back to article Quick, get the popcorn: Amazon Web Services says Microsoft's benchmarks for Azure are a load of stripe

The cloudy database world was plunged into drama at the close of this week, as Amazon Web Services locked horns with Microsoft in a spat over benchmarks. In IT, there are lies, damned lies, and benchmarks. Vendors love quietly and sneakily crafting environments and test software that puts their kit in the best possible light …

  1. JohnFen Silver badge

    It'll be fun to watch

    It'll be fun to watch, even though there is nothing less interesting or meaningful than fights over benchmarks.

    1. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: It'll be fun to watch

      Perhaps James May can lead a nerdy Grand Tour special on this. An epic AWS v’s Azure challenge.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: It'll be fun to watch

        Sorry but virtual crashing and exploding is boring (Unless you are trolling online playing older versions of F1 2016, otherwise you just ghost)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It'll be fun to watch

          Why does it have to be virtual?

          Think big....

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: It'll be fun to watch

            appropriate icon, since you were unable to select one ->

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

    I'm trying to work this out on a packet of fags and all I can come up with is a picture of my balls with a ballpoint pen.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

      ". . . what my balls were doing with a ballpoint pen, I'll never know."

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

      The question is, do your balls have a point?

      Certainly a more interesting question than who marked the bench better.

      1. oxfordmale78

        Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

        .....due to asymmetry in nature your left ball is probably slightly different than your right ball, but both of them will get the job done they were intended for.

        However, I would advise though not to run too many benchmarks for this purpose as it can become prohibitely expensive. I would advise exhaustive testing prior to running these bench marks.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

      It is quite simple because "up to" includes zero, so use that in calculations unless division is involved, in which case use 1.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

      tbf, I read that as ballpoint penis. something along the lines of the original vw golf gti gear stick knob.

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

      "up to" == "less than"

      0 is less than 87

      -ve numbers are less than 87

      You can make pretty much anything 3.4 times faster if you throw enough hardware at it.

      The most expensive Azure instance available probably is faster than the cheapest Amazon one you can get. That is all this statement is really telling you.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

        > "up to" == "less than"

        Except for those sales which are advertised as "save up to x% OR MORE!" Those drive me nuts.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

          Still means “less than”

    6. hplasm
      Happy

      Re: 3.4 times faster and up to 87 per cent less expensive

      "...a picture of my balls"

      Basically a Microsoft press release then?

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

    From the looks of it, it seems like they are the kind of taxes you can't really avoid, like interstate taxon shipments or somesuch. Yeah, I note that Amazon paid $1Bn in federal income tax. Does anyone really think that Amazon's revenue does not warrant more than a measly billion in income tax ?

    As usual, it's just PR to make Amazon look good.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

      Does anyone really think that Amazon's revenue does not warrant more than a measly billion in income tax ?

      No, because you tax profits, not revenue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

        Unless you are buy to let landlord. Thanks Labour

        1. james_smith Silver badge

          Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

          Err, you are only taxed on the profit - you can deduct interest payments on your buy to let mortgage as well as a host of other things.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Muira

        Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

        Yes, this is very significant. All those RSUs vest and they are typically* taxed as ordinary income at an individual's marginal tax rate at the time they vest. So you pay federal, state, local, and FICA taxes.

        * unless you opt for Section 83(b) Election (which most people don't) in which case you had better stay at the company long enough for the stock to vest or you have paid a lot of tax upfront (on the day of the grant) and the shares never vest.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

        Ultimately a corporation gets its money from the consumer. If the corp pays more tax then the consumer pays more to buy its stuff. We pay the tax.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

          Yes and no, if the margins are high enough and there is competition, prices shouldn't go up. If margins are thin and or there is no competition it will go up.

          But these thing are not thin margin goods. They make a fair amount on it and there is competition. So if they paid more tax, like they should be, then the prices shouldn't go up, just their profit after tax go down, unless there was collusion between them, which in the current climate, there wouldn't be.

          If there was collusion, then price fixing fines will come in and they will be forced to lower prices.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

            Their shareholders expect growth. If profits reduced then they will need to do something about it. Unilateral price changes can drag the whole market up and down without collusion.

      3. keith_w Bronze badge

        Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

        I thought that it was Amazon's employees who pay personal income tax on their salaries and wages. Amazon simply does the bookkeeping for them.

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: So Amazon paid $5Bn in various taxes

        Payroll taxes aren't Amazon paying taxes. It's the people who work for Amazon paying taxes.

  4. Roland6 Silver badge

    Need an independent TPC-Cloud Benchmark

    Reading this it does seem we need an independent body to run the TPC-C benchmark on the cloud services that people can buy, so all optimisations are ones that you can select through the control panel etc. then we can build a database of readings just as we have with CPU's, broadband, mobile data etc.

    1. Thomassmart

      Re: Need an independent TPC-Cloud Benchmark

      Useful for situations where the cloud provider decision is based on facts, but it rarely is in my experience.

  5. Twilight

    SQL on EC2? Really?

    My first thought was why benchmark SQL on EC2? SQL will (I think) always be cheaper on RDS and should perform the same. Of course, that assumes SQL means a SQL RDBMS and not specifically SQL Server (which may have to be run on EC2 if it is not an RDS option (can't remember off-hand and can't be bother to bring up AWS to check))...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SQL on EC2? Really?

      I don't think Azure are fooling anybody. AWS is better.

  6. Zakhar

    Any workload (but office-related) is necessary slower on Azure.

    Seriously, beside running "Office-related" workload, I can't imagine how any other workload could be more efficient with the overhead of running VM's on top of window machines crippled by a 30 years old filesystem + antivirus.

    Nobody ever seriously explained how this miracle could happen... or stated that Azure's bare-metal O.S. is NOT window.

    1. ReactiveRich

      Re: Any workload (but office-related) is necessary slower on Azure.

      Oh dear.

      Do you remember a couple of years back when the Reg's cluster of fanboys had apoplexy about MS making their own linux distro? It was never distributed because it was for Azure. SQL Server runs on linux - don't believe me? sudo apt-get install mssqlserver - and Azure SQL is a weird free-floaty kind of cloud powered distributed version that runs on all kinds of metal. Not to mention that, much like any major RDBMS, SQL Server is pretty much 90% of an OS all on its own.

      Yes, if you installed it on a VM running Windows 2000 with antivirus and the Ask Jeeves toolbar, it would be slow. But that's not where it is.

  7. Andrew K Jones

    correction

    When Microsoft dissed the competition last year, we were HOPEFUL that a benchmark-off might kick off, and sure enough it is time to load up the popcorn machine.

    FTFY

  8. Povl H. Pedersen

    Enterprise users on O365 will know, that Microsoft is about 1000% slower than anything they have used before :-)

    But I guess we only get the leftover cycles from customers paying for those.

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