I’ve been a Linode fan and customer for years, but just this week I was made aware of a competing VPS host – DigitalOcean. It’s a pretty compelling sell. A VPS for $5 a month, with a 20GB SSD and 512MB of RAM. Fucking, sweet. But when something sounds this good, I’m sceptical. To dispell or validate my thoughts of a “catch”, I turn to a handy performance analysis tool – Phoronix Benchmark Suite. Here’s the skinny.
Linode at $20/month :: 4 Cores running at 2.13GHz, 512MB RAM, 24GB disk, Vanilla Ubuntu 12.04 x64 with ext3 filesystem. Xen.
DigitalOcean at $5/month :: 1 Core running at 2.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 20GB SSD, Vanilla Ubuntu Server 12.04 x 64 with ext4 filesystem. KVM.
Linode has four cores which results in predictably greater CPU performance. DigitalOcean has SSD disks which results in predictably greater I/O performance. But DigitalOcean is 75% cheaper. That's a shit load the last time I checked. Even if you are transcoding video, you could just get a more powerful DigitalOcean server or more of them. From a strictly performance-per-dollar perspective, DigitalOcean has Linode spanked.