Choosing the right cloud instances to run your workloads isn’t an easy decision. It may be tempting to simplify the decision by just looking at the specs or using a single performance benchmark—but we recommend you avoid that temptation. As this study shows, no one benchmark can tell the full story, and it’s vital that any benchmark you use reflects the work you’re going to be doing.

For IT decision makers purchasing cloud instances, the SPEC CPU 2017 benchmark and its SPECint measurement are likely to be familiar. We used SPECint, along with eight other benchmarks, to drill down into cloud instance performance across multiple workloads using two different configurations of Microsoft Azure VMs. One Azure Ddsv5-series VM configuration was powered by 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Platinum 8370C processors, while the other configuration was an Azure Dadsv5-series powered by 3rd Gen AMD EPYC 7763v processors.

In our hands-on testing, we found a wide variation in the cloud instance performance these different tools showed. Using all of them is a great way to get a more complete picture of cloud instance performance, but as the varying results showed, if you’re going to use only one, it’s best to make sure that one simulates the kind of work you need to do.

Learn more about how you can better understand potential cloud performance in this exciting new study.