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Linode vs Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean* is relatively new in the cloud hosting industry but is getting a lot of serious attention as of late mainly because of its price and SSD hard drives. There are also a lot of stuff going on at Linode* lately where they are upgrading their hardware, double the RAM and faster network. Let’s take a closer look between them in terms of resources/price.

For comparison, we will use Linode 1GB plan and Digital Ocean 1GB Droplet.

Pricing (Updated)

Linode:

  • CPU: 1 Core
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 24GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 2TB
  • Pricing: $10.00

Digital Ocean:

  • CPU: 1 Core
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 30GB SSD
  • Bandwidth: 2TB
  • Pricing: $10.00

Pricing/specs wise, both of them are identical, except Do offers 6GB more storage.

Performance

There is a detailed performance benchmarking between Linode and Digital Ocean by Jason Ormand and also bits and pieces can be found on Hacker News.

  • Network: Linode has better network connectivity compared to DO as mentioned here on Hacker News. Currently, there is no internal network for DO droplets but is coming soon.
  • CPU: All Linode’s plans come with 8 cores so Linode clearly has an upper hand in terms of CPU performance.
  • I/O: All DO’s plans come with SSD storage so it’s blazing fast. DO wins hands down.
  • RAM: DO is slightly better in RAM speed compared to Linode.

If CPU performance is important for your app or if your servers need to communicate internally (e.g. separate app and db server), you should go with Linode. Otherwise, DO gets my vote.

Others

  • Data center: Linode has more options compared to DO. Linode: Newark, Atlanta, Fremont, Dallas, London and Tokyo. DO: New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Singapore.
  • iPhone app: Linode has one and it’s really convenient to manage your servers on the go.

Support

I can’t speak on behalf of DO as I’m not one of their customers yet but I can speak highly for Linode. I’ve been with Linode for more than 4 years and their support is second to none. Their response time is usually less than 3 minutes and their support staff know what they are doing.

Benchmark

Here is a nice post written by Remco Bron comparing EC2 vs Linode vs Digital Ocean. For $20/month, Linode clearly gives you a better performance thanks to their 8 cores CPU but I expect Digital Ocean to catch up very soon.

Conclusion

I still think (as of writing) Linode is more suited for production while Digital Ocean is great for development. Feel free to chip in in the comments below, especially you have experienced both Linode and Digital Ocean.

Update: DO has grown a lot over the past years and being used by many for production. I think both are great, but my inexperience with DO and as a Linode customer for many years, I would still go with Linode… but DO’s $5 plan is a killer. Super handy for development or some light hosting that doesn’t require lots of RAM and CPU.

*Note: My referral link. Sign-up using my link if you think this post is useful, I would appreciate the referral.

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