Is Google Cloud network really better than AWS network ?

This week I was listening to a conversation about cloud computing. Somebody mentioned that Google Cloud Computing network was better than  Amazon Web Services (AWS). I heard this before from people in conferences but nobody has ever giving me numbers probing this statement. I was thinking to myself this maybe a marketing campaign that somebody read in a SkyMall magazine or something like that.

At the end of the day AWS is years ahead of Google Cloud Platform (GCP); GCP was launched only in 2008 and AWS was launched 2002.

I started thinking how to test the GCP and AWS network to compare their network performance.  I used iperf3  https://iperf.fr/ to generate network traffic, test bandwidth and the amount of data transfer in a certain period of time.

CASE SCENARIOS

CONSTRAINS
300 SECONDS
TCP Traffic  only
Default window size
Operating System Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Same Availability Zone

TEST CASE INSTANCE TYPE GCP INSTANCE TYPE AWS CPU/MEMORY GCP CPU/MEMORY AWS
A F1-micro T2.micro 0.2/0.60GB 1/1GB
B N1-standard-1 M3.medium 1/4GB 1/4GB
C N1-standard-4 M3.xlarge 4/15GB 4/15GB

 

TEST A

For this we are going to use AWS t2.micro and GCP f1.micro. T2.micro is burst-able type instance. What this means is that work on CPU credits and after certain period of use you get less performance until the CPU credits are recharged. The captured is taking over 300 seconds or 5 minutes

gcp_aws_micro.png

As you can see GCP computer f1.micro instance can transfer 10 times more information than an AWS t2.micro instance. Also the GCP rate data transfer is 10 times larger than AWS

WINNER GCP

INSTANCE Bandwidth Total data transferred
F1-micro 985 Mbits/sec 34.4 GBytes
T2.micro 98.8 Mbits/sec 3.45 GBytes

 

TEST B

For this test we are going to test AWS M3.medium and n1-standard-1. Both of  instances have 1 virtual CPU and 3.75Gb of memory

2017-11-18_20-53-20.png

As you can see M3.medium more than triple the data between 2 instances compare to t2.micro. It was able to transfer over 10GBytes over a period 5 minutes. However, the GCP instance was able to transfer close 70GBytes over the same period of time and the bandwidth was close to 2 Gbits/sec.

In this case GCP instance  was able to transfer 7 time more information over 5 minutes compare to the AWS instance

WINNER GCP

INSTANCE Bandwidth Total data transferred
n1-standard-1 1.97 Gbits/sec 68.9 GBytes
M3.medium 300 Mbits/sec 10.5 GBytes

 

TEST C

I wanted to do one more test to make sure the tests before were note a fluke. From AWS I selected m3.xlarge 4 virtual CPU and 15Gb of RAM. AWS state on its page that this instance type has a high network performance.

I am comparing m3.xlarge with GCP n1-standard-4 over 600 seconds.

2017-11-18_21-40-53.png

This AWS instance type was able to triple its available bandwidth from 300 Mbits/sec to 991 Mbits/sec. However, it could not get close to the GCP instance; GCP offered 7.91 Gbits/sec and was able to transfer 8 times more data than the AWS intance

INSTANCE Bandwidth Total data transferred
n1-standard-4 7.91 Gbits/sec 552 GBytes
M3.xlarge 991 Mbits/sec 69.2 GBytes

 

CONCLUSION

If you only focus on instances and data transfer between the instances on the same region AWS does not even come close to GCP performance. This was only a small performance test between instances and not other services offer by the cloud providers.

Keep in mind GCP is still catching up to AWS on feature parity but would not be surprise if the gap is close within 3 to 5 years.

 

 

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