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

Josh Sherman
22 min read
VPS Showdown

September, the last month of summer (in the northern hemisphere at least) but not the end of comparing a few VPS providers.

Didn’t see a lot happening this month side from Vultr starting a beta period for their Kubernetes offering in a few of their data centers.

As always, I’ve spun up 3 server instances with each hosting provider at the $5 and $6 price points. Each instance is running the latest LTS release of Ubuntu, which is 20.04 and the results are averaged together where applicable.

$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 8.0.26 8.0.26 8.0.26 8.0.26 8.0.26
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 Yes 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 in beta
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 7542 32-Core Processor
Linode - Instance #2 AMD EPYC 7601 32-Core Processor
Linode - Instance #3 AMD EPYC 7601 32-Core Processor
UpCloud - All Instances AMD EPYC 7542 32-Core Processor
Vultr - All Instances Intel Core Processor (Broadwell, no TSX, IBRS)
  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
CPU MHz 2,427.60 2,400.02 2,433.33 2,894.56 2,394.45
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 30,720.00 512.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,192.67 3,200.00 3,400.00 3,859.67 3,192.33

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 762.38 763.38 1,394.24 1,576.50 754.03
Minimum (ms) 0.98 1.24 0.69 0.60 1.20
Average (ms) 1.31 1.31 0.73 0.63 1.33
Maximum (ms) 16.22 3.01 6.85 2.68 7.36

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,126,203.89 521,635.28 4,247,168.48 5,231,790.34 3,436,816.76
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) 10.89 0.86 4.00 0.27 5.58

Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,528,506.24 522,720.63 4,284,244.71 5,280,279.05 3,449,905.92
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) 12.93 1.56 3.69 0.22 3.55

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 900.45 982.65 2,555.77 2,490.68 2,063.20
Writes per Second 600.29 655.05 1,703.84 1,660.45 1,375.42
Fsyncs per Second 1,926.61 2,100.49 5,456.69 5,319.05 4,409.66
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.32 0.28 0.10 0.10 0.13
Maximum (ms) 37.46 9.80 42.03 8.53 6.78

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 3,424.00 4,913.67 5,425.67 8,393.33 4,382.33
Queries per Second 54,784.00 78,618.67 86,810.67 134,293.33 70,117.33
Minimum (ms) 1.65 1.80 1.54 0.94 1.76
Average (ms) 2.96 2.03 1.95 1.19 2.28
Maximum (ms) 24.93 28.29 16.48 7.55 12.36

Write Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,048.33 1,523.00 4,695.33 3,970.00 3,544.67
Queries per Second 6,290.00 9,138.00 28,172.00 23,820.00 21,268.00
Minimum (ms) 2.96 3.55 1.07 1.42 1.41
Average (ms) 12.80 6.73 2.18 2.52 2.83
Maximum (ms) 81.10 34.31 18.79 21.26 45.68

Read Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 735.00 1,036.67 2,063.33 2,427.00 1,611.00
Queries per Second 14,700.00 20,733.33 41,266.67 48,540.00 32,220.00
Minimum (ms) 5.60 5.62 3.05 2.59 3.67
Average (ms) 16.23 9.70 5.05 4.12 6.21
Maximum (ms) 73.10 101.56 90.94 18.99 64.13

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 24,120.27 45,290.89 64,847.26 93,551.28 34,272.25
PING_BULK 27,935.07 44,642.26 62,826.55 87,422.45 32,751.32
SET 33,053.22 45,328.63 65,614.84 95,117.56 34,395.96
GET 34,398.17 45,291.33 64,100.25 91,192.85 34,190.12
INCR 33,263.04 45,155.20 66,341.53 94,313.16 34,459.01
LPUSH 27,333.62 44,745.31 60,580.65 91,324.56 36,204.34
RPUSH 29,411.77 45,462.44 63,123.73 92,511.09 35,904.58
LPOP 27,530.10 45,552.84 58,860.41 90,445.95 36,016.79
RPOP 31,323.99 45,338.20 63,639.91 91,396.99 36,429.76
SADD 34,350.20 45,340.26 66,661.56 92,157.07 34,308.94
HSET 35,960.97 45,734.41 60,542.59 87,574.51 36,116.51
SPOP 31,899.27 45,477.00 65,440.96 88,427.35 33,820.08
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 17,537.10 29,551.94 29,812.96 35,466.92 24,262.88
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 8,304.86 12,979.97 9,288.30 11,276.50 9,571.95
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 5,650.23 9,367.33 6,581.66 8,717.97 6,887.86
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 4,614.42 7,686.11 5,439.41 7,232.19 5,407.14
MSET (10 keys) 22,109.65 37,629.72 31,494.06 47,337.89 27,591.91

$6 VPS Showdown - DigitalOcean - Premium Intel vs. DigitalOcean - Premium AMD vs. Vultr - High Frequency”

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 8.0.26 8.0.26 8.0.26
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 in beta
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 1,999.98 3,695.98
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 2,666.33 4,928.00

CPU

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Events per Second 898.58 1,134.16 1,498.35
Minimum (ms) 0.95 0.71 0.64
Average (ms) 1.11 0.88 0.67
Maximum (ms) 9.53 10.32 1.54

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 4,482,226.91 3,863,109.97 7,174,553.33
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 2.71 1.48 1.41

Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 3,977,203.30 3,497,975.34 7,077,034.39
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 1.59 1.12 0.89

File I/O

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Reads per Second 1,988.91 1,652.98 4,976.50
Writes per Second 1,325.94 1,101.99 3,317.62
Fsyncs per Second 4,245.88 3,533.48 10,619.53
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.13 0.16 0.05
Maximum (ms) 9.69 9.10 3.80

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 5,864.33 4,554.00 9,689.00
Queries per Second 93,829.33 72,864.00 155,024.00
Minimum (ms) 1.24 1.52 0.84
Average (ms) 1.71 2.20 1.03
Maximum (ms) 13.13 13.08 8.01

Write Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 3,788.67 2,584.00 10,420.00
Queries per Second 22,732.00 15,504.00 62,520.00
Minimum (ms) 1.13 1.27 0.52
Average (ms) 3.23 4.20 0.96
Maximum (ms) 22.06 48.04 7.47

Read Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 1,713.67 1,253.33 4,212.67
Queries per Second 34,273.33 25,066.67 84,253.33
Minimum (ms) 3.08 3.43 1.56
Average (ms) 6.35 7.99 2.38
Maximum (ms) 79.48 32.53 12.80

Redis

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
PING_INLINE 41,152.38 53,978.23 66,163.62
PING_BULK 37,593.80 47,748.33 65,414.03
SET 34,638.31 48,269.21 68,067.47
GET 35,143.67 49,846.30 66,609.51
INCR 38,917.70 55,458.75 67,061.53
LPUSH 46,210.70 50,557.36 67,813.09
RPUSH 45,764.20 54,590.20 68,479.84
LPOP 46,172.16 52,435.34 69,347.20
RPOP 43,926.69 53,915.06 69,170.74
SADD 42,107.03 61,182.41 66,788.07
HSET 38,383.23 51,736.85 68,698.43
SPOP 39,681.99 53,296.11 66,179.35
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 28,090.44 21,041.94 46,949.33
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 12,067.86 10,367.47 19,508.87
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 7,796.09 6,293.58 13,521.40
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 6,829.99 5,285.48 11,202.15
MSET (10 keys) 37,682.25 26,258.38 60,672.51

Conclusion

Fairly consistent with recently month. Would say the shocker this month would be Lightsail seizing a few of the Redis metrics from UpCloud at the lower price point.

It’s also been very apparent that the AMD processors that both Linode and UpCloud are using are performing amazingly well for these benchmarks, yet the premium AMD offering from DigitalOcean still falls short to Vultr’s Intel offering.

As always, I’d like you remind y’all that these are just benchmarks and you should always factor in your own application’s needs when choosing a provider. In fact, it’s a good idea to run your own benchmarks and also, spin up a few instances before moving in, as you may end up getting an instance on sub-par hardware.

If you’ve found these benchmarks helpful when choosing your new hosting provider, I’d be greatly appreciative if you used one of my referral links:

Join the Conversation

Good stuff? Want more?

Weekly emails about technology, development, and sometimes sauerkraut.

100% Fresh, Grade A Content, Never Spam.

Related Articles