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

Josh Sherman
7 min read
VPS Showdown

It’s that time of the year again, new version of Ubuntu has been released!

Sadly (and expectedly) both UpCloud and Amazon are slow to add the latest and greatest (albeit, not LTS) version of Ubuntu to their Linux distro offering.

With that, this month I’ll be omitting both providers as I’m really excited to see how well the new version of Ubuntu performs.

As always, I’ve spun up three instances with each provider, at the smallest / lowest price tier. All instances are running Ubuntu 20.10 and the results are an average of the results were applicable.

Overview

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Location New York 1 Newark, NJ New York (NJ)
Plan Basic Shared CPU High Frequency
RAM 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
Storage 25 GB SSD 25 GB SSD 32 GB NVMe SSD
Transfer 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB
Base Price $5/month $5/month $6/month
Backups $1/month $2/month $1.20/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

I’ve been mentioning for months that Linode has managed databases on the roadmap for this year. Considering I will only be doing one more review this year, I’m skeptical that we’ll be seeing anything new from them in that regard.

CPU Info

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
CPU MHz 1799.30 2300.00 3792.00
Cache Size (KB) 4096.00 16384.00 16384.00
BogoMips 3598.60 3066.33 5056.33

CPU

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Events per Second 454.04 238.58 776.14
Minimum (ms) 1.47 1.32 0.74
Average (ms) 2.74 4.24 1.52
Maximum (ms) 9.12 14.01 10.20

Memory (Read)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Ops per Second 1943953.40 787701.33 4394710.07
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 6.23 97.56 4.76

Memory (Write)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Ops per Second 2231255.51 985994.38 4778990.54
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 7.65 69.41 2.98

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Reads per Second 1551.60 986.83 3746.30
Writes per Second 1034.40 657.86 2497.51
Fsyncs per Second 3315.29 2108.87 7998.89
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.19 0.33 0.07
Maximum (ms) 5.67 65.62 6.08

MySQL

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Transactions per Second 870.67 1481.67 3080.33
Queries per Second 17413.33 29633.33 61606.67
Minimum (ms) 6.96 3.96 2.11
Average (ms) 12.86 7.07 3.33
Maximum (ms) 70.58 134.81 23.04

Redis

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
PING_INLINE 19681.68 28508.94 44554.26
PING_BULK 22058.23 28477.63 43203.51
SET 24017.24 29845.38 46470.28
GET 24844.55 29481.53 45630.63
INCR 24527.91 30470.35 45617.27
LPUSH 27611.37 31799.16 47508.62
RPUSH 29380.50 31564.61 48207.03
LPOP 30473.41 31486.69 48997.52
RPOP 29727.63 31488.74 48977.57
SADD 29405.48 30554.56 46706.73
HSET 29572.97 31450.70 46809.01
SPOP 28407.46 29515.67 45409.90
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 19263.58 16306.38 29548.58
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 7554.87 6818.10 11553.35
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 5388.73 5412.06 9032.47
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 4482.08 4411.12 7776.48
MSET (10 keys) 24602.01 26706.55 38424.04

Apache Benchmark (against nginx on the servers)

  DigitalOcean Linode Vultr
Requests per Second 279.15 261.22 238.53
Time per Request (ms) (mean) 1791.72 1934.14 2142.66
Transfer Rate (Kbyte/sec) 234.17 219.12 200.10

Conclusion

I was really surprised to see that Linode performed so poorly this month in a handful of categories, considering they’ve been showing improvements over DigitalOcean as of late.

Considering the drastic downturn, I suspect that this month’s benchmarks were probably includes by a noisy neighbor or two (or I was the noisy neighbor ;).

Consistent with previous months, Vultr’s well worth the extra buck in terms of raw performance metrics.

Unless something significant happens before next month, I’ll go back to using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS so we can end the year with all of the providers in the mix again.

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