EC2 network performance demystified: m3 and m4
AWS offers EC2 instances in different sizes, defined by the instance type. How do you decide which instance type to use? Do you need an
m4.xlarge instance? At least the following factors should affect your decision:
- How much memory does the operating system and application need?
- Does your application benefit from multiple CPU cores?
- What is the expected network throughput going in and out your instance?
It’s easy to get the information about the memory and CPU capacity of an instance type at Amazon EC2 Instance Types. For example, an
m4.large instance comes with two vCPUs and 8 GiB memory. But which network performance can you expect with an
m4.large instance? AWS promises a
Moderate network performance without any hint how to translate this vague information into GBit/s.
I’ve been dissatisfied with the lack of information about the actual network performance of EC2 instances for a while. Therefore, I remembered the saying my father told me: “Messen heißt wissen!” which translates to “Measuring means knowledge!”.
Over the last weeks, I’ve measured the networking performance of EC2 instances in the real world, and I’m happy to share the results with you.
Summary of the benchmarking infrastructure:
- benchmarking tool: iperf3
- instance type of iperf3 server: m4.16xlarge
- regions: eu-west-1 and us-west-2
- period: every 3 hours from November 22th, 2017 to November 28, 2017
Expect a detailed blog post explaining my benchmark infrastructure in the future.
The benchmark results within the
m3 instance family are very consistent with a minimal variance between different measurements. Expect a network throughput from 0.3 Gbps to 1.0 Gbps with
The following chart shows the average networking performance of the different
m3 instance types.
The variance is much higher between measurements of the same instance type within the
m4 family. AWS specifies the network throughput for the
m4.16xlarge instance types in detail: 10 Gbps and 25 Gbps.
The following chart illustrates the networking performance of the
m4 instance family. The vertical line shows min/max throughput in seconds. The box indicates the average +/- standard deviation.
When choosing an instance type, the network performance should be one of the main criteria. Especially, for network-intensive workloads. As AWS is only providing very vague information about the networking performance of each instance types our benchmark helps you to avoid bottlenecks caused by the networking capacity of your instances.
Networking benchmarks of other instance families will follow!