Amazon, Microsoft Top Short List Of Cloud Storage Providers: Study

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Amazon and Microsoft are the cream of the crop among a small handful of cloud storage vendors that offer the performance, stability and scalability to make them viable alternative to their on-premise counterparts, a recent study has revealed.

While the study, dubbed "State Of Cloud Storage," was conducted by Natick, Mass.-based storage and data continuity services startup Nasuni Corp., it takes a candid view of the cloud storage market and identifies which cloud storage providers (CSPs) are ready for primetime. Nasuni also points out in the study that its offerings are cloud storage provider agnostic.

The results stem from a more than two year evaluation of the market in which Nasuni tested storage vendors and rated them based on their performance, stability and scalability.

This technical test looked at how CSPs perform in a specific use case, namely, how they perform for mid-sized organizations that want to take advantage of the cloud for primary storage, data protection and disaster recovery. Some providers, for example, have built their clouds to optimize their ability to deliver very large media files across the Web. Nasuni did not test for every possible use case.

Nasuni judged cloud storage players based on performance, which it identified as the ability to respond quickly to queries and not slow when stressed; stability and availability, or the ability to trust that data in the cloud will be available at all time; and scalability, or the ability to leverage unlimited capacity.

Of the 16 different cloud storage providers evaluated, only six passed Nasuni's criteria. And Amazon S3 and Microsoft Windows Azure came out the big winners.

"Two CSPs emerged as top performers in the Nasuni study: Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure, with Amazon S3 being the standout across all evaluation areas," Nasuni wrote in the study.

Rounding out the six top cloud storage providers were AT&T Synaptic Storage-as-a-Service, Nirvanix, Peer1 Hosting and Rackspace Cloud, the study revealed.

Nasuni added that EMC Atmos Online also passed the performance, stability and scalability testing, but EMC discontinued the Atmos Online service in 2010 and now offers EMC Atmos as a platform that lets other companies host their own clouds, such as AT&T and Peer1. Nasuni did not reveal the names of the 10 other cloud storage providers that didn't pass muster.

Nasuni's testing examined five different stages, API integration, unit testing performance testing, stability testing and scalability testing, all of which required the services to perform tasks as they would in business cloud environments.

Nasuni measured average write speed for large files of 1 MB, and found that Microsoft ranked first, followed by Nirvanix, Rackspace, AT&T, Amazon and Peer1. And in average read speed for large files Nirvanix placed first, followed by Microsoft Windows Azure, Amazon, AT&T, Rackspace and Peer1. Nasuni also tested average read and write speeds for medium files and large files and Amazon and Microsoft averaged highest among the field.

NEXT: Which Cloud Storage Providers Suffered The Most Outages?

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