IBM Cloud Services vs Amazon EC2

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ibmHigh Performance Computing in the cloud has become a hot topic with new offerings targeted at this market. The demands of technical computing professional to use the cloud for HPC workloads are different than that of a general enterprise software requirement. Performance is key, which requires a different infrastructure at the cloud providers premises. The IBM SoftLayer cloud resource based on the IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service gives users the environment to run HPC applications at performance levels that meet or exceed in house clusters.

Various types of companies require a cloud service for their most demanding computing applications. Whether to offload internal systems during peak times or the lack of experienced systems administrators to manage a cluster, using a cloud resource may be an attractive solution. However, performance of the application running in the cloud and effective use of cloud resources is an important decision point. The IBM SoftLayer cloud gives users access to a bare metal set of servers, that operate without the overhead of a virtualization layer, if desired.

With performance being a critical requirement for running HPC applications in the cloud, IBM Softlayer ran a number of tests in a variety of domains to understand and report on the performance of running applications on cloud infrastructure. Sample applications were run that tested memory bandwidth, CPU performance, network bandwidth, network latency, and input/output performance. In addition, applications for domains such as Life sciences, EDA, CAE and CFD were also run, and compared to the results that one would get using Amazon Web Services.

Across the 10 tests that were run on the following configurations, the IBM cloud dedicated physical machine outperformed the configurations from AWS that were tested. In addition, when a virtual machine from IBM SoftLayer was compared to a similar offering from AWS, the IBM Cloud solution was a better choice in terms of price/performance.

The IBM cloud delivers significantly better results compared to similarly configured systems in the AWS EC2 cloud. IBM Softlayer offers physical machines to the user, that although with slightly higher usage rates deliver significantly faster results, which allow users to make better and faster decisions.

Download this IBM SoftLayer whitepaper now.