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Amazon EC2 vs DigitalOcean


DigitalOcean DigitalOcean DigitalOcean DigitalOcean DigitalOcean Amazon EC2 Amazon EC2 Amazon EC2 Amazon EC2 Amazon EC2 Amazon EC2
Plan Name 1GB 3 cores CPU Optimized 4GB Standard 1GB 1 core Standard 2GB 1 core Standard 4GB 2 cores t2-micro t2-medium t2-small t3-medium m5.large a1.medium
Cost per Month ($) 15.0 40.0 5.0 10.0 20.0 11.64 37.0 28.0 37.0 65.0 18.0
Memory (GB) 1.0 4.0 1.0 2.0 4.0 1.0 4.0 2.0 4.0 8.0 2.0
Disk Space (GB) 60 25 25 50 80 10 8 8 20 20 20
CPU cores 3 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 1
Data Transfer (GB) 3000 4000 1000 2000 4000 100 250 250 200 200 100
Virtualization KVM KVM KVM KVM KVM Xen KVM Xen KVM KVM Nitro
Latest trial Jul 08 2018 Apr 01 2018 Dec 03 2018 Aug 20 2018 Oct 25 2018 May 06 2018 Jul 22 2018 Mar 24 2018 Aug 22 2018 Nov 14 2018 Nov 28 2018

Performance Grades

To summarize the performance of each VPS plan, we generated grades based on the various tests that were run: web, sysbench, endurance and remote timing tests. Each grade focuses on one aspect of the VPS speed (cpu, disk IO, network IO...) and can be made of one or more of the metrics generated during the tests.

Grade A is best, grade F is worst.

Follow the letter links to find the test results backing the grade.

How are grades calculated?

In Depth...

The grades above are based on the following test results.

Web Response Times

We ran a database intensive web application with ~100,000 hits per day for several days on VPSs from Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean. This is the average response time measured locally on the VPS for each plan we tested.

Local Response Time per Plan

Lower is better

Provider Plan Average response time
DigitalOcean CPU Optimized 4GB 50.0ms
DigitalOcean Standard 4GB 2 cores 54.0ms
DigitalOcean Standard 1GB 1 core 72.8ms
DigitalOcean 1GB 3 cores 76.0ms
DigitalOcean Standard 2GB 1 core 96.0ms
Amazon EC2 a1.medium 0.0ms
Amazon EC2 m5.large 50.0ms
Amazon EC2 t2-medium 52.0ms
Amazon EC2 t2-small 53.0ms
Amazon EC2 t3-medium 54.8ms
Amazon EC2 t2-micro 63.5ms

During the Web Test, we collect response time metrics, CPU metrics and database performance metrics. All of those are measured locally on the VPS running the web server. All metrics can be compared on the Web Performance Comparison page.

Sysbench CPU Performances

We ran the full suite of Sysbench tests on VPS plans of Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean. These are the Sysbench CPU test results:

Rate of operations

Higher is better

Provider Plan Operations per second
DigitalOcean CPU Optimized 4GB 797.5
DigitalOcean Standard 4GB 2 cores 789.3
DigitalOcean Standard 1GB 1 core 389.6
DigitalOcean 1GB 3 cores 903.7
DigitalOcean Standard 2GB 1 core 318.8
Amazon EC2 a1.medium 899.6
Amazon EC2 m5.large 752.7
Amazon EC2 t2-medium 695.3
Amazon EC2 t2-small 315.5
Amazon EC2 t3-medium 637.3
Amazon EC2 t2-micro 296.7

Sysbench test results are also available for random disk IO tests, sequential disk IO tests and memory tests.

Review and compare all Sysbench numbers on the Sysbench Comparison page for Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean.

Remote Timings

During the whole duration of the web performance test, we collected web response times from 5 different locations in the world. The chart below reports the average connection + TLS handshake latency from all 5 locations.

Note: Remote timings may not be available for all plans.

Remote Latency per Plan

Lower is better

Provider Plan Average remote request duration
DigitalOcean CPU Optimized 4GB 351.2ms
DigitalOcean Standard 4GB 2 cores 340.8ms
DigitalOcean Standard 1GB 1 core 361.8ms
DigitalOcean 1GB 3 cores 342.4ms
DigitalOcean Standard 2GB 1 core 336.2ms
Amazon EC2 m5.large 338.8ms
Amazon EC2 t2-medium 344.8ms
Amazon EC2 t2-small 338.6ms
Amazon EC2 t3-medium 339.8ms
Amazon EC2 t2-micro 343.6ms

Detailed remote timings measurements including connection time, TLS handshake time, and response time can be compared for Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean on the Remote Timings Comparison page.

Network Transfers

We have performed large file transfers from the Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean VPS and we measured the speed of downloads and uploads.

The transfers involve multiple files, 10 threads and last for at least 10 seconds at maximum speed. The transfers are repeated 3 times from different servers and only the fastest transfer is reported here.

Download Speed per Plan

Higher is better

Provider Plan Network Download Speed
DigitalOcean Standard 4GB 2 cores 1400.3Mbps
DigitalOcean Standard 1GB 1 core 1390.9Mbps
DigitalOcean 1GB 3 cores 1451.3Mbps
DigitalOcean Standard 2GB 1 core 198.1Mbps
Amazon EC2 a1.medium 181.8Mbps
Amazon EC2 m5.large 629.0Mbps
Amazon EC2 t2-medium 506.8Mbps
Amazon EC2 t3-medium 1850.2Mbps

Network Transfers measurements including download and upload speeds can be compared for Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean on the Network Transfers Comparison page.

Sustained CPU Endurance Tests

We pushed the CPU of those VPS plans very hard for 24 hours straight.

This kind of tests shows how fast the VPS can go for long periods of time, how stable the performance is and it also gives clues on how overallocated the VPSs are.

Note: Endurance metrics may not be available for all plans.

Average number of operations per hour

Higher is better

Provider Plan Average ops/hour
DigitalOcean CPU Optimized 4GB 7109.2
DigitalOcean Standard 4GB 2 cores 5959.0
DigitalOcean Standard 1GB 1 core 3023.6
DigitalOcean 1GB 3 cores 3819.9
DigitalOcean Standard 2GB 1 core 1398.7
Amazon EC2 m5.large 4587.6
Amazon EC2 t2-medium 2184.5
Amazon EC2 t2-small 1017.4
Amazon EC2 t3-medium 1732.2
Amazon EC2 t2-micro 458.1

Review and compare endurance test results for Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean on the Sustained CPU Endurance Comparison page.

Features and Usability

Features not included in the VPS price in plans tested at vpsbenchmarks.com will be marked as missing.

DigitalOcean Review Amazon EC2 Review
Hourly Billing  Yes Yes
DDOS Protection  No No
Backups  No No
Control Panel  Builtin Builtin
SSH Keys Setup  Yes Yes
Total Number of Datacenters  7 10
Number of Datacenter Continents  3 4

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