Tech

How to super-charge your website with OnApp – reviews of performance with and without OnApp Accelerator

A little while ago we reviewed OnApp cloud performance versus AWS and Azure – and showed that from a pure virtual server (VM) performance perspective, a properly-configured OnApp cloud can out-perform even the hyperscale clouds.

That’s just one of many reasons why you should be looking for an OnApp cloud provider to host your workloads. So as a cloud provider, what other performance factors should you consider for your customers? Well, a huge percentage of cloud workloads are web server VMs… and raw cloud performance isn’t always going to help ensure their websites perform as well as they would like. Why is that?

The latency problem

Even when websites are hosted in a high-performance cloud, visitors can still suffer from slow page loads because of network latency, as they may be thousands of miles away from the content source. While the latency problem can be solved by a CDN (Content Delivery Network), CDNs are relatively complex things for service providers to price, package, sell and support. We reviewed some of these issues at a recent CDN webinar I took part in.

Introducing… OnApp Accelerator!

What’s the answer? That’s where OnApp Accelerator comes in. OnApp Accelerator is an application VM that sits in front of the hypervisor in an OnApp cloud. Using a patented method, it optimizes the static content from all websites hosted on VMs in a given network zone (HTML/CSS/JS/images) and delivers that content over a CDN. This all happens completely automatically: you get file optimization and CDN delivery with zero effort, no DNS changes or code changes needed.

Let’s review before and after performance with OnApp Accelerator

So, I’m going to conduct a review of performance using an e-commerce website that is hosted in an OnApp cloud. I will compare its performance when OnApp Accelerator is enabled for the virtual server the website is running on, and when Accelerator is not enabled.

The websites I am going to use for the performance test are http://shop.onapp.rocks/ and http://shop-accelerated.onapp.rocks/.

Both sites show the exact same content in a web browser: the original code for each site is identical (yes, these are http not https, but Accelerator works with both secure and non secure sites):

shop.onapp.rocks – not accelerated shop-accelerated.onapp.rocks – with Accelerator

 

These two websites are hosted on two different virtual servers in the same OnApp cloud: 69.168.237.135 and 69.168.237.136. The virtual servers are on the same OnApp compute resource and the same network. Both virtual servers have the same spec of 2 CPU cores, 2GB RAM and 20GB of storage. The only difference between them is that the “Accelerate” toggle has been set to On for the Accelerated virtual server:

Non-accelerated virtual server – 69.168.237.135 Accelerated virtual server – 69.168.237.136

 

Reviewing performance with GTMetrix

Let’s test the performance of each site using GTMetrix. Performance was tested from Vancouver in each case, to ensure consistency. Here’s the result:

As you can see, testing identical websites in terms of the server spec and the website content, shows that OnApp Accelerator helps a website perform so much better when comes to content optimization and delivery. To make it more visible, I have tabulated the metrics and converted them into a percentage improvement:

Not accelerated Accelerated Improvement
Loaded Time 2.1 seconds 1.1. seconds 47%
Total Page Size 742KB 283KB 61%
Page Speed Score 82% 100% 21%
YSlow Score 76% 100% 31%

 

(if you would like to know more about the metrics PageSpeed Score and YSlow Score, click here)

We’ve created a microsite that OnApp customers can use to promote their own accelerated website performance – it also uses GTMetrix. You can try this for yourself at https://accelerated.site. 

 

So, what’s the catch?

As a cloud provider, this kind of no-effort performance boost is surely a “no-brainer” – a way to boost sales and give you a unique selling point over other, non-accelerated cloud providers out there. So now comes the million dollar question. How much does OnApp Accelerator cost?

Nothing. The Accelerator software is included free with OnApp Cloud v6.0 – and the CDN bandwidth is free, too: we absorb the bandwidth costs. Ok, so you do need to devote a small amount of resource from the hypervisor the Accelerator runs on, but that is it… by enabling Accelerator, in a few seconds you are ready to sell a powerful VM which can outperform Azure and AWS, and at the same time deliver the performance benefits of CDN for websites on the VM.

Sounds good? You can read more about OnApp Accelerator here – and if you’d like a demo of OnApp cloud, and/or Accelerator, just get in touch. Thanks!