VPS Showdown - November 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!
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Even though the year is drawing to a close, these showdowns continue. Nothing very exciting this month other than it seems Linode took their firewall offering out of beta and Vultr did the same with their Kubernetes offering.

DigitalOcean continues to lead the pack in terms of their “managed” offerings, which further establishes them as a viable alternative to Amazon Web Services. Obviously AWS continues to offer a more robust set of services, but for most simple web applications, DigitalOcean’s offering is more than enough.

As always, I’ve spun up three instances with each provider at each price point, all running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and averaged the results 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 8.0.27 8.0.27 8.0.27 8.0.27 8.0.27
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 Yes 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 Yes
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 7601 32-Core Processor
Linode - Instance #3 AMD EPYC 7542 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 2,361.10 2,400.04 2,433.32 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 3,399.67 3,859.67 3,192.33

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 778.61 759.93 1,458.83 1,651.09 763.50
Minimum (ms) 1.03 1.20 0.61 0.58 1.16
Average (ms) 1.31 1.32 0.69 0.60 1.31
Maximum (ms) 10.77 2.85 4.50 2.63 8.92

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,635,931.09 515,538.39 4,486,590.82 5,536,808.39 3,366,483.38
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) 5.51 3.61 3.82 0.24 4.91

Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,336,627.22 476,663.32 4,577,295.34 5,508,318.77 3,497,682.42
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) 7.59 4.73 3.63 0.32 4.05

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 1,234.47 987.66 3,139.53 2,527.03 1,968.19
Writes per Second 822.95 658.44 2,092.98 1,684.67 1,312.11
Fsyncs per Second 2,640.79 2,110.21 6,708.73 5,399.07 4,206.21
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.22 0.27 0.11 0.10 0.13
Maximum (ms) 24.41 32.45 98.54 7.84 10.79

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 3,898.67 4,892.00 6,618.33 8,703.67 4,593.33
Queries per Second 62,378.67 78,272.00 105,893.33 139,258.67 73,493.33
Minimum (ms) 1.48 1.73 1.19 0.94 1.72
Average (ms) 2.73 2.04 1.59 1.15 2.18
Maximum (ms) 22.04 49.40 13.23 6.29 14.07

Write Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,850.67 1,695.67 5,695.00 4,287.00 3,918.33
Queries per Second 11,104.00 10,174.00 34,170.00 25,722.00 23,510.00
Minimum (ms) 1.72 3.23 0.94 1.35 1.31
Average (ms) 5.74 5.92 1.96 2.33 2.56
Maximum (ms) 41.82 68.29 22.24 12.71 50.81

Read Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,021.33 943.00 2,537.00 2,540.33 1,717.67
Queries per Second 20,426.67 18,860.00 50,740.00 50,806.67 34,353.33
Minimum (ms) 4.05 5.45 2.53 2.53 3.74
Average (ms) 10.21 10.62 4.28 3.94 5.82
Maximum (ms) 50.02 120.64 75.98 22.07 56.66

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 34,183.47 45,310.46 73,768.25 64,079.40 34,934.43
PING_BULK 30,096.64 44,735.72 67,141.86 62,297.49 33,315.97
SET 31,590.30 44,832.94 70,607.45 65,727.20 35,383.60
GET 29,560.45 45,283.45 69,172.74 64,232.22 34,759.18
INCR 32,370.08 45,269.47 71,007.45 64,980.95 35,141.70
LPUSH 33,949.60 45,565.02 64,240.50 69,819.43 37,234.32
RPUSH 33,282.57 45,538.15 69,544.17 69,306.74 36,966.82
LPOP 35,367.88 44,957.92 64,428.42 69,113.51 36,446.35
RPOP 34,300.57 44,992.75 68,790.26 69,087.62 35,922.36
SADD 33,229.31 44,984.91 71,573.09 64,881.62 34,423.75
HSET 30,613.74 44,876.11 67,138.92 69,416.00 35,532.81
SPOP 26,546.50 44,202.19 69,363.07 64,133.55 33,055.40
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 19,513.52 29,345.66 29,513.05 31,593.00 23,981.88
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 8,360.97 12,922.26 9,773.04 11,767.82 9,883.92
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 5,596.35 9,244.85 7,057.01 9,150.14 6,997.74
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 4,757.96 7,566.60 5,885.80 7,598.84 5,625.59
MSET (10 keys) 27,078.88 36,647.03 35,084.87 64,111.08 28,372.51

$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 8.0.27 8.0.27 8.0.27
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 Yes
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 2,494.14 1,997.47 3,696.00
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 2,664.00 4,927.67

CPU

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Events per Second 757.00 1,261.40 1,405.59
Minimum (ms) 0.99 0.66 0.70
Average (ms) 1.33 0.80 0.72
Maximum (ms) 5.38 10.39 2.29

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 3,562,920.33 3,851,656.60 6,741,491.95
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 6.00 0.73 0.24

Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 3,588,588.29 3,960,193.77 6,707,211.45
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 4.59 5.11 0.15

File I/O

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Reads per Second 1,252.92 1,624.49 4,759.90
Writes per Second 835.27 1,082.97 3,173.24
Fsyncs per Second 2,682.74 3,467.31 10,166.68
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.21 0.17 0.05
Maximum (ms) 20.04 13.72 3.30

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 4,287.67 4,348.67 9,247.33
Queries per Second 68,602.67 69,578.67 147,957.33
Minimum (ms) 1.41 1.47 0.91
Average (ms) 2.35 2.32 1.09
Maximum (ms) 16.90 14.85 8.38

Write Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 1,997.33 3,148.00 9,778.67
Queries per Second 11,984.00 18,888.00 58,672.00
Minimum (ms) 1.62 1.20 0.58
Average (ms) 5.38 3.40 1.04
Maximum (ms) 49.57 24.91 11.65

Read Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 926.67 1,522.33 4,015.33
Queries per Second 18,533.33 30,446.67 80,306.67
Minimum (ms) 4.41 3.27 1.71
Average (ms) 11.01 6.81 2.53
Maximum (ms) 60.29 40.78 19.68

Redis

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
PING_INLINE 38,065.81 48,813.01 66,199.32
PING_BULK 38,318.74 50,539.81 63,580.83
SET 54,302.40 55,497.01 65,959.47
GET 52,878.01 60,476.05 64,555.75
INCR 53,784.35 55,406.82 64,435.33
LPUSH 54,273.16 47,525.66 66,403.51
RPUSH 55,552.43 48,341.00 66,866.10
LPOP 47,352.36 53,176.23 66,336.54
RPOP 47,139.16 56,980.49 65,369.15
SADD 49,573.90 64,504.96 65,126.92
HSET 54,788.46 54,079.69 66,240.23
SPOP 51,476.10 56,339.69 64,765.84
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 20,550.18 25,655.40 43,496.16
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 9,132.44 10,645.23 18,982.86
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 6,078.93 6,853.55 13,019.66
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 5,253.30 5,300.32 10,968.73
MSET (10 keys) 22,593.18 31,421.08 59,111.71

Conclusion

Pretty consistent with previous months, the notable exception being Linode and UpCloud battling with their Redis metric, all while Lightsail actually snuck in to take a few commands for themselves.

As always, I recommend taking your own application’s needs into consideration and even running your own benchmarks when making a decision on a new hosting provider. I also recommend spinning up multiple instances to help ensure that you’re getting the latest and greatest system specs from the provider.

If you happened to have found these benchmarks helpful, and they helped you make a decision on a new hosting provider, please use one of my referral links below.

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