Amazon EC2 vs DigitalOcean: What are the differences?
What is Amazon EC2? Scalable, pay-as-you-go compute capacity in the cloud. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
What is DigitalOcean? Deploy an SSD cloud server in less than 55 seconds with a dedicated IP and root access. We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel.
Amazon EC2 and DigitalOcean can be primarily classified as "Cloud Hosting" tools.
Some of the features offered by Amazon EC2 are:
- Elastic – Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously.
- Completely Controlled – You have complete control of your instances. You have root access to each one, and you can interact with them as you would any machine.
- Flexible – You have the choice of multiple instance types, operating systems, and software packages. Amazon EC2 allows you to select a configuration of memory, CPU, instance storage, and the boot partition size that is optimal for your choice of operating system and application.
On the other hand, DigitalOcean provides the following key features:
- We provide all of our users with high-performance SSD Hard Drives, flexible API, and the ability to select to nearest data center location.
- SSD Cloud Servers in 55 Seconds
- We provide a 99.99% uptime SLA around network, power and virtual server availability. If we fail to deliver, we’ll credit you based on the amount of time that service was unavailable.
"Quick and reliable cloud servers", "Scalability" and "Easy management" are the key factors why developers consider Amazon EC2; whereas "Great value for money", "Simple dashboard" and "Good pricing" are the primary reasons why DigitalOcean is favored.
According to the StackShare community, Amazon EC2 has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3605 company stacks & 1612 developers stacks; compared to DigitalOcean, which is listed in 943 company stacks and 686 developer stacks.
Our company builds micro saas applications. Based on the application we decide whether to deploy it over one of our shared servers or on a dedicated server.
We decided to Lightsail over EC2.
Lightsail is a lightweight, simplified product offering that has a dramatically simplified console. The instances run in a special VPC, but this aspect is also provisioned automatically, and invisible in the console.
Lightsail supports optionally peering this hidden VPC with your default VPC in the same AWS region, allowing Lightsail instances to access services like EC2 and RDS in the default VPC within the same AWS account.
Bandwidth is unlimited, but of course free bandwidth is not -- however, Lightsail instances do include a significant monthly bandwidth allowance before any bandwidth-related charges apply.
It has predictable pricing with no surprises at the end.
The flexibility of EC2 leads inevitably to complexity. Whereas for Lighsail there is virtually no learning curve, here. You don't even technically need to know how to use SSH with a private key -- the Lightsail console even has a built-in SSH client -- but there is no requirement that you use it. You can access these instances normally, with a standard SSH client.
Chose Hetnzer over DigitalOcean and Linode because Hetzner provides much cheaper VPS with much better specs. DigitalOcean might seems like a good choice at first because of how popular it is. But in reality, if all you need is a simple VPS, you won't benefit much from the their oversubscribed datacenters which often underperform other competitors. Linode is also a good choice. They have cheaper options and performs slightly better than DigitalOcean. In the end, choosing a more affordable host helps you save money. That's important when you're running a tight ship.
While Media Temple is more expensive than DigitalOcean, sometimes it is like comparing apples and oranges. DigitalOcean provides what is called Virtual Private Servers ( VPS ). While you seem to be on your own dedicated server, you are, in fact, sharing the same hardware with others.
If you need to be on your own dedicated server, or have other hardware requirements, you do not really have as many options with DigitalOcean. But with Media Temple, the skies the limit ( but so is potentially the cost ).
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I started using DigitalOcean back in January to host a Ghost blog. I was a little worried at first because I didn't have too much experience setting up servers. There was always the option of a full service company that does all the work for you, but the point was that I wanted more control for the purpose of learning. And, learning turned out to be really easy thanks to the great community at DigitalOcean. There are tutorials for just about anything. It has been an amazing learning experience, and now I'm looking forward to hosting more complex projects here. I already have a couple in the works for the near future. I highly recommend it.
I can't rate the Support great or bad, as I haven't really had a need to contact them yet. But everything else has been excellent so far.
A VPS gives the full access that I need, because most of what I do has complex integrations and there is plenty of legacy - very stable, highly tuned code developed over two decades - that I carry with me. My use is also limited to during development, so there is no point going for a full server.
Amazon EC2 is a VPS, except it is cheaper.
Additionally, I used to previously take the code developed on my VPS and deploy it to whatever server the client brought.
With Amazon EC2 the deployment is already done. All that remains it to scale up, add other products like dns, mail, storage and so on, and change the billing so that the client gets invoiced. That makes the process that much more predictable and seamless, and the end result much more stable.
I am a freelancer and a researcher. I have had tried a lot of hosting services over the years. But DIgitalOcean stands out from the rest for its pricing. Its just five dollar a month for a basic node.
And the other reason for loving Digital Ocean is that they support Docker. It you buy a VPS machine, chances are that docker support wont be available as with PV or hypervisor, docker need some extra config.
So far I am loving DO :-)
I use DigitalOcean for testing or hosting my apps. You can set up an Ubuntu server in less than a minute. There are also one-click-install apps, so I don't have to install e.g. the LAMP stack myself. The dashboard has a really easy UI and is easy to use. The costs begin at 5 bucks per month. Also DigitalOcean has a great support and an adorable community. They have a great support page with hundreds of tutorials.
Just started using EC2 myself, but it was the platform used by my previous employer, as well. They are getting easier to use, dashboard improvements over time were well done. Responded fast to outages. They offer a limited free tier which is perfect for my current project, allowing me time to build it to the point where I will need a paid solution. Overall, I'm liking it so far.
About a year and a half ago (written June 2013) we moved from dedicated servers over to AWS. Thanks to AWS, we no longer have to think on a server level. Instead, we think of everything as a cluster of instances, and an instance is essentially a virtual server where we don’t have to worry about the hardware. It’s a relief to not have to worry about the hardware behind the instances.
The clusters we have are: WWW, API, Upload, HAProxy, HBase, MySQL, Memcached, Redis, and ElasticSearch, for an average total of 80 instances. Each cluster handles the job that its name describes, all working together for the common goal of giving you your daily (hourly?) dose of image entertainment.
Below is a diagram of how they all work together:
We liked a lot of things about Heroku. We loved the build packs, and we still in fact use Heroku build packs, but we were frustrated by lack of control about a lot of things. It’s nice to own the complete stack, or rather as far down as AWS goes. It gave us a lot of flexibility and functionality that we didn’t have before. We use a lot of Amazon technology.
I like containers and all, but for zerotoherojs.com I am a one-man band, who also works full time. I don’t have any (dev)ops budget, and therefore I need the reliability and uptime of an actual virtual machine.
That’s where AWS EC2 comes in handy.
Docker containers will be hosted and run on a single Amazon EC2 instance. This will likely be the t2.small or t2.medium instance type as listed here: https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/
DigitalOcean offers us everything we need to test out specific scenarios or we expect from small-servers like our monitoring-system. We also use digital-ocean in long-term and are very satisfied with their performance and scalability.
Because servers. Lots of them. Lots of configurations. Great for mission-specific functions. Video encoding, data aggregation, dedicated processing, mission-critical data stores. Anything you can't hang off your Heroku environment.
Because I like having more control of my deployment, I am currently hosting this on DigitalOcean. I don't need to worry about arbitrary row limits and I can be sure that the app is always running.
We use DigitalOcean to host our build tools (namely Drone.io) for a cheap CI and CD server.
We'll be using this to host the server application during alpha phase.
Been hosting with them for a while now. Never had an issue, great support, great docs: can't beat 'em. Though I'd probably move to AWS for large scale projects.