazon EC2, VM Ware, Slicehost, Internal Storage, and SANs

I have noticed a lot of talk going around recently about the scalability of the cloud and had a chance to join in on some excellent webinars. With my interest piqued, I figured I would do some performance tests of my own using IDUG’s two cloud servers. My curiosity was aimed at how critical throughput values scale and compare to traditional servers. I did notice when preparing this post a lack of hard performance figures provided by these cloud services. There is little information on resource allocations per box and almost no clear guarantees on performance or latency.
When analyzing the disk throughput data, one of the two areas of surprise for me was the high level of variance in the read throughput from the cloud servers.  This was somewhat expected as I highly suspected the use of a shared SAN amongst many cloud users. My second area of interest was the fact that Amazon EC2 does not scale its disk throughput with the level of server. So if your database is disk constrained you will need to look at Xkoto or DPF to scale DB2 throughput.


Cloud Type           Avgerage     Standard     Throughput   Throughput

                     Disk Read    Deviation    Max (MB/s)   Min (MB/s)

                     Throughput   (MB/s)


Amazon EC2            60.67        24.906       64.92        57.16

Small Srvr

Amazon EC2           268.68       146.80       368.46        86.35

Medium Srvr

Amazon EC2           199.26        95.43       302.1081      79.81

Large Srvr

Amazon EC2           180.63       102.16       329.70       101.99

Extra Lrg Srvr

Amazon EC2           156.50       151.43       373.04        32.89

Extra High CPU

Large Server

Slicehost 2GB         39.61        11.48        55.37        20.90


VMWare Server         27.32         4.32        33.73        19.86

Hard Drive

(Windows base,

Ubuntu 9.04,

File based HD)

2*1.5TB, Raid 1

AIX ServerRaid 5     192.55         7.22       207.49       175.96

Internal HD

AIX Server w/        853.44        52.91      1074.56       747.63

w/ External

Hitachi SANs

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Disk Throughput on Amazon EC2, VM Ware, Slicehost, Internal Storage, and SANs