VPS Showdown - May 2021 - DigitalOcean vs. Lightsail vs. Linode vs. UpCloud vs. Vultr

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

Switching things up a small bit this month. Last month, I had introduced a “$6 VPS Showdown” as a separate post alongside my existing $5 post. This was all well and good, but best as I can figure, there’s no reason to have them split out, as most folks probably want to see all of the data.

That said, I still think it’s important to only compare similarly priced plans, so you won’t see the $5 and $6 instances directly compared with each other. Instead, I’ve included both price points with their own sections. To make things easier, you can simply jump down to either the $5 VPS Showdown or the $6 VPS Showdown.

As per usual, I’ve spun up 3 instances with each provider (and their respective price points). Each instance is running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and where applicable, the results have been averaged to give you a general sense of performance.

$5 VPS Showdown

Overview

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Location New York 1 Virginia, Zone A Newark, NJ US-NYC1 New York (NJ)
Distro Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Kernel 5.4.0 5.4.0 5.4.0 5.4.0 5.4.0
MySQL 8.0.23 8.0.23 8.0.23 8.0.23 8.0.23
Redis 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7
Base Price $5/month $5/month $5/month $5/month $5/month
Hourly Price $0.007/hour $0.007/hour $0.0075/hour $0.007/hour $0.007/hour
RAM 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
Storage 25 GB 40 GB 25 GB 25 GB 25 GB
Storage Type SSD SSD SSD SSD SSD
Transfer 1 TB 2 TB 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB
Transfer Overage $0.01/GB $0.09/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB
Backups $1/month $2/month $2/month $1/month $1/month
DNS Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Firewall Yes Yes in beta Yes Yes
Load Balancer $10/month $18/month $10/month No $10/month
Block Storage $0.1/GB $0.1/GB $0.1/GB $0.223/GB $0.1/GB
Object Storage $5/month $0.023/GB $5/month $5/month $5/month
Managed Databases Yes Yes No No No
2FA/MFA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
One-click Apps Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Custom Images Yes No No Yes Yes
Kubernetes Yes Yes Yes No No
Container Registry Yes Yes No No No

CPU Info

  Model Name
DigitalOcean - All Instances DO-Regular
Lightsail - All Instances Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2676 v3 @ 2.40GHz
Linode - All Instances AMD EPYC 7542 32-Core Processor
UpCloud - All Instances AMD EPYC 7542 32-Core Processor
Vultr - All Instances Intel Core Processor (Haswell, no TSX, IBRS)
  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
CPU MHz 1,963.48 2,400.04 2,900.00 2,894.56 2,400.00
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 30,720.00 512.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 2,728.33 3,200.33 3,866.33 3,859.67 3,199.67

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 696.99 761.33 1,645.95 1,635.48 662.77
Minimum (ms) 1.40 1.21 0.58 0.58 1.38
Average (ms) 1.54 1.31 0.61 0.61 1.51
Maximum (ms) 5.25 6.52 3.88 1.92 11.47

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,315,175.33 527,911.12 5,250,619.35 5,398,017.24 3,069,091.88
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 2.06 0.17 2.60 0.27 3.13

Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,510,497.08 526,812.88 5,190,983.92 5,371,477.25 2,987,360.95
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 1.57 0.22 3.53 0.67 7.16

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 1,356.06 817.80 2,338.31 2,662.30 1,365.83
Writes per Second 904.00 545.19 1,558.83 1,774.87 910.54
Fsyncs per Second 2,901.01 1,748.91 4,997.20 5,690.37 2,920.50
Minimum (ms) 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.23 0.32 0.11 0.10 0.20
Maximum (ms) 13.65 41.22 58.19 133.30 12.32

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 4,643.00 5,176.33 8,094.67 8,858.00 3,591.00
Queries per Second 74,288.00 82,821.33 129,514.67 141,728.00 57,456.00
Minimum (ms) 1.92 1.68 0.93 0.90 1.92
Average (ms) 2.49 1.93 1.24 1.13 2.78
Maximum (ms) 22.30 27.02 110.35 7.48 14.27

Write Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 2,239.00 1,442.00 6,969.00 4,641.67 2,090.33
Queries per Second 13,434.00 8,652.00 41,814.00 27,850.00 12,542.00
Minimum (ms) 2.44 3.41 0.66 1.22 2.07
Average (ms) 6.18 6.96 1.44 2.15 4.78
Maximum (ms) 35.41 59.37 53.52 14.84 31.35

Read Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,309.00 1,032.67 3,104.00 2,686.00 1,058.33
Queries per Second 26,180.00 20,653.33 62,080.00 53,720.00 21,166.67
Minimum (ms) 5.98 5.85 1.80 2.34 5.30
Average (ms) 10.84 9.68 3.22 3.72 9.44
Maximum (ms) 50.35 128.18 58.93 19.18 41.61

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 34,158.97 45,581.01 95,575.44 93,880.35 27,927.56
PING_BULK 35,171.11 45,767.07 88,335.55 84,351.31 26,515.50
SET 35,504.24 46,062.45 96,692.92 95,391.84 28,560.04
GET 35,372.77 45,934.79 90,543.39 90,336.09 28,457.47
INCR 34,702.08 45,823.12 94,885.24 93,927.28 27,844.39
LPUSH 36,272.62 46,097.12 85,201.26 91,759.09 30,956.17
RPUSH 36,288.41 46,133.48 87,854.16 90,311.62 30,174.17
LPOP 36,228.73 46,282.36 85,161.00 89,588.37 29,930.76
RPOP 37,447.90 46,007.52 88,155.76 93,205.77 28,717.52
SADD 35,859.08 45,942.80 94,588.94 90,279.98 27,963.67
HSET 37,568.88 46,168.76 85,945.16 89,156.58 28,150.19
SPOP 36,388.22 46,020.70 93,958.80 89,820.91 27,934.61
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 24,164.89 29,911.32 36,566.38 37,671.70 19,458.95
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 9,681.56 13,074.87 11,383.59 18,431.89 7,953.20
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 6,629.92 9,427.29 8,560.18 11,761.22 5,994.16
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 5,493.09 7,705.43 7,192.11 9,504.71 4,714.00
MSET (10 keys) 33,405.66 38,159.56 48,219.36 45,518.23 21,873.29


$6 VPS Showdown

Overview

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Location New York 1 New York 1 New York (NJ)
Distro Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Kernel 5.4.0 5.4.0 5.4.0
MySQL 8.0.23 8.0.23 8.0.23
Redis 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7
Base Price $6/month $6/month $6/month
Hourly Price $0.009/hour $0.009/hour $0.009/hour
RAM 1 GB 1 GB 1 GB
CPU 1 Core 1 Core 1 Core
Storage 25 GB 25 GB 25 GB
Storage Type NVMe NVMe NVMe
Transfer 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB
Transfer Overage $0.01/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB
Backups $1.2/month $1.2/month $1.2/month
DNS Yes Yes Yes
Firewall Yes Yes Yes
Load Balancer $10/month $10/month $10/month
Block Storage $0.1/GB $0.1/GB $0.1/GB
Object Storage $5/month $5/month $5/month
Managed Databases Yes Yes No
2FA/MFA Yes Yes Yes
One-click Apps Yes Yes Yes
Custom Images Yes Yes Yes
Kubernetes Yes Yes No
Container Registry Yes Yes No

CPU Info

  Model Name
DigitalOcean - Premium Intel - All Instances DO-Premium-Intel
DigitalOcean - Premium AMD - All Instances DO-Premium-AMD
Vultr - High Frequency - All Instances Intel Core Processor (Skylake, IBRS)
  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
CPU MHz 2,494.13 2,000.00 3,696.00
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 2,666.33 4,928.33

CPU

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Events per Second 868.63 1,229.89 1,444.94
Minimum (ms) 0.96 0.65 0.64
Average (ms) 1.16 0.81 0.69
Maximum (ms) 7.64 5.18 3.75

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 4,032,827.03 3,554,174.05 6,803,441.34
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.29 2.96 0.28

Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 3,948,708.68 3,515,080.73 6,751,933.46
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.85 0.35 0.23

File I/O

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Reads per Second 1,832.24 1,754.21 4,869.97
Writes per Second 1,221.50 1,169.47 3,246.61
Fsyncs per Second 3,915.21 3,747.21 10,399.57
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.14 0.16 0.05
Maximum (ms) 16.29 12.17 5.91

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 4,520.00 4,936.00 8,618.33
Queries per Second 72,320.00 78,976.00 137,893.33
Minimum (ms) 1.54 1.26 0.84
Average (ms) 2.25 2.03 1.16
Maximum (ms) 12.83 13.37 10.00

Write Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 2,620.33 3,804.67 8,990.67
Queries per Second 15,722.00 22,828.00 53,944.00
Minimum (ms) 1.50 0.89 0.53
Average (ms) 3.97 2.79 1.12
Maximum (ms) 25.94 29.24 11.03

Read Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 1,254.33 1,690.00 3,528.67
Queries per Second 25,086.67 33,800.00 70,573.33
Minimum (ms) 4.11 2.63 1.68
Average (ms) 8.02 6.11 2.86
Maximum (ms) 30.62 39.07 15.06

Redis

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
PING_INLINE 29,871.99 63,126.30 57,486.09
PING_BULK 30,250.42 59,998.44 57,772.40
SET 30,594.50 64,297.83 59,630.48
GET 30,074.63 61,978.92 59,209.70
INCR 31,286.54 63,492.01 58,580.68
LPUSH 35,215.61 60,764.37 61,294.53
RPUSH 34,281.56 63,075.04 57,103.91
LPOP 33,903.54 60,858.60 57,033.13
RPOP 35,265.89 62,998.84 57,504.45
SADD 35,881.75 63,127.90 60,220.60
HSET 37,409.87 60,345.44 60,581.80
SPOP 34,674.72 60,710.17 55,281.25
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 22,984.12 28,873.73 39,431.25
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 9,573.41 10,361.22 16,499.61
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 6,939.46 7,113.84 11,677.03
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 5,370.87 5,468.40 9,763.26
MSET (10 keys) 30,383.42 32,822.84 50,799.39

Conclusion

At the $5 price point, Linode and UpCloud are really starting to give each other a run for their money while Vultr is continuing to shine at the premium price point.

As always, your mileage may vary, so it’s always best to factor in your own needs and even run your own benchmarks yourself. If you happened to find this post helpful in your quest for a new hosting provider, please use one of my referral links below.

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