VPS Benchmarks: Amazon EC2 and Lightsail, Azure, DigitalOcean, Google, Hostworld, Linode, OVH, UpCloud, VPSServer, VPS.net, Vultr

I recently needed to have a look at moving some services to a different VPS provider for redundancy so I decided to benchmark my options to compare them.

The plan selected was whichever had 16GB of RAM (though Google is 15GB). The selected datacenter was always London (Azure only says UK South). The fastest storage options were selected. The OS was CentOS 7 since that was mostly supported (Amazon and VPS.net do not support CentOS 8).

For Amazon and DigitalOcean I tested 2 options; for Amazon I was curious as to how Lightsail stacked up against vanilla EC2 and I also wondered if the 50% hike in price for DigitalOcean General Purpose was worth it versus the Standard VPSs from them that I’d used in the past.

The test were generally run a few times and averaged out. I used the latest sysbench to measure CPU speed, File I/O and MySQL transaction speed for comparison.

ProviderPlanvCPU coresRAM (GB)CPU Events/sRead MiB/sWrite MiB/sMySQL tran/s
AmazonEC2 t3a.xlarge416514.7918.8412.561099.59
AmazonLightsail 16GB416337.4415.5510.371603.31
AzureB4MS416358.033.572.38448.60
DigitalOceanGeneral Purpose 16GB416434.4620.8513.901328.43
DigitalOceanStandard 16GB616304.3710.797.191078.46
Google Cloud Computen1-standard-4415345.2311.897.93976.040
HostworldVPS-6816541.2721.6014.401428.03
KamateraCustom (Availability)416413.7536.9624.642634.97
LinodeShared 16GB616501.9143.2128.801728.78
OVH CloudElite816267.6731.0020.671729.30
UK2SSD VPS V6-20416254.3323.3715.581317.89
UpCloud16GB616449.8951.1034.042204.81
VPS.netV6-19416248.313.912.61630.87
VPSServerStandard 16GB816156.2316.8211.21844.11
VultrCloud Compute 16GB616403.3735.2023.461691.64

For disk I/O UpCloud is the clear winner and Azure and VPS.net are VERY distant losers – and this is with Azure’s Premium SSD option. Hostworld just wins the CPU crown, but its I/O is less impressive. Of the rest I’d say Linode is a pretty solid performer. There are some distinctly average performances from some of these. I was quite surprised by some of the numbers and ran them a few extra times to make sure (VPSServer’s terrible CPU speed and Azure and VPS.net’s shocking I/O for example).

YMMV.

Price-wise, the top 4 in terms of speed have very similar pricing (that’s UpCloud, Linode, Kamatera and Vultr in order of read speed), then OVH and Hostworld are both significantly cheaper. Hostworld is actually the cheapest in the list with the fastest CPU but only mid-range disk I/O.

The commands used to benchmark were as follows:

For CPU Events per second:
sysbench cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 run

For read and write performance in MiB/s (after creating 150GB of files):
sysbench fileio --file-total-size=150G --file-test-mode=rndrw --time=300 --max-requests=0 run

For MySQL transactions per second (after creating a test database with 1 million rows):
sysbench oltp_read_write --table-size=1000000 --db-driver=mysql --mysql-db=test --time=60 --max-requests=0 --threads=8 run

VPS video encoding speed comparison

I was looking at VPS providers for batch video encoding runs. These numbers are in no way a comprehensive test, I was just surprised by some of them so I thought I’d share.

My source file is a 04:17 1080p mp4 and I ran it through HandbrakeCLI to create an optimised 720p version – I used the exact same commands on all the servers I span up. This is how long it took to encode:

LINODE
$80 6 cores 2:21
$160 8 cores 1:53
$120 8 dedicated cores 2:53 (slower than 6 non-dedicated cores which is half the price)

DIGITAL OCEAN
$160 8 cores 2:35
$160 8 optimised cores 1:30

VULTR
$160 8 cores 1:47

I was looking to compare the $160/8 core price point, the Linode $80 test is only included to show that it is faster that the 8 dedicated cores option.