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

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

I got a few bits of feedback recently that I took into consideration before doing this month’s benchmarks.

The first bit was to include some additional price points and plan types instead of just the $5 plan. The other (opposing) bit of feedback was to start including some content that factors in the previous month’s benchmarks.

As much as I’d love to go through and include every price point and the different types of instances (dedicated CPU and such), it does end up being a lot of work. I really love the idea of starting to show some month over month data at some point, so it made sense to just stay the course and keep reviewing the $5 and $6 plans that are available.

This particular month’s post marks the 18th birthday of Linode which did include some awesome announcements, but nothing that directly affects these particular posts (no additional storage or anything like that) aside from the availability of custom images. They are definitely moving forward with their infrastructure and offerings, which is really exciting.

Incidentally, Vultr is doing a bit of gauging of the market with a little survey asking folks if they are interested in managed databases. Given that some other folks in the space already offer this (DigitalOcean) and some have been talking about it for a while (Linode), it would make sense for Vultr to venture into that.

As per usual, this month’s benchmarks are the average results from three instances from each provider at the $5 and $6 price points. Each server is running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and is in or around the Newark / New York City area.

$5 VPS Showdown - DigitalOcean vs. Lightsail vs. Linode vs. UpCloud vs. Vultr

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 8.0.25 8.0.25 8.0.25 8.0.25 8.0.25
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 Yes 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 - Instance #1 AMD EPYC 7601 32-Core Processor
Linode - Instance #2 AMD EPYC 7542 32-Core Processor
Linode - Instance #3 AMD EPYC 7601 32-Core Processor
UpCloud - All Instances AMD EPYC 7542 32-Core Processor
Vultr - Instance #1 Intel Core Processor (Haswell, no TSX, IBRS)
Vultr - Instance #2 Intel Core Processor (Broadwell, no TSX, IBRS)
Vultr - Instance #3 Intel Core Processor (Broadwell, no TSX, IBRS)
  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
CPU MHz 2,262.04 2,399.96 2,433.33 2,894.56 2,398.15
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 30,720.00 512.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 2,861.33 3,199.67 2,933.33 3,859.67 3,196.00

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 850.50 761.80 1,364.84 1,644.84 727.61
Minimum (ms) 1.19 1.21 0.69 0.58 1.24
Average (ms) 1.27 1.31 0.75 0.61 1.37
Maximum (ms) 3.28 2.37 6.20 1.83 9.35

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 4,006,511.04 525,673.18 4,276,172.88 5,391,832.40 3,342,613.45
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) 1.49 0.23 4.13 1.60 5.43

Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 4,029,049.60 526,785.19 4,347,479.73 5,439,379.75 3,318,692.25
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) 0.98 0.19 4.74 0.25 4.58

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 1,753.88 997.07 2,263.36 2,509.97 1,449.02
Writes per Second 1,169.25 664.71 1,508.88 1,673.30 965.99
Fsyncs per Second 3,742.55 2,135.13 4,835.75 5,361.39 3,096.06
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.17 0.26 0.12 0.10 0.18
Maximum (ms) 11.20 7.29 20.57 9.24 9.83

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 5,636.33 4,938.33 5,734.67 8,565.67 3,798.00
Queries per Second 90,181.33 79,013.33 91,754.67 137,050.67 60,768.00
Minimum (ms) 1.59 1.71 1.46 0.91 1.85
Average (ms) 2.01 2.02 1.86 1.17 2.65
Maximum (ms) 19.01 22.19 24.05 7.17 19.31

Write Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 3,412.67 1,646.67 5,032.00 3,970.33 2,024.67
Queries per Second 20,476.00 9,880.00 30,192.00 23,822.00 12,148.00
Minimum (ms) 1.71 3.21 1.06 1.38 2.04
Average (ms) 3.92 6.09 2.17 2.52 5.66
Maximum (ms) 22.92 29.38 23.06 13.06 29.88

Read Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,592.33 1,111.33 2,219.00 2,392.00 1,067.33
Queries per Second 31,846.67 22,226.67 44,380.00 47,840.00 21,346.67
Minimum (ms) 4.37 5.69 2.94 2.58 5.12
Average (ms) 8.27 9.00 4.83 4.18 10.02
Maximum (ms) 33.76 75.53 32.94 20.65 36.45

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 42,026.31 45,221.93 70,410.52 93,471.55 31,828.41
PING_BULK 39,244.33 45,284.31 65,437.97 86,586.58 31,077.01
SET 39,836.84 45,551.31 72,541.65 94,746.42 32,457.33
GET 41,232.72 45,345.46 68,276.66 90,025.10 31,532.83
INCR 42,471.17 45,621.53 69,604.83 93,210.35 31,047.01
LPUSH 43,694.69 45,746.75 63,307.20 93,957.98 30,753.43
RPUSH 44,366.80 45,671.37 66,435.59 95,097.63 32,062.98
LPOP 43,438.61 45,553.48 63,397.99 96,409.57 32,297.27
RPOP 42,034.41 45,746.29 66,931.37 98,373.68 32,573.53
SADD 40,690.82 45,672.75 71,326.73 93,884.39 30,705.71
HSET 42,060.27 45,771.18 63,589.18 94,652.62 32,494.80
SPOP 41,160.20 45,463.21 69,815.39 91,232.34 31,173.81
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 27,471.30 29,762.53 30,120.54 36,238.71 20,488.84
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 11,340.89 12,882.89 9,251.86 11,251.62 9,004.24
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 8,075.35 9,327.05 6,795.24 8,824.82 6,162.60
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 6,722.96 7,604.19 5,483.66 7,350.64 4,932.90
MSET (10 keys) 34,644.19 38,004.63 33,081.59 48,128.60 25,688.02

$6 VPS Showdown - DigitalOcean - Premium Intel vs. DigitalOcean - Premium AMD vs. Vultr - High Frequency6 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 8.0.25 8.0.25 8.0.25
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 2,494.12 1,998.75 3,696.00
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 2,666.33 4,927.67

CPU

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Events per Second 1,002.36 1,190.90 1,171.34
Minimum (ms) 0.91 0.77 0.82
Average (ms) 1.00 0.84 0.85
Maximum (ms) 3.53 2.42 6.97

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 4,624,815.12 3,608,892.48 5,472,757.36
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 3.89 1.66 1.53

Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 4,600,171.47 3,512,584.95 5,567,196.48
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 0.45 5.59 0.19

File I/O

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Reads per Second 2,133.06 1,454.86 4,245.00
Writes per Second 1,422.02 969.91 2,830.00
Fsyncs per Second 4,557.96 3,108.59 9,061.99
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.13 0.18 0.06
Maximum (ms) 10.25 13.42 4.73

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 6,601.00 4,304.00 7,530.67
Queries per Second 105,616.00 68,864.00 120,490.67
Minimum (ms) 1.24 1.67 1.06
Average (ms) 1.53 2.33 1.33
Maximum (ms) 8.84 11.33 11.54

Write Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 4,301.33 2,854.33 7,886.00
Queries per Second 25,808.00 17,126.00 47,316.00
Minimum (ms) 0.95 1.33 0.68
Average (ms) 2.35 3.66 1.26
Maximum (ms) 17.41 22.09 20.02

Read Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 2,053.00 1,382.33 3,148.67
Queries per Second 41,060.00 27,646.67 62,973.33
Minimum (ms) 2.86 4.10 2.02
Average (ms) 4.92 7.44 3.18
Maximum (ms) 26.65 40.70 15.88

Redis

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
PING_INLINE 47,577.32 55,370.97 52,969.58
PING_BULK 47,367.38 56,207.78 53,580.91
SET 48,827.62 57,034.60 54,994.35
GET 48,202.12 54,635.85 54,717.83
INCR 48,625.61 58,436.12 55,258.38
LPUSH 49,058.17 51,230.95 55,786.98
RPUSH 48,397.61 52,871.31 55,872.81
LPOP 49,304.74 50,373.80 53,720.69
RPOP 49,344.24 52,903.91 54,721.71
SADD 48,891.29 60,792.75 51,002.01
HSET 50,422.41 52,037.30 50,789.60
SPOP 48,043.92 59,904.26 53,057.73
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 31,086.57 25,126.21 36,956.23
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 12,884.48 10,170.15 15,173.58
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 9,621.29 6,302.73 9,858.55
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 8,034.33 5,336.38 8,680.28
MSET (10 keys) 43,839.86 28,967.91 46,971.78

Conclusion

Similar to last month, this month’s results felt a bit all over the place. The one thing that’s starting to become very clear is that with everybody’s recently improvements, Lightsail, while offering more storage, really isn’t able to compete in terms of raw performance.

If you happened to have found this post helpful, and you’re panning to pull the trigger on a new hosting provider soon, please do me a huge favor and use one of my referral links below!

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