Trying Out & Benchmarking The DigitalOcean Cloud

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 28 March 2014 at 06:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 5 Comments.

One of the more popular test requests recently at has been to deliver some reference benchmarks of DigitalOcean's public cloud. DigitalOcean is an increasingly-popular, low-cost public cloud that got started back in 2011. Due to being always inundated with new Linux review and benchmark requests at Phoronix, it has taken a while to get around to it, but at Phoronix today we're posting our first reference benchmarks of the Linux-powered DigitalOcean cloud platform.

DigitalOcean has been on my radar for a while with having it frequently been the subject of test requests for, but I've finally got around to evaluating this public cloud and I've been quite impressed with it as a lower-cost alternative to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The results in this article are just some stand-alone results of various DigitalOcean instance types, but in later articles will be more DigitalOcean benchmarks compared to other cloud platforms and configurations.

For those that have yet to try out this cloud, here's a quick look at the interface before jumping to the performance benchmarks. Like most cloud services, DigitalOcean also has a public API for interface with the cloud.

The web interface is very "Web 2.0"-esque and very easy to use. DigitalOcean refers to virtual machines / cloud instances as droplets.

The current standard instance/droplet types are 512MB / 1 CPU / 20GB SSD / 1TB Transfer, 1GB / 1 CPU / 30GB SSD / 2TB Transfer, 2GB / 2 CPUs / 40GB SSD / 3TB Transfer, 4GB / 2 CPUs / 60GB SSD / 4TB Transfer, 8GB / 4 CPUs / 80GB SSD / 5TB Transfer, and 16GB / 8 CPUs / 160GB SSD / 6TB Transfer. Unfortunately, DigitalOcean does not advertise the actual processors / hardware that is backing each of these droplet types.

DigitalOcean also has some more powerful plans, but they are restricted by default and require opening a support ticket for account verification. These more powerful packages include 32GB / 12 CPUs / 320GB SSD / 7TB Transfer, 48GB / 16 CPUs / 480GB SSD / 8TB Transfer, and 64GB / 20 CPUs / 640GB SSD / 9TB Transfer. The pricing on all their plans is quite competitive and if trying to compare the specs generally appears to come up cheaper than the more popular cloud alternatives of Amazon EC2 and Rackspace.

DigitalOcean currently has hosting facilities in New York, Amsterdam, San Francisco, and Singapore.

DigitalOcean currently only offers Linux distributions for their cloud and includes a choice of Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Arch Linux, and Fedora. With each of these Linux distributions come a range of distribution versions and the choice between the 32-bit or 64-bit versions. There's also various applications that can be pre-deployed on the servers with the different Linux distributions, including a LAMP stack, Ruby on Rails, Docker, GitLab, WordPress, and other server-oriented software packages.

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