AWS vs. DigitalOcean: Which Cloud Server Is Better?

DZone 's Guide to

AWS vs. DigitalOcean: Which Cloud Server Is Better?

Pulling data from Right Scale's 2017 State of the Cloud Survey, let's compare the features, services, and power of both AWS and Digital Ocean's cloud offerings.

· Cloud Zone ·
Free Resource

The sixth annual State of the Cloud Survey conducted by Right Scale, focusing on the latest cloud computing trends, shows that AWS continues to lead in public cloud adoption.

Image title

What Is “the Cloud”?

The cloud is usually used to refer to a few servers associated with the web that can be contracted as a part of a product or software application service. Cloud-based services can incorporate web hosting, data sharing, and software use.

'The cloud' can likewise refer to distributed computing, where a few servers are connected to share the load. This connection means that, as opposed to using one single powerful server, complex procedures can be distributed over different, smaller servers

In a cloud, there are many distributed resources acting as one. This makes the cloud very tolerant of errors due to the distribution of data. Use of the cloud tends to lessen the creation of different versions of files, due to shared access to records and data.

DigitalOcean and AWS are cloud service platforms that offer database storage and computer power, among other functionalities. DigitalOcean versus AWS is a David versus Goliath story with a twist. The brave upstart, DigitalOcean, faces a set-up behemoth. Like David, DigitalOcean has a technique that plays to its strengths while staying away from a fight with Amazon. But this isn't a battle until the very end. Amazon and AWS address the necessities of various groups of audiences and realizing what each does well will empower you to pick between them.


Image title

DigitalOcean (spelled as a single word; “Digital Ocean” was a 90s-era producer of wireless communications gadgets) is a relatively new cloud hosting supplier. Launched in 2011, DigitalOcean concentrates solely on developers’ needs. The organization currently has 9 data centers positioned in San Francisco, Singapore, Amsterdam, New York, and London.

DigitalOcean concentrates on three key selling points to stand out: simplicity, pricing, and high-performance virtual servers. They zero in on giving developers an easy and quick way to set up affordable Linux instances, which they call droplets. DigitalOcean supports most of the modern Linux distros; Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and CentOS. It is straightforward to set up several applications on their droplets e.g. Ruby on Rails, LAMP, Ghost, Docker, or stack.

DigitalOcean’s pricing is the most affordable among all cloud providers. Pricing starts at $0.007/hr or $5/mo, and they provide an easy transition between the hourly and monthly tariffs. Their most popular package, called a droplet, costs $0.015/hr or $10/mo while providing 1 core processor, 1Gm memory, 30GB SSD disk, and 2TB transfer. On AWS, the closest to this is a package known as t2.small instance, which goes for $0.026/hr, doubling the cost of a droplet on DigitalOcean. One more benefit is that DigitalOcean doesn't have hidden charges for extra services, like more traffic or fixed IP addresses.

DigitalOcean is known for providing very high-performance servers. Their network speed is 1Gbps; all hard disks are SSD and have an incredible start-up time of only 55 secs. DigitalOcean nodes are placed at the top by independent performance tests, way above Amazon machines.

DigitalOcean has a massive stockpile of documentation accessible for its administration, and since it is as yet a moderately basic VPS host, there is generally not much of a need for support. So, they don't offer help by telephone and response times by email can be slow, likely on account of the sheer number of clients they are supporting.

Looking at performance vs. price, DigitalOcean had a notable edge over most of its rivals for years, but that notch has since been shut, as everyone followed their lead and revised their network infrastructure while lowering pricing on entry-level packages. DigitalOcean is a favorite among developers due to the super fast setup times and user-friendliness of their platform.

Finally, DigitalOcean prides itself with a simple, user-friendly setup. Targeting developers only, it provides Linux virtual machines and DNS management. It lacks hosted databases, configuration management, analytics, and load balancing, among other services. DigitalOcean proudly markets themselves as a bare-bones IaaS provider for Linux developers.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Image title

Amazon’s AWS is the market leader by far; it is estimated that Amazon has as much computing muscle as the next 11 rivals on the list combined. They offer an umbrella of various IaaS and PaaS solutions. The most celebrated of them all is the EC2 IaaS solution. Other services offered by AWS include load balancing, storage, content delivery, databases, networking, and content delivery, deployment and configuration management and application development platforms. They own the largest data centers in the world, located strategically in 9 regions around the planet.

It is evident that DigitalOcean cannot compete with Amazon’s AWS, at least concerning features. The only area where DigitalOcean can compete is against the EC2, but even here, DigitalOcean’s capacity is about 1% that of the EC2.

Amazon also has a robust database of help documentation, but with the vast size of service offerings available in the portal, most clients will need to engage with support at some point or another. They have a huge support team that can accommodate this, but support is not included with all packages. Technical assistance charges can take up to 10% of your monthly expenditure, which can add up for larger organizations.

Wrapping It Up

Image title

If you are already with DigitalOcean, you should congratulate yourself for making the smarter choice. If you’re on AWS and running a couple of ECM virtual machines with high costs of bandwidth each month, it might be worth it to switch and take advantage of the free bundled bandwidth.

It is clear that the need for a developer-centric cloud is rising. The intent towards a ‘NoOps’ environment is evident. However, the answer to which cloud server is better solely depends on your project requirements and compliance.

cloud ,aws ,cloud service providers ,digitalocean

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}