VPS Showdown - April 2020 - DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr

Josh Sherman
8 min read
VPS Showdown
HEADS-UP: A ton has changed since this post was originally published!
Why not check out the latest comparison?

Yes, this month’s post actually has less providers.

There’s a good reason though.

This month I decided to switch it up and compare some of the “CPU”-centric instances that some of the providers are touting these days. Because Lightsail and UpCloud don’t offer plans like that (not that I could find at least), I have omitted them from this month’s comparison.

The other change to come out of this, specifically because of not including Lightsail, is that I was able to spin up instances on Ubuntu 19.10 instead of the dated 18.04 LTS.

So yeah, this month’s comparison is of plans that are CPU focused, at least in terms of what the providers are marketing. There’s no standard naming conventions, so each provider has their own marketing speak. To keep things consistent, I opted for the 4 GB of RAM option from each.

As per usual, I spun up three instances from each provider, each on Ubuntu 19.10 and ran my benchmarks and averaged the results. I omitted the speed test this month because I was being throttled or something, and the performance overall was in the toilet. Streaming was pretty heavy this weekend, and probably played a factor.

Overview

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Plan CPU Optimized (4 GB) Dedicated 4GB 128 GB NVMe
Location New York 1 Newark, NJ New Jersey
RAM 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB
CPU 2 Cores 2 Cores 2 Cores
Storage 25 GB SSD 80 GB SSD 128 GB NVMe
Transfer 4 TB 4 TB 3 TB
Base Price $40/month $30/month $24/month
Backups $8/month $5/month $4.80/month
Transfer Overage $0.01/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB
Load Balancer $10/month $10/month $10/month
Block Storage $0.10/GB $0.10/GB $0.10/GB
Object Storage Yes Yes Yes
Managed Databases Yes On 2020 Roadmap No
2FA/MFA Yes Yes Yes
One-click Apps Yes Yes Yes
Custom Images Yes Yes Yes

CPU Info

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
CPU MHz 2693.67 2199.77 3792.00
Cache Size (KB) 4096.00 512.00 16384.00
BogoMips 3591.67 2933.00 5056.67

CPU

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Events per Second 1204.47 1325.62 1259.75
Minimum (ms) 0.80 0.73 0.74
Average (ms) 0.83 0.75 0.79
Maximum (ms) 2.63 2.02 1.29

Memory (Read)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Ops per Second 5120861.58 4294414.37 5682700.18
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.68 0.56 0.38

Memory (Write)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Ops per Second 5124754.65 4311392.30 5716602.09
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.62 0.64 0.37

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Reads per Second 1092.74 2862.97 8206.56
Writes per Second 728.50 1908.65 5471.04
Fsyncs per Second 2338.46 6110.40 17514.49
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.25 0.99 0.03
Maximum (ms) 20.33 33.09 5.21

MySQL

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Transactions per Second 1170.00 1416.67 3478.33
Queries per Second 23400.00 28333.33 69566.67
Minimum (ms) 4.74 26.66 1.89
Average (ms) 8.78 52.41 2.91
Maximum (ms) 49.61 151.68 13.89

Redis

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
PING_INLINE 88734.55 96336.04 102843.38
PING_BULK 88269.95 94523.98 105547.54
SET 90263.87 95261.42 108651.47
GET 89210.80 93202.26 110408.13
INCR 90228.02 94920.47 112772.56
LPUSH 91157.70 97269.89 104950.91
RPUSH 90915.79 96965.13 109729.59
LPOP 90666.35 97735.48 109673.18
RPOP 90091.01 95561.96 108497.33
SADD 89686.73 94727.56 107124.63
HSET 92110.21 98302.02 111445.03
SPOP 88785.73 94315.66 111642.21
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 45482.70 45634.38 68269.90
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 16074.35 15303.11 28660.77
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 11375.02 10558.25 20335.52
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 8701.73 8078.14 15223.83
MSET (10 keys) 66612.09 70183.15 94006.20

Apache Benchmark (against nginx on the servers)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Requests per Second 196.02 206.31 267.02
Time per Request (ms) (mean) 2752.90 2533.36 1879.66
Transfer Rate (Kbyte/sec) 164.44 173.07 223.99

Conclusion

What really stood out this month is how varied the plans were in terms of SSD and price. Usually Vultr is the highest priced provider when I include their NVMe plans, but this month at the 4 GB instance size, they came in at nearly half the price of DigitalOcean and they offered up the most storage.

The overall better specs definitely shined through as well, considering Vultr nearly swept all of the categories in terms of performance.

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