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An Update On the Linode vs. Digital Ocean post

October 4th, 2013 by Andrew Smales

Hello! So again, this isn’t completely slanted towards podcast hosting stuff, but because of the great reaction to my previous article on Linode vs Digital Ocean, I thought I’d add some additional info that has come up. So this isn’t a Linode or Digital Ocean review per se, more of a follow-up.

First of all, just popularity-wise, DigitalOcean continues to grow at a crazy rate! These guys are signing up customers all over the place, and Netcraft wrote a report this summer that demonstrates this. One crazy metric from that article: In December 2012, Digital Ocean had 100 web-facing computers, but by June 2013 it had 7000.

Now that’s obviously nice for Digital Ocean, but what does it mean to customers? Well, I’d make an argument that it’s very easy to imply a pretty high level of customer satisfaction from this huge growth. Word of mouth is so important when it comes to this stuff, and there’s clearly a lot going on. How do we know this? In my opinion, that kind of insane growth can only happen when a company is basically doing everything right. If Digitalocean was making any significant amount of people unhappy, it would impact that number pretty quickly.

One other fun data point was provide in this tweet today by Richard Taylor. It shows the same app running on Digital Ocean vs AWS (Amazon Web Services), and the app is running massively faster on Digitalocean, despite the fact it’s on a $20 instance, versus running on two $100 instances on AWS. I think it’s safe to assume that whatever the app is, it’s getting a big speed up from D.O.’s SSDs, but that’s pretty typical of many, many web apps these days imo. Here’s the graph in case that tweet ever disappears:

(credit: Richard Taylor on Twitter @moomerman)

So things are looking great for Digital Ocean, what about Linode? Nothing but good stuff to report on them too, actually!

Linode have continued to keep up their great customer service, and my servers with them have been running fantastically. In fact, a couple of months ago, I started serving a bunch of static files from a Linode server, that I had previously serving from elsewhere. (There was actually another root cause for that, but I was pretty happy to move those over.)

The big news though, since I wrote the previous post, is that Linode just went ahead and doubled every customers storage space in late July! No extra charges were involved or anything, customers just had to complete a short procedure inside the Linode Dashboard in order to use the new space (and they do make the process fairly simple, a few button clicks and a small amount of downtime that depends on how data is on your VPS.)

This sort of free upgrade is very typical of Linode. A few days after I wrote the previous blog post, they gave everyone 20% more storage space (I edited the original post at that time and mentioned this), and they have also doubled all customers RAM in the past, as well as (and this one was huge for me), multiplying bandwidth allotments by 10x in March 2013.

So that’s about it for now. My original post got a lot of good feedback and I wanted to just kind of let everyone know where these services were at now. If anyone was deciding between these two, had looked over their prices and specs, and was on the fence right now, my advice is that you can’t really go wrong with either, but I would go with Digital Ocean for smaller projects, or perhaps sites that will benefit greatly from SSDs, and go with Linode for bigger projects, and if you think you’ll have a need for their more mature, developed features (Linode have more features in their Dashboard, and just introduced a new statistics collection and graphing service, called Longview, that you can install on your server to manage it better.)

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