VPS Showdown - April 2022 - DigitalOcean vs. Lightsail vs. Linode vs. UpCloud vs. Vultr

Josh Sherman
27 min read
VPS Showdown
HEADS-UP: A ton has changed since this post was originally published!
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The landscape of Virtual Private Servers is ever changing and evolving. Gone are the days of providers offering just servers. Many providers offer a wide range of managed services in addition to traditional VPS offerings.

Maybe I’m too much of an old dog, but I’m finding the more recent trend of offering multiple CPU architectures and nebulous marketing jargon to describe the plans a bit off putting.

Vultr has continued further down this path by introducing “High Performance” plans (both Intel and AMD) in addition to their “High Frequency” (just Intel).

Regardless of my curmudgeonly attitude towards this lack of simplicity, I’m going to include these new offerings as part of the $6 section of this post :)

Also worth noting for this month, DigitalOcean recently released “Serverless Functions” (similar to AWS Lambdas) in beta.

As always, I’ve went ahead and spun up three server instances with each provider at each of the available price points in the $5 to $6 range. Each instance is running the current Ubuntu LTS version (20.04) and the results are averaged where appropriate.

$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 8.0.28 8.0.28 8.0.28 8.0.28 8.0.28
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 MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis MySQL, PostgreSQL MySQL MySQL, PostgreSQL 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
Container Hosting Yes Yes No No No
Serverless Functions 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 - Instance #1 Intel Core Processor (Broadwell, no TSX, IBRS)
Vultr - Instance #2 Intel Core Processor (Broadwell, no TSX, IBRS)
Vultr - Instance #3 Intel Core Processor (Haswell, no TSX, IBRS)
  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
CPU MHz 2,494.12 2,400.09 2,433.33 2,894.56 2,400.00
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 30,720.00 512.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 3,200.33 3,399.67 3,859.67 3,199.67

CPU

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Events per Second 922.64 751.07 1,253.04 1,672.84 750.40
Minimum (ms) 0.95 1.16 0.70 0.58 1.17
Average (ms) 1.09 1.33 0.83 0.60 1.33
Maximum (ms) 2.29 11.14 7.90 1.05 8.07

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 4,369,557.57 517,395.47 3,695,153.06 5,589,210.90 3,668,693.60
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) 0.46 4.82 8.55 0.24 4.29

Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Ops per Second 4,125,143.11 502,823.63 3,418,191.56 5,614,680.91 3,642,877.83
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) 1.29 2.89 5.75 1.48 2.78

File I/O

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Reads per Second 1,743.19 997.90 1,621.95 2,662.09 1,684.34
Writes per Second 1,162.12 665.27 1,081.25 1,774.71 1,122.89
Fsyncs per Second 3,722.16 2,134.61 3,468.53 5,685.07 3,601.42
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.15 0.26 0.17 0.10 0.16
Maximum (ms) 11.36 14.14 19.79 9.71 13.18

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 5,441.33 4,588.67 4,198.33 8,399.00 4,323.33
Queries per Second 87,061.33 73,418.67 67,173.33 134,384.00 69,173.33
Minimum (ms) 1.26 1.72 1.78 0.96 1.77
Average (ms) 1.93 2.18 2.77 1.19 2.31
Maximum (ms) 20.65 34.40 69.27 9.96 20.22

Write Only

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 3,174.00 1,616.00 2,959.33 4,440.67 3,122.33
Queries per Second 19,044.00 9,696.00 17,756.00 26,644.00 18,734.00
Minimum (ms) 1.22 3.24 1.39 1.33 1.56
Average (ms) 3.33 6.23 4.44 2.25 3.22
Maximum (ms) 22.62 41.27 38.40 14.95 31.97

Read Write

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
Transactions per Second 1,726.67 1,094.00 1,138.00 2,551.00 1,482.33
Queries per Second 34,533.33 21,880.00 22,760.00 51,020.00 29,646.67
Minimum (ms) 3.04 5.42 4.68 2.47 4.07
Average (ms) 5.84 9.15 10.82 3.92 6.76
Maximum (ms) 23.72 60.66 82.62 19.78 58.64

Redis

  DigitalOcean Lightsail Linode UpCloud Vultr
PING_INLINE 41,018.45 45,503.58 47,108.08 68,880.60 36,080.40
PING_BULK 40,474.86 45,161.48 44,618.86 64,559.29 32,869.36
SET 42,875.13 45,214.88 47,813.18 69,314.92 35,889.17
GET 43,993.63 45,144.22 50,719.97 67,381.84 35,063.23
INCR 43,637.23 45,059.30 54,523.07 68,715.76 35,644.40
LPUSH 42,622.90 45,387.11 40,575.15 73,970.19 36,580.37
RPUSH 43,192.03 45,265.56 44,145.49 72,797.92 37,467.81
LPOP 40,941.63 45,137.52 38,048.64 71,727.54 37,153.76
RPOP 39,034.33 45,390.67 41,099.52 71,588.16 36,637.78
SADD 40,119.36 45,043.98 52,090.67 67,961.60 35,464.56
HSET 43,910.59 45,668.26 45,959.65 73,030.21 37,466.12
SPOP 41,689.06 45,254.95 53,886.69 66,652.25 34,906.65
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 25,251.05 29,785.83 19,648.15 32,333.99 24,699.86
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 11,116.74 12,874.86 7,412.59 12,096.20 10,102.74
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 7,845.00 9,340.82 5,551.22 9,516.40 6,989.01
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 6,504.51 7,622.34 4,465.80 7,778.69 5,618.42
MSET (10 keys) 33,784.36 37,131.94 24,537.53 69,241.47 27,204.32

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

Overview

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Location New York 1 New York 1 New York (NJ) New York (NJ) 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 8.0.28 8.0.28 8.0.28 8.0.28 8.0.28
Redis 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7 5.0.7
Base Price $6/month $6/month $6/month $6/month $6/month
Hourly Price $0.009/hour $0.009/hour $0.009/hour $0.009/hour $0.009/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 25 GB 25 GB 25 GB 25 GB
Storage Type NVMe NVMe NVMe NVMe NVMe
Transfer 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB
Transfer Overage $0.01/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB $0.01/GB
Backups $1.2/month $1.2/month $1.2/month $1.2/month $1.2/month
DNS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Firewall Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Load Balancer $10/month $10/month $10/month $10/month $10/month
Block Storage $0.1/GB $0.1/GB $0.1/GB $0.1/GB $0.1/GB
Object Storage $5/month $5/month $5/month $5/month $5/month
Managed Databases MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis No No No
2FA/MFA Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
One-click Apps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom Images Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kubernetes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Container Registry Yes Yes No No No
Container Hosting Yes Yes No No No
Serverless Functions Yes Yes No No No

CPU Info

  Model Name
DigitalOcean - Premium Intel - All Instances DO-Premium-Intel
DigitalOcean - Premium AMD - All Instances DO-Premium-AMD
Vultr - High Frequency Intel - All Instances Intel Core Processor (Skylake, IBRS)
Vultr - High Performance AMD - All Instances AMD EPYC-Rome Processor
Vultr - High Performance Intel - All Instances Intel Xeon Processor (Cascadelake)
  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
CPU MHz 2,494.13 1,996.24 3,696.00 1,996.25 2,959.71
Cache Size (KB) 4,096.00 512.00 16,384.00 512.00 16,384.00
BogoMips 3,325.67 2,661.67 4,927.67 2,661.67 3,924.00

CPU

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Events per Second 1,009.36 1,232.48 1,412.51 3,470.55 1,106.55
Minimum (ms) 0.95 0.68 0.70 0.28 0.85
Average (ms) 0.99 0.81 0.72 0.29 0.90
Maximum (ms) 3.01 6.49 3.17 3.37 5.39

Memory

Read

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Ops per Second 4,426,735.70 3,482,598.76 6,780,005.90 5,240,188.07 5,101,104.18
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) 0.34 2.19 0.19 3.39 2.84

Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Ops per Second 4,640,999.42 3,691,434.03 6,810,275.63 5,242,333.33 5,148,469.65
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) 0.27 2.50 0.20 1.56 3.51

File I/O

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Reads per Second 1,920.02 1,385.23 4,766.18 1,129.47 4,111.21
Writes per Second 1,280.02 923.48 3,177.45 752.99 2,740.78
Fsyncs per Second 4,103.98 2,958.93 10,177.20 2,413.03 8,781.88
Minimum (ms) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Average (ms) 0.14 0.20 0.05 0.23 0.06
Maximum (ms) 10.61 16.25 4.62 226.54 5.70

MySQL

Read Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Transactions per Second 6,208.00 4,427.67 9,136.67 7,582.33 6,120.00
Queries per Second 99,328.00 70,842.67 146,186.67 121,317.33 97,920.00
Minimum (ms) 1.16 1.55 0.92 0.97 1.17
Average (ms) 1.64 2.27 1.12 1.41 1.65
Maximum (ms) 12.48 17.38 9.88 51.36 15.75

Write Only

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Transactions per Second 3,955.67 2,876.33 9,937.67 1,454.00 7,054.67
Queries per Second 23,734.00 17,258.00 59,626.00 8,724.00 42,328.00
Minimum (ms) 0.92 1.23 0.60 1.10 0.69
Average (ms) 2.61 3.53 1.04 6.89 1.46
Maximum (ms) 34.81 29.90 9.93 662.01 14.55

Read Write

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
Transactions per Second 1,820.33 1,433.67 4,093.00 1,332.67 2,530.33
Queries per Second 36,406.67 28,673.33 81,860.00 26,653.33 50,606.67
Minimum (ms) 2.79 3.43 1.69 2.33 2.31
Average (ms) 5.51 6.98 2.52 7.95 4.07
Maximum (ms) 25.50 31.59 19.42 238.13 19.36

Redis

  DigitalOcean - Premium Intel DigitalOcean - Premium AMD Vultr - High Frequency Intel Vultr - High Performance AMD Vultr - High Performance Intel
PING_INLINE 78,627.45 54,991.15 65,807.29 90,235.25 49,271.71
PING_BULK 76,837.57 52,738.33 64,322.61 86,532.39 48,282.91
SET 80,359.37 50,759.23 65,378.56 90,589.42 49,769.65
GET 77,845.56 51,637.48 64,260.24 88,023.02 49,292.04
INCR 75,633.93 52,247.29 65,210.97 89,428.15 49,694.87
LPUSH 79,280.23 42,475.95 66,747.28 87,001.54 50,647.72
RPUSH 80,292.21 46,515.89 64,231.75 86,533.00 50,758.47
LPOP 80,044.33 48,163.67 64,858.35 81,528.54 49,855.62
RPOP 83,512.99 52,557.16 63,293.25 88,947.32 49,440.60
SADD 80,036.32 55,733.86 63,988.02 91,142.36 48,527.86
HSET 79,930.29 48,318.91 63,316.36 85,362.07 50,823.91
SPOP 72,643.42 54,190.98 61,664.19 89,199.11 50,331.20
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements) 36,095.98 23,699.77 45,323.01 31,826.97 32,951.20
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements) 13,834.85 10,926.44 19,020.63 14,186.30 13,875.14
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements) 9,638.71 6,588.53 13,162.55 10,405.82 10,193.95
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements) 7,746.12 5,575.25 10,636.11 8,167.65 8,386.98
MSET (10 keys) 46,047.16 25,572.89 54,247.25 56,555.80 44,236.59

Conclusion

Fairly consistent results with previous months with UpCloud leading the pack at the $5 price point and Vultr doing the same at the $6 price. What’s interesting is that the Vultr “High *” plans were a bit all over the place in terms of one of them being a very clear leader of the pack.

As I always mention, it’s always a good idea to spin up multiple instances with a provider and run your own benchmarks to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Always factor in your own needs when picking a provider and don’t be fooled by marketing jargon.

Also, if you’ve found this review helpful in your search for a new hosting provider, please use one of my referral links below.

Or if you’re feeling really generous, show off your favorite tech stack by picking up a shirt!

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