By Fred Wurden, General Manager, AWS Enterprise Engineering (Windows, VMware, RedHat, SAP, Benchmarking)

AWS R5b.8xlarge delivers better performance at lower cost than Azure E64_32s_v4 for a SQL Server workload

In this blog, we will review a recent benchmark that Principled Technologies published on 2/25. The benchmark found that an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) R5b.8xlarge instance delivered better performance for a SQL Server workload at a lower cost when directly tested against an Azure E64_32s_v4 VM.

Behind the study: Understanding how SQL Server performed better, for a lower cost with an AWS EC2 R5b instance

Principled Technologies tested an online transaction processing (OLTP) workload for SQL Server 2019 on both an R5b instance on Amazon EC2 with Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) as storage and Azure E64_32s_v4. This particular Azure VM was chosen as an equivalent to the R5b instance, as both instances have comparable specifications for input/output operations per second (IOPS) performance, use Intel Xeon processors from the same generation (Cascade Lake), and offer the same number of cores (32). For storage, Principled Technologies mirrored storage configurations across the Azure VM and the EC2 instance (which used Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)), maxing out the IOPS specs on each while offering a direct comparison between instances.

Test Configurations

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Source: Principled Technologies

When benchmarking, Principled Technologies ran a TPC-C-like OLTP workload from HammerDB v3.3 on both instances, testing against new orders per minute (NOPM) performance. NOPM shows the number of new-order transactions completed in one minute as part of a serialized business workload. HammerDB claims that because NOPM is “independent of any particular database implementation [it] is the recommended primary metric to use.”

The results: SQL Server on AWS EC2 R5b delivered 2x performance than the Azure VM and 62% less expensive 

Graphs that show AWS instance outperformed the Azure instance

Source: Principled Technologies

These test results from the Principled Technologies report show the price/performance and performance comparisons. The performance metric is New Orders Per Minute (NOPM); faster is better. The price/performance calculations are based on the cost of on-demand, License Included SQL Server instances and storage to achieve 1,000 NOPM performance, smaller is better.

An EC2 r5b.8xlarge instance powered by an Intel Xeon Scalable processor delivered better SQL Server NOPM performance on the HammerDB benchmark and a lower price per 1,000 NOPM than an Azure E64_32s_v4 VM powered by similar Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

On top of that, AWS’s storage price-performance exceeded Azure’s. The Azure managed disks offered 53 percent more storage than the EBS storage, but the EC2 instance with EBS storage cost 24 percent less than the Azure VM with managed disks. Even by reducing Azure storage by the difference in storage, something customers cannot do, EBS would have cost 13 percent less per storage GB than the Azure managed disks.

Why AWS is the best cloud to run your Windows and SQL Server workloads

To us, these results aren’t surprising. In fact, they’re in line with the success that customers find running Windows on AWS for over 12 years. Customers like Pearson and Expedia have all found better performance and enhanced cost savings by moving their Windows, SQL Server, and .NET workloads to AWS. In fact, RepricerExpress migrated its Windows and SQL Server environments from Azure to AWS to slash outbound bandwidth costs while gaining agility and performance.

Not only do we offer better price-performance for your Windows workloads, but we also offer better ways to run Windows in the cloud. Whether you want to rehost your databases to EC2, move to managed with Amazon Relational Database for SQL Server (RDS), or even modernize to cloud-native databases, AWS stands ready to help you get the most out of the cloud.

 


To learn more on migrating Windows Server or SQL Server, visit Windows on AWS. For more stories about customers who have successfully migrated and modernized SQL Server workloads with AWS, visit our Customer Success page. Contact us to start your migration journey today.