DigitalOcean vs Amazon EC2

DOcean
EC2
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We have tested 14 VPS plans from DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2. This page is a summary and a comparison of all test results for those 2 providers.


DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean was founded in 2012.
It is headquartered in the USA.
It offers VPS, Database, Storage and Networking hosting products.

It has datacenters in:
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • Singapore
  • UK
  • USA

Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2 was founded in 2006.
It is headquartered in the USA.
It offers VPS, Database, Storage and Networking hosting products.

It has datacenters in:
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • UK
  • USA

This provider is related to Amazon Lightsail.

Lightsail is the low price, simple VPS offering from Amazon.


VPS Plans

Plan Name Monthly Price CPU cores Memory (GB) Disk Space (GB) Data Transfer (GB) Latest trial
Standard 1GB 1 core $5.00 1 1.0 25 1000 Jan 06 2020
t3.micro $7.49 2 1.0 20 0 Jun 03 2019
Standard 2GB 1 core $10.00 1 2.0 50 2000 Apr 19 2020
t3.small $14.98 2 2.0 8 1000 Apr 17 2020
Standard 1GB 3 cores $15.00 3 1.0 60 3000 Aug 26 2019
Standard 4GB 2 cores $20.00 2 4.0 80 4000 Nov 06 2019
t3a.medium $27.07 2 4.0 0 0 Nov 04 2019
t3-medium $29.95 2 4.0 8 200 Jan 04 2020
CPU Optimized 4GB $40.00 2 4.0 25 4000 Feb 29 2020
c5a.large $59.44 2 4.0 40 Jun 05 2020
General Purpose 2 cores $60.00 2 8.0 25 4000 Jun 08 2020
c5.large $61.20 2 4.0 0 0 Aug 20 2019
m5a.large $65.90 2 8.0 40 100 May 21 2020
m5.large $73.12 2 8.0 40 200 Feb 21 2020

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 or stability (cpu, disk IO, network IO...) and is made of one or more metrics measured during the tests.

Grades are evenly distributed between A and F. A is best, F is worst.

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

How are grades calculated?

Plan Name Web Perf Raw CPU Power Perf Stability Disk IO Perf Network Perf
Standard 1GB 1 core
$5.00
E E C B B
t3.micro
$7.49
C D E E B
Standard 2GB 1 core
$10.00
E F C C B
t3.small
$14.98
D C E D B
Standard 1GB 3 cores
$15.00
D B D D D
Standard 4GB 2 cores
$20.00
D C C C C
t3a.medium
$27.07
F E F D C
t3-medium
$29.95
C C C D B
CPU Optimized 4GB
$40.00
C D D B A
c5a.large
$59.44
D B C D A
General Purpose 2 cores
$60.00
C B C B A
c5.large
$61.20
B B C D B
m5a.large
$65.90
C D C D A
m5.large
$73.12
B C A D A
Show Price Weighted Grades   

VPS Instance Provisioning Time

This is the average time it took to create an instance for DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2 from instance order to instance accepting connections.

All VPS provisioning times

DigitalOcean Amazon EC2
Number of instance creations in sample 9 10
Provisioning time in seconds 22s 23s

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 cloud servers from DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2. This is the average response time measured locally on the VPS for each plan we tested.



Local Response Time per Plan

Lower is better

Plan Average response time
DOcean
General Purpose 2 cores 60.8ms
CPU Optimized 4GB 64.1ms
Standard 4GB 2 cores 68.6ms
Standard 1GB 1 core 72.5ms
Standard 2GB 1 core 77.4ms
EC2
m5.large 50.2ms
t3-medium 53.3ms
m5a.large 66.1ms
c5a.large 66.6ms
t3.small 76.0ms
t3a.medium 84.4ms

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 Performance

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



Rate of operations

Higher is better

Plan Operations per second
DOcean
Standard 2GB 1 core 279.8
Standard 1GB 1 core 363.2
CPU Optimized 4GB 605.5
General Purpose 2 cores 744.5
Standard 4GB 2 cores 761.8
Standard 1GB 3 cores 1012.5
EC2
t3a.medium 501.2
m5a.large 532.5
t3.small 627.4
m5.large 637.5
t3-medium 646.7
c5a.large 650.6
t3.micro 652.5
c5.large 695.0

Sysbench Disk IO Performance

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



Rate of operations

Higher is better

Plan MiB per second
DOcean
Standard 1GB 3 cores 49.9
Standard 4GB 2 cores 73.2
Standard 2GB 1 core 74.1
Standard 1GB 1 core 77.3
CPU Optimized 4GB 98.7
General Purpose 2 cores 174.7
EC2
t3.micro 11.8
t3.small 13.2
t3a.medium 15.4
c5.large 15.9
t3-medium 16.3
c5a.large 16.5
m5a.large 24.8
m5.large 27.2

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 DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2.


Network Transfers

We have performed large file transfers from the DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2 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

Plan Network Download Speed
DOcean
Standard 1GB 3 cores 211.8Mbps
Standard 4GB 2 cores 758.5Mbps
Standard 2GB 1 core 834.5Mbps
Standard 1GB 1 core 899.9Mbps
CPU Optimized 4GB 1447.7Mbps
General Purpose 2 cores 2802.4Mbps
EC2
t3a.medium 691.7Mbps
t3-medium 696.2Mbps
t3.small 920.9Mbps
m5.large 1461.0Mbps
c5.large 1592.3Mbps
t3.micro 1673.2Mbps
c5a.large 1757.6Mbps
m5a.large 1807.3Mbps

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


Sustained CPU Endurance Tests

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

This test 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 may be.


Average number of operations per hour

Higher is better

Plan Average ops/hour
DOcean
Standard 2GB 1 core 1377.6
CPU Optimized 4GB 2065.6
Standard 1GB 1 core 3059.2
Standard 4GB 2 cores 4153.1
General Purpose 2 cores 5374.5
Standard 1GB 3 cores 5835.2
EC2
t3a.medium 1350.0
m5a.large 1937.6
t3.micro 2150.7
t3.small 4245.9
t3-medium 4812.8
m5.large 5597.3
c5a.large 5672.1
c5.large 6196.8

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


Remote Timings

During the entire duration of the web performance test, we collected web response times from 5 different locations in the world. The chart below reports the connection establishment time + TLS handshake latency from all 5 locations. (That excludes the time spent on the server that is already measured in web response times above and it also excludes the DNS resolution time since it is not dependent on the provider).


Remote Latency per Plan

Lower is better

Plan Average remote request duration
DOcean
Standard 1GB 3 cores 326.0ms
Standard 1GB 1 core 327.6ms
CPU Optimized 4GB 333.2ms
Standard 4GB 2 cores 334.0ms
Standard 2GB 1 core 340.6ms
EC2
t3a.medium 346.2ms
m5.large 347.0ms
t3-medium 347.2ms
c5.large 352.0ms
t3.micro 357.2ms
t3.small 361.6ms

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


Features and Usability

Features not included in the VPS price of the plan will be marked as missing but they may be available for the fee.

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  12 22
Number of Datacenter Continents  3 4
Compare more DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2 Features

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