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Who’s got the best cloud latency?

Brandon Butler | July 14, 2016
It depends on where you are. But remember: Your mileage may vary

This is also a point-in-time view of latency. These measurements could change minute-by-minute. Jim Davis from 451 Research says 48 hours – the amount of time Cedexis used for this report - is “a good starting point” for measuring latency. He cautions though: “It requires further digging based on your individual criteria.”

Latency is just one factor that can influence performance, he adds. The speed of the IaaS vendor’s infrastructure (virtual machine, storage and database response times) can impact workload performance. Application-layer issues can have profound impacts on workload response times too, and those are the end user customer’s responsibility, not the cloud or network provider.

No matter which cloud provider has the lowest latency, the closer you can get your end users to the cloud you’re using the better, says Mastin from Cedexis. If you have a lot of customers on the West Coast, then host the data there. “If you’re a provider, a gaming company, or any enterprise that wants to launch a service in the cloud, then know where you customer base is, that will help direct you to which cloud to use,” he says.

What else can be done about high latency connections to a public cloud? Network vendors like Level 3, AT&T and Verizon offer direct connections into public cloud providers. Vendors like Equinix provide collocation facilities with direct connections into the public cloud too. There are a variety of network mapping software tools available that allow organizations to optimize traffic routes from origin to end point.

Latency is just one factor users should take into account when choosing a public IaaS cloud provider, Davis says. Services offered, cost and future road map should also be considered when selecting a vendor. Davis says in his interactions with customers, he hasn’t found latency to be a determining factor in vendor selection, but it is one of many factors to consider.


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