A ton has changed since this post was originally published! Why not check out my more recent post?
VPS $5 Showdown - October 2018 - DigitalOcean vs. Lightsail vs. Linode vs. Vultr


This month I’m switching it up and comparing servers on the west coast, specifically in or around the San Francisco area.

Also, I’m going back to only comparing 5 buck instances in the hope that it will free up a bit more time in the future so I can add in some new providers!

Even though I’m switching it up, the servers are still running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x64 and I’m spinning up 3 instances of each and averaging the results.

Overview

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location San Francisco 2 Fremont, CA Silicon Valley
RAM 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
SSD 25 GB 20 GB 25 GB
Transfer 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB

CPU Info

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
MHz 2066.66 2799.99 2394.45
BogoMips 4133.32 5602.31 4788.90

CPU

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Time [sec] 13.21 11.78 13.14
Min [ms] 1.26 1.16 1.12
Avg [ms] 1.32 1.18 1.31
Max [ms] 3.63 1.74 9.04

Memory (Read)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Time [sec] 51.66 42.55 53.70
Min [ms] 0.00 0.00 0.00
Min [ms] 0.00 0.00 0.00
Avg [ms] 4.05 3.57 10.26
Transfer [MB/sec] 1988.72 2406.55 1907. 08

Memory (Write)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Time [sec] 51.92 42.61 53.65
Min [ms] 0.00 0.00 0.00
Min [ms] 0.00 0.00 0.00
Avg [ms] 0.41 2.24 6.94
Transfer [MB/sec] 1978.28 2403.42 1910.28

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Time [sec] 1.54 2.89 4.17
Min [ms] 0.00 0.00 0.01
Min [ms] 0.05 0.14 0.22
Avg [ms] 1.86 7.61 8.50
Transfer [MB/sec] 101.73 54.15 38.18

MySQL

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Time [sec] 39.92 28.25 53.33
Min [ms] 2.69 2.17 2.36
Min [ms] 3.98 2.82 5.32
Avg [ms] 22.95 16.18 33.51
Transactions [req/sec] 253.60 354.06 193.76
Read/write [req/sec] 4818.44 6727.14 3681.49
Other ops [req/sec] 507.20 708.12 387.53

Speed Test

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Distance [km] 2366.36 2371.43 2357.86
Latency [ms] 55.85 85.33 69.10
Download [Mbit/sec] 1264.16 422.69 721.97
Upload [Mbit/sec] 480.86 510.90 275.21

Apache Benchmark

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Time [sec] 5.00 8.06 5.61
Requests per sec (mean) 2336.32 1242.58 1916.56
Time per request [ms] (mean) 499.87 805.68 560.90
Transfer rate [Kbyte/sec] 26498.25 13968.27 21657.89

Conclusion

The big take away from this comparison for me is that DigitalOcean is really starting to close the gap even though Linode still seems to out perform in most categories.

Additionally, Vultr touts having the fastest network, but DigitalOcean absolutely crushed in both the speed test and Apache benchmarks. Not entirely sure if it’s a testament to their west coast data center or if DigitalOcean has improved their network since my last cross provider comparison.

As always, you need to pick the provider that is going to work best for your app / needs and hopefully these metrics will help you make that decision. If so, be a dear and sign up with one (or all!) of my referral codes. Pretty please :)

  • DigitalOcean, new accounts receive $10 in credit
  • Linode, use code LINODE10 for $10 in credit
  • Vultr, no promos at this time, sorry folks

Also, if you’re curious about what commands I am running to generate these metrics and/or want to run them on your server(s) or against a VPS provider I didn’t cover this month, grab the script!