DigitalOcean Performance Benchmarks

In one of our articles, we did a general review of DigitalOcean. We are now going to do an in-depth performance review of DigitalOcean’s VPS and will reveal the benchmarks in detail. Disk I/O speed testing is a part of this review as they play an important role in overall performance of a server. All tests were conducted on a typical 1GB DigitalOcean VPS which is priced at $10 a month.

How We Benchmark Linux Server with UnixBench

For those of you who have no idea what UnixBench is, it’s a useful and popular benchmarking tool for servers. The final result, “System Benchmarks Index Score”, is an indicator of overall performance of a server. Higher scores are better.

Step 1: A freshly created Linux server or VPS does not come with the required packages to do compilation, so let’s install them first. Also, we need to do “updates” to ensure that everything required for tool installation is in place.

On CentOS / Fedora:

# yum update
# yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
# yum install libX11-devel mesa-libGL-devel perl-Time-HiRes

On Ubuntu / Debian:

# apt-get update
# apt-get install libx11-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libxext-dev perl perl-modules make

Step 2: Run the following commands to (1) download UnixBench from Google Code and (2) start benchmarking a server or a VPS, on CentOS / Fedora / Ubuntu / Debian. This is going to take somewhere between 10 to 30 minutes.

# wget http://byte-unixbench.googlecode.com/files/unixbench-5.1.3.tgz
# tar xvf unixbench-5.1.3.tgz
# cd unixbench-5.1.3
# ./Run

Actual Scores on DigitalOcean VPS

We got the following scores on a typical 1GB VPS:

DigitalOcean Benchmarks - UnixBench Testing Results

On a 512MB VPS:

System Benchmarks Index Score                             910.1

On a 2GB VPS:

System Benchmarks Index Score                             1603.4

How We Benchmark Linux Server Disk I/O Speeds

Here is the linux command for disk I/O speed benchmarking:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/output bs=1M count=1k; rm -f /tmp/output

Actual Test Results on DigitalOcean SSD

On the smallest DigitalOcean VPS, we got an average speed of around 350MB/s which is extremely fast. The following is a sample of our test results.

1024+0 records in 
1024+0 records out 
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 3.07035 s, 350 MB/s

The I/O speed on that DigitalOcean droplet is pretty impressive. We have also tested the Disk I/O speeds of a typical mechanical harddrive (on a Linode VPS before it switched to SSD) with the exact same method and we got 90-110MB/s. DigitalOcean’s SSD disks are several times faster than the spinning hard drives that most hosting providers still use today. Please read one of our articles for more information on DigitalOcean vs Linode Comparison.

Actual Test of Website Speed

We used Pingdom to do a speed test of a website hosted on a 512MB VPS droplet in DigitalOcean’s New York datacenter. According to Pingdom’s report, the test website is faster than 99% of all websites tested by Pingdom.

DigitalOcean Benchmarks - Website Speed Testing

The speed test was initiated from Pingdom’s New York City location, which is quite close to where the test website is hosted. Tests initiated from Pingdom’s other geographic locations also showed excellent results. The same test website is faster than 94% and 88% of all tested websites from Pingdom’s Dallas Texas and Amsterdam locations, respectively. The performance DigitalOcean delivers definitely exceeds our expectation.

Related Articles:

DigitalOcean Free Credit $10
DigitalOcean VPS Cloud Review

Updated: May 20, 2016

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