OVH enters the Cloud Spectator 2017 rankings – and is placed 1st in Europe, ahead of the main US players in this sector

In its first appearance among the Top 10 Cloud IaaS Providers, OVH takes 1st place in Europe and rises to 2nd place in North America, ahead of the main US players. The result validates a public cloud business model that compromises neither on performance nor on price competitiveness.

Based in Boston, Cloud Spectator is an American firm that specialises in comparative studies of cloud product offers. It has recently published its annual Top 10 of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) public cloud providers who offer the best performance/price ratio. The CloudSpecs Value Score is measured as follows for each provider: the company screens CPU performance and stability, block-level storage and memory for four sizes of virtual servers, allowing the actual value of the instance for the user to be assessed.

Coming top of the European rankings and in 2nd place in North America, OVH’s Public Cloud has outdone some big names among US cloud providers such as Rackspace, Google, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean and Amazon. This proves that the OVH Public Cloud offer is more than just an alternative, both in terms of performance (and its low performance variability over time) and rates. The achievement can be explained by OVH’s revolutionary business model. This combines technological innovations such as liquid cooling of servers (so the group’s datacentres can operate without air conditioning) with a vertically integrated business that allows OVH to command the whole value chain, from datacentre design to server assembly and support.

Not all cloud product offers were created equal

The main priority for Cloud Spectator is to bring more transparency to the cloud market by offering companies guidance when it comes to choosing their IaaS provider. In that respect, the Cloud Spectator rankings reveal "strong discrepancies between the various players in terms of pricing, performance and stability," as noted by Kenny Li, CEO of Cloud Spectator. So much so that Cloud Spectator is inviting buyers to look not only at the unit price but also at performance, which affects the provisioning of the infrastructure and therefore its overall cost, which can quickly escalate.

OVH’s strong performance in the Cloud Spectator rankings is the result of a fundamental difference in the very design of OVH Public Cloud and its instances of high availability (HA). The user has access to all resources, all the time – whereas most providers use very different calculations. "The best-known players," says Pierre Ourdouillé, Public Cloud lead tech, "want to draw as much profit as possible from their infrastructures and assume that people never use 100% of their resources. So, they end up selling more resources than the physical servers hosting their virtual machines can provide. Result: 80% of the time, users do not have access to all the resources they pay for. Sometimes they have access to 90%, but sometimes it is a lot less than that. This is where it gets annoying. It is what we call the “noisy neighbour effect”. It is all legal but it is better to be aware of it before committing. And this is what the Cloud Spectator benchmark report is trying to highlight."

Test it yourself!

As Cloud Spectator rightly points out, the absence of standard benchmarks and the sheer number of variables to consider make it difficult to compare cloud services between providers. Moreover, depending on the configuration of the service, the chosen options (notably in terms of storage) and the kind of workload being considered (based on the application that will run on the VM), performance will vary. While we have no doubt about the quality of Cloud Spectator's benchmark report, which we believe provides an accurate picture of the product offers' value, we still recommend testing our infrastructures with your own applications to get a clear indication of our Public Cloud's actual performance.

OVH makes it even easier than normal to perform this test, as our Public Cloud is interoperable and totally reversible. Now here is an argument that is not revealed by benchmarks but that we believe is crucial: OVH uses, contributes to and features the OpenStack APIs, thereby providing users with portable cloud environments and possible hybrid operations between OVH and other cloud providers.

Cloud Spectator’s tests were carried out on machines hosted in Strasbourg in eastern France. OVH's Public Cloud offer is available in several OVH datacentres in Gravelines (northern France) and Beauharnois (near Montreal, for North America). It will soon be available in datacentres located in Poland, Singapore and Sydney, Australia, as well as other new geographical areas (see datacentre establishments underway). This could increase the performance of your infrastructure, bringing it closer to your users to reduce latency.

Read the Cloud Spectator study in full:

Which OVH public cloud instances were tested by Cloud Spectator?

For each of the 10 providers tested, Cloud Spectator took measurements based on 4 types of virtual machines: small VM, medium VM, large VM and extra-large VM.

For OVH, the B2-7, B2-15, B2-30 and B2-60 models equipped with high availability storage were tested. The instances tested were in OVH’s Strasbourg datacentre (SBG-3), ideally located for users in Central and Eastern Europe.