06 Mar

Microsoft Azure Vs. Softsys Hosting Windows VPS – Who Wins?


We routinely keep a check and compare on how are we doing with regards to comparative services offered by our competitors so that we can provide the best service for our customers. We had a chance to test Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine On Hyper-V With Windows Server 2012 R2 OS as it is being advertised / promoted hugely. However, the results that we had from various parametric tests were not so impressive when considering high price that they’re charging. We have compared these specs with our own Softsys Windows VPS products (again running on Hyper-V With Windows Server 2012 R2 OS). Below is brief summary of comparison test:


Plans / Specs Under Comparison:

Microsoft Azure Small VM (1 CPU @1.6GHz + 1.75GB RAM + Unknown Storage + GigaBit Connectivity) – $66.96/m (Ref: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/?scenario=virtual-machines)

Softsys ECO 2 VPS (2 CPU @2.0GHz ea Min + 2.00GB RAM + RAID 10 SAS Storage + GigaBit Connectivity) – $29.95/m (Ref: http://www.softsyshosting.com/windows-vps.aspx)

Softsys SSDV2 VPS (2 CPU @2.0GHz ea Min + 2.00GB RAM + Pure RAID 10 SSD Storage + GigaBit Connectivity) – $39.95/m (Ref: http://www.softsyshosting.com/ssd-windows-vps.aspx)


CPU Processing

Microsoft Azure Uses AMD 4171HE Processor and as per the specification on website, you are provided with 1.6GHz of processing power. Upon checking the task manager, CPU processing was spiking continuously at 100% on a fresh OS that was installed with no custom software / components installed yet. Below is the screen shot of task manager of Azure VM:

Softsys Uses Dual AMD 6100/6200/6300 or Dual Intel Xeon 2600 series enterprise processors which are very fast. These processors have core speed of 2.0 – 2.8GHz which is more than enough for most of the high processing apps. The plans in comparison (SSDV2 and ECO2) have 2 CPU Cores available. Below is screen shot of task manager from one of these Softsys Windows VM:

CPU Summary: Softsys VM’s have more than double the CPU power compared to Microsoft Azure VM of comparable specification.


RAM Allocation

There has been no mention of type of RAM used by Microsoft on host machines running Azure VM’s – however, it is safe to assume that it would be DDR3 ECC REG modules which the same that we use (1600MHz).

Total RAM allocation on Azure Small VM is 1.75GB whereas Softsys ECO 2 or SSDV2 Plan has 2.00GB Dedicated RAM allocated to it.

RAM Summary: Type of RAM used is same but Softsys Provides 12.50% more RAM to VPS than MS Azure


Disk I/O and Disk Throughput

This is something very critical for optimal performance of Virtual Machines and is rarely mentioned by providers on their websites. Azure Virtual Machine had shockingly low disk throughput which is far below than industry standard. There has been no mention of type of storage used by Azure VM’s anywhere but terribly low disk I/O is something that degrades the performance of VM massively (even though if you have high amount of RAM / CPU unused).

Test through DiskTT on Azure VM showed up with below results:

Sequential Write: 11.2MB per second
Sequential Read: 21.8MB per second
Random Access: 322.6MB per second



We performed same test on Softsys ECO 2 VM with below results:

Sequential Write: 304.9MB per second
Sequential Read: 133.3MB per second
Random Access: 173.0MB per second



Disk Throughput Test On Softsys SSDV2 Pure SSD VM gave fantastic results as below:

Sequential Write: 917.4MB per second
Sequential Read: 1587.3MB per second
Random Access: 666.7MB per second


Disk IO Summary: Our tests have shown that Azure has terribly low Sequential Read / Write speeds which affects performance of VM massively compared to Amazing Disk IO throughput on Softsys Virtual Machines using SAS and Pure SSD Storage (both in RAID 10)


Public Connectivity

Our speed test results showed that MS Azure uses GigaBit connectivity which is the same as what we use on our ECO and SSD VM’s.



MS Azure Small VM with 1 CPU @1.6GHz + 1.75GB RAM is priced at $66.96/m (http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/calculator/?scenario=virtual-machines)

Softsys ECO 2 VM (SAS Storage) with 2 CPU’s @2.0GHz ea + 2.00GB RAM is priced at $29.95/m (http://www.softsyshosting.com/windows-vps.aspx)

Softsys SSDV2 VM (Pure SSD Storage) with 2 CPU’s @2.0GHz ea + 2.00GB RAM is priced at $39.95/m (http://www.softsyshosting.com/ssd-windows-vps.aspx)


Final Word

Softsys ECO2 or SSDV2 Virtual machines are More Powerful with more than 2 Times CPU Power, 12.50% More RAM and Up to 900MB/sec More Disk IO Than Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines. Additionally, Softsys VPS’ cost Up To 55% Less Than Azure Virtual Machine Of comparable specs.