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

Josh Sherman
23 min read
VPS Showdown
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Here we are, with the final VPS Showdown of 2021. We’ve seen a few changes over the course of the year in terms of product offerings. One of the most notable was the adoption of AMD EPYC processors either a standard or premium offering depending on the provider.

Next year is going to see us venturing into a new LTS release of Ubuntu, which if history will repeat itself, won’t be supported by Lightsail initially, so there’s a solid chance they’ll drop off of the list for at least a few months.

Hopefully Linode will finally make good on beginning to offer managed databases, which were a part of their 2020 roadmap, but hasn’t seen the light of day yet. If y’all are reading this, I’d love to be an early adopter of managed Redis and MongoDB offerings!

DigitalOcean and UpCloud already offers managed databases, so there’s the possibility of starting to include some benchmarks against their offerings in the future. Also, seeing as I do these posts monthly, I’m hoping in the coming few months of starting to offer some more in depth metrics against previous months instead of just showcasing the current numbers.

That all said, this month’s post, like previous ones, features three instances from each provider, all running Ubuntu 20.04, with the metrics averaged 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 7501 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 2,164.71 2,399.98 2,133.33 2,894.56 2,396.30
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 30,720.00 512.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 2,862.67 3,200.33 2,799.67 3,859.67 3,196.00

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 752.83 761.81 1,169.44 1,639.79 746.39
Minimum (ms) 1.28 1.19 0.72 0.58 1.18
Average (ms) 1.38 1.31 0.85 0.61 1.34
Maximum (ms) 4.69 3.47 8.12 1.85 12.61

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,215,876.71 522,241.93 3,459,358.82 5,461,113.77 3,495,651.40
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) 2.11 0.32 6.73 0.26 6.70

Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 3,479,733.92 522,344.07 3,305,060.81 5,433,132.63 3,388,509.19
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) 0.62 2.06 3.75 0.28 5.39

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 1,379.80 918.95 1,574.94 2,571.53 1,822.55
Writes per Second 919.85 612.64 1,049.97 1,714.32 1,215.03
Fsyncs per Second 2,951.30 1,968.34 3,365.67 5,494.92 3,894.71
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.20 0.29 0.17 0.10 0.14
Maximum (ms) 18.92 17.11 66.86 7.33 10.01

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 4,028.67 4,779.00 4,093.33 8,369.67 3,978.00
Queries per Second 64,458.67 76,464.00 65,493.33 133,914.67 63,648.00
Minimum (ms) 1.85 1.72 1.68 0.94 1.76
Average (ms) 2.62 2.09 2.44 1.20 2.54
Maximum (ms) 30.89 33.47 28.39 7.09 18.64

Write Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 2,443.00 1,485.67 2,884.00 4,265.00 3,004.67
Queries per Second 14,658.00 8,914.00 17,304.00 25,590.00 18,028.00
Minimum (ms) 1.75 3.49 1.42 1.36 1.47
Average (ms) 4.78 6.84 3.48 2.35 3.50
Maximum (ms) 30.05 35.88 187.67 13.19 25.39

Read Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,110.67 1,059.00 1,455.33 2,486.00 1,397.33
Queries per Second 22,213.33 21,180.00 29,106.67 49,720.00 27,946.67
Minimum (ms) 5.07 5.38 3.84 2.60 4.09
Average (ms) 10.21 9.48 6.99 4.02 7.28
Maximum (ms) 143.24 116.72 53.86 21.08 30.80

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 27,413.32 45,152.03 46,313.38 62,844.97 34,104.54
PING_BULK 27,433.60 45,142.10 44,974.32 61,203.74 32,146.09
SET 29,199.59 45,050.34 47,783.66 65,682.60 34,501.35
GET 30,316.51 45,238.06 44,508.24 62,985.37 34,100.53
INCR 32,017.06 45,047.32 46,118.90 64,336.77 34,523.97
LPUSH 33,263.86 45,589.30 41,296.78 67,393.92 36,376.10
RPUSH 31,813.82 45,447.18 46,320.41 67,861.36 33,170.08
LPOP 31,066.41 45,702.64 35,929.54 67,148.44 34,676.28
RPOP 32,129.10 45,260.27 41,907.64 66,488.61 34,326.31
SADD 31,862.72 45,158.99 43,834.53 64,808.63 32,442.59
HSET 30,534.06 45,277.92 40,859.02 69,695.52 35,702.05
SPOP 30,964.60 44,913.38 40,842.58 62,825.65 34,202.97
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 20,479.86 26,921.85 19,926.04 31,107.42 22,536.18
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 8,838.83 12,925.24 6,541.75 11,595.75 9,365.82
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 6,470.16 9,104.14 4,833.15 8,969.65 6,394.96
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 5,036.88 7,693.46 4,074.15 7,455.40 5,277.63
MSET (10 keys) 26,684.93 37,610.79 19,020.26 65,713.27 28,022.46

$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 2,494.13 1,998.73 3,728.00
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 2,664.00 4,991.67

CPU

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Events per Second 959.98 1,301.28 1,469.42
Minimum (ms) 0.95 0.66 0.66
Average (ms) 1.04 0.78 0.68
Maximum (ms) 3.11 7.49 1.99

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 4,264,951.16 4,015,325.29 7,048,412.46
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 1.18 2.89 0.27

Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Ops per Second 4,487,197.69 3,752,993.85 6,996,616.59
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Maximum (ms) 1.58 2.93 0.28

File I/O

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Reads per Second 2,021.42 1,651.11 4,899.29
Writes per Second 1,347.62 1,100.72 3,266.17
Fsyncs per Second 4,316.63 3,529.74 10,456.82
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.13 0.16 0.05
Maximum (ms) 31.36 17.93 4.58

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 5,877.33 5,056.00 9,585.00
Queries per Second 94,037.33 80,896.00 153,360.00
Minimum (ms) 1.19 1.39 0.85
Average (ms) 1.72 1.99 1.04
Maximum (ms) 13.03 11.49 8.75

Write Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 4,179.00 3,170.00 9,946.33
Queries per Second 25,074.00 19,020.00 59,678.00
Minimum (ms) 0.93 1.18 0.55
Average (ms) 2.51 3.17 1.01
Maximum (ms) 29.95 23.75 8.78

Read Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
Transactions per Second 1,934.33 1,450.67 4,157.00
Queries per Second 38,686.67 29,013.33 83,140.00
Minimum (ms) 2.78 3.31 1.61
Average (ms) 5.31 7.32 2.43
Maximum (ms) 23.34 42.10 14.21

Redis

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency
PING_INLINE 77,674.92 59,699.88 68,889.65
PING_BULK 75,906.90 59,996.38 65,249.14
SET 78,816.17 56,941.00 68,287.21
GET 73,782.43 58,386.73 66,876.71
INCR 75,471.02 61,701.72 66,875.93
LPUSH 77,672.87 56,595.25 67,717.14
RPUSH 74,067.63 52,204.00 66,945.74
LPOP 67,773.15 53,122.73 66,936.90
RPOP 71,300.93 56,523.82 67,872.95
SADD 71,592.11 62,093.73 68,049.31
HSET 74,590.87 56,209.67 68,087.92
SPOP 68,048.95 62,519.83 67,088.52
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 39,898.98 22,358.44 47,146.00
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 14,063.43 10,826.18 19,012.52
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 9,293.03 7,125.30 12,903.26
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 7,565.40 5,724.24 10,850.70
MSET (10 keys) 38,517.44 31,838.24 56,692.61

Conclusion

Nothing too surprising this month, with UpCloud holding their own at the five dollar price point, and Vultr doing the same at six dollars. The interesting outlier this month would be that DigitalOcean’s Premium Intel offering performed better for the majority of the Redis benchmarks, but falling short in the other sections.

As always, I advice that you run your own benchmarks and take your own application’s needs into consideration when choosing a provider. It’s also good practice to spin up a few instances and compare them to each other to ensure you’re getting the latest and greatest the provider has to offer.

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Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Engineering Manager and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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