DigitalOcean vs Amazon EC2

DOcean
EC2
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We have tested 15 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
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

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
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

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 Aug 20 2020
t3a.medium $27.07 2 4.0 0 0 Nov 04 2019
t4g.medium $28.20 2 4.0 40 0 Sep 15 2020
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 $65.20 2 4.0 40 0 Jul 26 2020
m5a.large $65.90 2 8.0 40 100 May 21 2020
m5.large $73.12 2 8.0 40 200 Feb 21 2020
Compare Specs for All Plans

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?

Screen all VPS from DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2
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
E C D C D
t3a.medium
$27.07
F E F D C
t4g.medium
$28.20
B D C E B
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
$65.20
B B C E D
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 11
Average provisioning time 22s 24s

In Depth...

These are some of the test results that make up the grades above.


Web Response Times

We ran a database intensive web application at various levels of load 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 60.8 ms
CPU Optimized 4GB 64.1 ms
Standard 1GB 1 core 72.5 ms
Standard 2GB 1 core 77.4 ms
Standard 4GB 2 cores 77.4 ms
EC2
c5.large 47.3 ms
t4g.medium 47.8 ms
m5.large 50.2 ms
t3-medium 53.3 ms
m5a.large 66.1 ms
c5a.large 66.6 ms
t3.small 76.0 ms
t3a.medium 84.4 ms

Maximum HTTP Load

We ran a database intensive web application at various levels of load on cloud servers from DigitalOcean and Amazon EC2. This is the maximum rate of HTTP requests that each server handled without error.



Maximum HTTP request rate

Higher is better

Plan Max HTTP requests rate
DOcean
Standard 2GB 1 core 10 reqs/sec
Standard 1GB 1 core 10 reqs/sec
General Purpose 2 cores 20 reqs/sec
Standard 4GB 2 cores 20 reqs/sec
CPU Optimized 4GB 20 reqs/sec
EC2
t3a.medium 10 reqs/sec
t3-medium 15 reqs/sec
m5a.large 20 reqs/sec
t3.small 20 reqs/sec
c5a.large 20 reqs/sec
c5.large 25 reqs/sec
m5.large 25 reqs/sec
t4g.medium 35 reqs/sec

During the Web Test, we collect response time metrics, rate metrics and CPU 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
Standard 1GB 1 core 363
CPU Optimized 4GB 605
Standard 4GB 2 cores 704
General Purpose 2 cores 744
Standard 1GB 3 cores 1012
EC2
t3a.medium 501
m5a.large 532
t3.small 627
m5.large 637
t3-medium 646
c5a.large 650
t3.micro 652
c5.large 745
t4g.medium 2190

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 2GB 1 core 74.1
Standard 1GB 1 core 77.3
CPU Optimized 4GB 98.7
Standard 4GB 2 cores 114
General Purpose 2 cores 174
EC2
t3.micro 11.78
t3.small 13.20
t3a.medium 15.43
c5.large 16.11
t3-medium 16.29
c5a.large 16.53
t4g.medium 17.02
m5a.large 24.77
m5.large 27.17

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 Mbps
Standard 4GB 2 cores 384 Mbps
Standard 2GB 1 core 834 Mbps
Standard 1GB 1 core 899 Mbps
CPU Optimized 4GB 1447 Mbps
General Purpose 2 cores 2802 Mbps
EC2
t3a.medium 691 Mbps
t3-medium 696 Mbps
c5.large 791 Mbps
t3.small 920 Mbps
m5.large 1460 Mbps
t3.micro 1673 Mbps
c5a.large 1757 Mbps
t4g.medium 1779 Mbps
m5a.large 1807 Mbps

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
CPU Optimized 4GB 2065
Standard 1GB 1 core 3059
General Purpose 2 cores 5374
Standard 1GB 3 cores 5835
Standard 4GB 2 cores 5845
EC2
t4g.medium 1331
t3a.medium 1349
m5a.large 1937
t3.micro 2150
t3.small 4245
t3-medium 4812
m5.large 5597
c5a.large 5672
c5.large 6088

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