August 01, 2012, 9:34 PM — Google's new IaaS cloud boasts strong compute performance but lacks the breadth of features in Amazon Web Services' 4-year-old Elastic Compute Cloud, according to one industry analyst's side-by-side comparison of the services.
Neither company provides details of the silicon chips within its servers, but analyst Chris Gaun from Ideas International (recently acquired by Gartner) has used information in public statements to determine the hardware behind each vendor's cloud. Google has said it uses Intel Sandy Bridge processors and that each unit of its Compute Engine delivers performance matching that of at least a 1.0- to 1.2-GHz 2007 Opteron chip. Other media have reported that Google uses 2.6-GHz processors, which leads Gaun to believe the company has Xeon E5-2670 chips, the only ones on the market at the time of Google's announcement that deliver that level of raw compute power.
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Gaun believes Google is running the high-capacity chip across its cloud infrastructure, while Amazon makes it available in certain instance types for Elastic Compute Cloud customers, including in its recently announced high I/O extra large cluster compute offering. "Google seems to be running only the latest and greatest chips on the market, while Amazon has a wide variety of chips for customers to use," Gaun says.
Amazon isn't standing pat either. AWS on Wednesday, for example, announced the ability to set the input/output operations per second (IOPS) in Elastic Block Storage.