Linode has recently increased the CPU from 4 cores to 8 cores, and also doubled memories of all their plans.

To be honest, I really don’t know how 8 cores could be fully used for a website, which just uses their 1GB or 2GB lower plans. I really wish they should have upgraded to SSD disk, I think that’s the real bottleneck.

Digital Ocean is becoming a real competitor, its $5, $10 low price server options with SSD disk make it stands out.

I purchased and benchmarked 3 servers:

DigitalOcean1G: 1 Core CPU, 1GB RAM, 30GB SSD, $10 /month

DigitalOcean2G: 2 Cores CPU, 2GB RAM, 40GB SSD, $20 /month

Linode 1G: 8 Cores CPU, 1GB RAM, 24GB Storage, $20 /month

All servers fresh installed Ubuntu 12.04 x64 server version. Servers from Digital Ocean are all located at New York, whereas Linode server is located at Atlanta. The test script is from ServerBear

Detailed results can be found at the links below:



Linode 1G:

UnixBench results

UnixBench (w/ all processors) 1387.1
UnixBench (w/ one processor) 1386.6

UnixBench (w/ all processors) 1873.1
UnixBench (w/ one processor) 1183.7

UnixBench (w/ all processors) 1860.7
UnixBench (w/ one processor) 491.4

UnixBench gives us an basic score of the system’s performance. I’m really surprised that Linode’s 8 cores didn’t play well as I expect. To give you an idea of how bad it is, below is the test of one of my cheap 4 Cores dedicated server from OVH:

UnixBench (w/ all processors) 4017.1
UnixBench (w/ one processor) 1603.1

At least you can see that’s how it looks, when every 1 core is REALLY 1 core :)

IOPS FIO results

Read IOPS 4444.0
Read Bandwidth 17.7 MB/second
Write IOPS 2295.0
Write Bandwidth 9.1 MB/second

Read IOPS 3838.0
Read Bandwidth 15.3 MB/second
Write IOPS 2572.0
Write Bandwidth 10.2 MB/second

Read IOPS 776.0
Read Bandwidth 3.1 MB/second
Write IOPS 624.0
Write Bandwidth 2.4 MB/second

FIO provides a view of system’s I/O performance. Without SSD, Linode did play bad as I expect. But the result is about right at the average level of existing VPSs.


Yes, these raw performance results don’t mean everything. But not everyone can resist the temptation from lower price with better performance.

10 Thoughts on “Linode vs Digital Ocean Performance Benchmarks

  1. Just as an update for current statistics, this is based off of my recent:

    Linode Scores, 2GB plan – 8 cores ($40)
    UnixBench score: 2009.2
    I/O rate: 53.1 MB/second
    Bandwidth rate: 96.3 MB/second

    Digital Ocean Scores, 2GB plan – 2 cores ($20)
    UnixBench score: 1882.6
    I/O rate: 319.0 MB/second
    Bandwidth rate: 3.3 MB/second

    This is on two Ubuntu systems, both 13.10 — both with ServerBear scripts. I think trying to pin these two puppies down is like hitting a moving target! Linode has rolled out Beta SSD support as well — so hold on while they continue topping each other and we reap the rewards.

  2. Thanks for the great benchmark. Hard to find pure facts sometimes. I would love to see the same test on a small EC2 instance which I think is comparable. I know ec2 is slow per core but not sure exactly how it compares.

    • Hi, Adam
      I’m glad you find this review useful!

      Yeah, that is a good idea. In fact I’ve used ec2 (mirco and small). And I’m still using a mirco instance to run my project management tool. I did some test about the iops of ebs, but never did any comparison among other vps. Their pricing strategy really annoys me :D

  3. Pingback: Migrando do DreamHost para DigitalOcean | Blog do TadeuCruz

  4. I personally use a Linode VPS as my primary server and Digital Ocean’s $5 server as a running backup. I then use failover dns to switch between them.

  5. Thanks for using ServerBear Steven (and for the mention!), we’ve seen a huge surge in DO benchmarks lately :)

  6. I love this benchmark. I’ve had my doubts about whether DO’s cores could keep up with Linode’s 8 cores. Have you thought about doing any testing using PHP or some other web language. I’ve found that my 1GB droplet is slightly slower than my Linode 1GB, but I think most of that has to do with concurrency. Also, “feels slower” is not a benchmark or reliable, so it would be great to see some results on this.

    • Hi, DanO

      I’m glad that you find it useful. These tests are very general, but they do provide very pure facts. It’s hard to make a real and everyone-happy application test, considering different use case scenarios.

      The main thing that I’m interested is that whether Linode’s recent upgrade (especially the fancy 8 cores) improves the performance dramatically, and how is that compares to Digital Ocean’s much less core server :)

      • dolfelt on April 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm said:

        Given that goal, I think you hit the nail right on the head. Nice job! I currently have both DO and Linode servers and would like to downsize to just one.

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