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Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Extensive Benchmarks Of Amazon's EC2 Compute Cloud Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 12 January 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 8 - 2 Comments

Last month we delivered our first benchmarks of the Amazon EC2 Cloud, but those initial tests were limited to just a few of their cloud computing instances due to failures with the Ubuntu EC2 operating system on their other compute instances. Earlier this month we then showed how the Amazon EC2 Micro was comparable to a Nokia N900 and Intel Atom, but now we have a more exhaustive comparison complete of all major Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud types. Using the Amazon Linux AMI operating system, we have run a plethora of performance benchmarks on the m1.small, m1.large, m1.xlarge, m2.xlarge, m2.2xlarge, m2.4xlarge, c1.medium, and c1.xlarge cloud computing instances.

Amazon's own Linux operating system obviously had no issues (kernel panics or anything else) with any of the EC2 instances, unlike Ubuntu 10.10 EC2. The Amazon Linux AMI release 1 was using the Linux 2.6.34.7-56.40.amzn1 kernel, GCC 4.1.2, and an EXT3 file-system. The 64-bit versions of Amazon Linux AMI were used except for the two instance types (m1.small and c1.medium) that are 32-bit only. Prices listed with each instance type are for Amazon's North Virginia (United States) data center using Linux/UNIX. Here are Amazon’s specifications for each of the systems in the Elastic Compute Cloud:

m1.small: 1.7GB memory, 1 EC2 Compute Unit (1 virtual core), 160GB instance storage, 32-bit platform, and moderate I/O performance. The Phoronix Test Suite detected running underneath this Xen virtualized operating system was an Intel Xeon E5430. The price is $0.085 USD per hour.

m1.large: 7.5GB memory, 4 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores), 850GB instance storage, 64-bit platform, and high I/O performance. The hardware running underneath here was an Intel Xeon E5507. The price is $0.34 USD per hour.

m1.xlarge: 16GB memory, 8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores), 1690GB instance storage, 64-bit platform, and high I/O performance. The hardware running underneath was an Intel Xeon E5430. The price is $0.68 USD per hour.

The m1.small, m1.large, and m1.xlarge are considered Amazon's standard instances. There's also the high-memory instances used below that offer proportionally more system memory and are designed for cloud computing with a focus on databases and other memory-intensive workloads.

m2.xlarge: 17.1GB memory, 6.5 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores), 420GB instance storage, 64-bit platform, and moderate I/O performance. Running underneath here was an Intel Xeon X5550. The price is $0.50 USD per hour.

m2.2xlarge: 34.2GB memory, 13 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores), 850GB instance storage, 64-bit platform, and high I/O performance. The 64-bit processor here was an Intel Xeon X5550. The price is $1.00 USD per hour.

m2.4xlarge: 68.4GB memory, 26 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores), 1690GB instance storage, 64-bit platform, and high I/O performance. Intel Xeon X5550 CPUs underneath again provided the 26 EC2 Compute Units. The price is $2.00 USD per hour.

Along with the high-memory instances, there are also high-CPU instances, which offer proportionally more CPU power than system memory, for more of the compute-intensive applications.

c1.medium: 1.7GB memory, 5 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores), 350GB instance storage, 32-bit platform, and moderate I/O performance. The CPU in this case was an Intel Xeon E5410. The price is $0.17 USD per hour.

c1.xlarge: 7GB memory, 20 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores), 1690GB instance storage, 64-bit platform, and high I/O performance. The CPU here was an Intel Xeon E5410. The price is $0.68 USD per hour.

These are all of Amazon's EC2 instances besides the t1.micro (their instance that's provided free to new customers, but its performance is only comparable to a Nokia N900 smart-phone and often falls short of an Intel Atom netbook), and then their cluster compute and cluster GPU instances.

On each of these Amazon EC2 instances we ran a set of 60 benchmarks from Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 "Iveland" and those results are available in full on OpenBenchmarking.org. On OpenBenchmarking.org you can also compare your cloud compute instances or real hardware platforms to that of these Amazon EC2 instances running Amazon Linux. However, as it is not feasible to put up all 60 benchmarks in this article, we included just 19 of the most interesting test results.

The test profiles included PostMark, timed Apache compilation, timed PHP compilation, timed Linux kernel compilation, Bullet Physics, BYTE, C-Ray, POV-Ray, Smallpt, OpenSSL, GraphicsMagick, CLOMP, NASA NAS Parallel Benchmarks (NPB), 7-Zip, Parallel BZIP2, and Stream.

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