VPS Showdown – January 2024 – DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr

DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr — Don’t call it a comeback.

It’s been over a year since I decided to step away from doing my VPS Showdown posts. Recently, my curiosity was reignited. Linode was acquired by Akamai. DigitalOcean saw a leadership transition. Vultr, honestly not sure what they’ve been up to, hence my curiosity to start these comparison again.

Where is my favorite provider?

You may have noticed that I didn’t mention AWS Lightsail or Upcloud as I have in the past. Part of my fatigue with these posts is that I started to try serve the community better. This meant trying to compare more providers, some of which I had no personal interest in.

My original interest was in Linode vs. DigitalOcean, which is how this all started. Vultr caught my eye at some point along the way. Certainly there’s a whole world of VPS providers out there, Generally speaking, these are still the providers that I’m the most interested in.

Something else that was contributing to my lack of interest was my attempt to do “apples to apples” comparisons, in the context of the plan prices. Things were simple in the beginning, with consistent pricing across the board, for very like offerings. Picking the lowest price point made the most sense, since that’s where you usually start when you spin up a new box for a new project.

Now the landscape is noisy, with some providers offering sub-$5 plans. Others offer both $5 and $6 dollar plans that are virtually identical aside from a better proc or storage. And now, DigitalOcean doesn’t even offer a $5 plan at all. Thus, the “$5 showdown” is effectively over.

What I’ve opted to do now is compare plans regardless of their price, focusing solely on their plan offering. Sticking to shared CPU plans with a single CPU and 1 GB of RAM.

Back to basics

If I started a new project tomorrow, that’s what I would reach for. Similar to premature optimization being a waste, trying to dial in your perfect system infrastructure on day one is a challenge, especially when you are pre-revenue and pre-user base.

Continue on my self serving path, I’ve also omitted a ton of additional information that I was once maintaining. Data points like “who has managed databases?” and “what’s the price per GB for bandwidth overages?”. While this is great information, it’s easily discoverable on the provider’s sites. Those bits of information don’t contribute to the benchmarks themselves either.

It’s the VPS Showdown, after all.

So without further ado, let’s dive into those benchmarks. As I have in the past, I can spun up three servers from each provider, in a similar region, running the same version of Linux. Where applicable, I averaged the results.

Overview – DigitalOcean vs. Linode vs. Vultr

Linux DistroUbuntu 22.04 LTS
Kernel Version5.15.0
MySQL Version8.0.35
Redis Version6.0.16
DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
LocationNew York 1Newark, NJNew York (NJ)
Monthly Price$6/month$5/month$5/month
Hourly Price$0.009/hour$0.0075/hour$0.007/hour
RAM1 GB1 GB1 GB
CPU1 Core1 Core1 Core
Storage25 GB25 GB25 GB
Storage TypeSSDSSDSSD
Transfer1 TB1 TB1 TB
Backups$1.2/month$2/month$1/month

CPU Info

Model Name
DigitalOceanDO-Regular
LinodeAMD EPYC 7642 48-Core Processor
VultrIntel Core Processor (Broadwell, no TSX, IBRS)
DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
CPU MHz2,494.142,300.002,394.45
Cache Size (KB)4,096.00512.0016,384.00
BogoMips4,988.283,066.673,192.33

CPU

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Events per Second972.241,574.52832.26
Minimum (ms)0.890.601.13
Average (ms)1.030.641.20
Maximum (ms)6.215.187.43

Memory

Read

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Ops per Second4,478,989.185,182,556.473,915,914.18
Minimum (ms)0.000.000.00
Average (ms)0.000.000.00
Maximum (ms)0.654.836.82

Write

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Ops per Second4,573,757.605,255,600.044,010,927.54
Minimum (ms)0.000.000.00
Average (ms)0.000.000.00
Maximum (ms)1.192.861.80

File I/O

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Reads per Second1,239.862,278.731,979.78
Writes per Second826.551,519.111,319.85
Fsyncs per Second2,649.724,865.264,227.63
Minimum (ms)0.000.000.00
Average (ms)0.210.140.15
Maximum (ms)15.7036.5221.60

MySQL

Read Only

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Transactions per Second4,761.336,571.333,900.67
Queries per Second76,181.33105,141.3362,410.67
Minimum (ms)1.121.101.61
Average (ms)2.101.552.96
Maximum (ms)25.43115.1540.55

Write Only

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Transactions per Second1,710.006,286.333,830.00
Queries per Second10,260.0037,718.0022,980.00
Minimum (ms)1.910.681.27
Average (ms)5.901.692.66
Maximum (ms)45.0963.6520.72

Read Write

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
Transactions per Second1,174.332,744.331,308.67
Queries per Second23,486.6754,886.6726,173.33
Minimum (ms)3.641.936.10
Average (ms)8.553.9117.24
Maximum (ms)40.7077.67131.91

Redis

DigitalOceanLinodeVultr
PING_INLINE35,367.9553,706.2023,910.30
PING_BULK32,201.6649,372.7223,077.93
SET34,099.8353,049.9024,894.74
GET36,862.9451,357.7223,742.55
INCR38,078.5553,271.3824,420.16
LPUSH36,748.3255,214.1826,812.20
RPUSH38,721.8756,645.4126,240.12
LPOP38,674.7355,418.7025,879.81
RPOP38,880.2556,542.2125,391.27
SADD36,478.5253,754.1724,126.62
HSET35,878.6354,551.1425,142.47
SPOP31,770.7051,868.8523,807.16
LRANGE_100 (first 100 elements)23,202.6525,427.7018,269.39
LRANGE_300 (first 300 elements)10,594.7410,583.398,687.92
LRANGE_500 (first 500 elements)8,821.028,217.576,588.70
LRANGE_600 (first 600 elements)7,061.066,855.335,691.54
MSET (10 keys)44,252.9360,177.6132,786.22

Conclusion

I went into this not really knowing what to expect. Knowing DigitalOcean had raised the price of their 1 GB plan by a buck, I half expected them to throw up better numbers, similar to the Vultr High Frequency plans.

That said, Linode really shining this month across most categories. While Linode seems dated at times in their offering, similar to the tortoise, they usually win the long game.

Worth nothing, I know that Linode is now technically called Akamai Connected Cloud. Until Akamai decides to redirect linode.com to a new domain, I’m going to dig my heels in and keep calling them Linode.

All that said, if you happened to find this post and benchmarks helpful, and you’re interested in trying out any of the VPS providers mentioned, feel free to use my links below, for some free credit:

  • DigitalOcean, new accounts receive $200 in credit (good for 60 days).
  • Linode, new accounts receive $100 in credit (also good for 60 days).
  • Vultr, new accounts also receive $100 in credit (good for only 14 days).
Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

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


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