Amazon EC2 vs DigitalOcean vs Google Compute Engine

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Amazon EC2

47.8K
35.3K
+ 1
2.5K
DigitalOcean

17.8K
13K
+ 1
2.6K
Google Compute Engine

12.1K
9K
+ 1
422

Amazon EC2 vs DigitalOcean vs Google Compute Engine: What are the differences?

  1. Pricing: One of the key differences between Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine is their pricing models. While all three platforms offer pay-as-you-go pricing, Amazon EC2 provides a variety of pricing options including reserved instances and spot instances, which can result in cost savings for users with specific usage patterns. DigitalOcean, on the other hand, offers a simple and transparent pricing structure with flat rates for their virtual machines. Google Compute Engine follows a similar pay-as-you-go model to Amazon EC2 but provides sustained use discounts for instances that run a significant portion of the month.

  2. Data Center Locations: Another major difference lies in the availability of data center locations. Amazon EC2 has data centers distributed globally, allowing users to choose from a wide range of regions for their instances. DigitalOcean, however, has a smaller number of data centers compared to Amazon EC2, which may limit users' choices in terms of proximity to their target audience. Google Compute Engine also has a global network of data centers, providing users with flexibility in selecting regions to host their resources.

  3. Instance Types: The three platforms offer a variety of instance types with different computing capabilities and resource allocations. Amazon EC2 provides a wide range of instances catering to diverse workload requirements, including general-purpose, memory-optimized, and compute-optimized instances. DigitalOcean, although having a simpler offering, provides standard, CPU-optimized, and memory-optimized droplets. Google Compute Engine, similar to Amazon EC2, offers various instance types optimized for different workloads, such as standard, high-memory, and high-CPU instances.

  4. Networking Capabilities: Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine differ in their networking capabilities. Amazon EC2 provides a robust networking infrastructure with features like Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS Direct Connect for enhanced connectivity options. DigitalOcean offers private networking and floating IPs for improved network isolation and scalability. Google Compute Engine includes features like Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Cloud Load Balancing for secure and scalable networking options.

  5. Integration with Other Services: Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine integrate with other cloud services to enhance their functionality and usability. Amazon EC2 seamlessly integrates with other AWS services like Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, and Amazon DynamoDB, providing users with a comprehensive cloud ecosystem. DigitalOcean integrates with services such as Spaces Object Storage and Kubernetes for additional storage and container orchestration capabilities. Google Compute Engine integrates with Google Cloud services like Google Cloud Storage and BigQuery for seamless data storage and processing.

  6. API and Management Tools: The platforms differ in terms of API capabilities and management tools. Amazon EC2 offers a comprehensive API allowing users to automate various tasks and manage resources programmatically. DigitalOcean provides a well-documented API for managing droplets, volumes, and networking configurations. Google Compute Engine offers RESTful APIs for seamless integration of resources and provides tools such as Google Cloud Console and Cloud SDK for efficient management of instances and services.

In Summary, Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine differ in pricing models, data center locations, instance types, networking capabilities, integration with other services, and API and management tools, providing users with a range of options to choose from based on their specific requirements.

Decisions about Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine

Albeit restricted to only a few places worlwide compared to its peers in the cloud segment, I am yet to find another provider capable of delivering a score over 5000 (Geekbench) in a benchmark on a single CPU machine, and each machine costs $6 a month. For homelab and experienced users who don't need DBaaS or IaaC's, it's a pretty straightforward choice. A more comprehensive review of Vultr's HF machines can be found here.

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Tejas Sangoi
Founder, CEO at Thalia Technologies · | 4 upvotes · 41.1K views

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. It has predictable pricing with no surprises at the end.

  5. 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.

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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.

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Peter Schmalfeldt
Senior Software Engineer · | 3 upvotes · 62K views

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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Jerome/Zen Quah
Shared insights
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Amazon EC2Amazon EC2DigitalOceanDigitalOcean

DigitalOcean was where I began; its USD5/month is extremely competitive and the overall experience as highly user-friendly.

However, their offerings were lacking and integrating with other resources I had on AWS was getting more costly (due to transfer costs on AWS). Eventually I moved the entire project off DO's Droplets and onto AWS's EC2.

One may initially find the cost (w/o free tier) and interface of AWS daunting however with good planning you can achieve highly cost-efficient systems with savings plans, spot instances, etcetera.

Do not dive into AWS head-first! Seriously, don't. Stand back and read pricing documentation thoroughly. You can, not to the fault of AWS, easily go way overbudget. Your first action upon getting your AWS account should be to set up billing alarms for estimated and current bill totals.

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Craig Finch
Principal Consultant at Rootwork InfoTech · | 6 upvotes · 185.7K views

We first selected Google Cloud Platform about five years ago, because HIPAA compliance was significantly cheaper and easier on Google compared to AWS. We have stayed with Google Cloud because it provides an excellent command line tool for managing resources, and every resource has a well-designed, well-documented API. SDKs for most of these APIs are available for many popular languages. I have never worked with a cloud platform that's so amenable to automation. Google is also ahead of its competitors in Kubernetes support.

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Stephen Fox
Artificial Intelligence Fellow · | 2 upvotes · 188.7K views

GCE is much more user friendly than EC2, though Amazon has come a very long way since the early days (pre-2010's). This can be seen in how easy it is to edit the storage attached to an instance in GCE: it's under the instance details and is edited inline. In AWS you have to click the instance > click the storage block device (new screen) > click the edit option (new modal) > resize the volume > confirm (new model) then wait a very long time. Google's is nearly instant.

  • In both cases, the instance much be shut down.

There also the preference between "user burden-of-security" and automatic security: AWS goes for the former, GCE the latter.

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Most bioinformatics shops nowadays are hosting on AWS or Azure, since they have HIPAA tiers and offer enterprise SLA contracts. Meanwhile Heroku hasn't historically supported HIPAA. Rackspace and Google Cloud would be other hosting providers we would consider, but we just don't get requests for them. So, we mostly focus on AWS and Azure support.

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Pros of Amazon EC2
Pros of DigitalOcean
Pros of Google Compute Engine
  • 647
    Quick and reliable cloud servers
  • 515
    Scalability
  • 393
    Easy management
  • 277
    Low cost
  • 271
    Auto-scaling
  • 89
    Market leader
  • 80
    Backed by amazon
  • 79
    Reliable
  • 67
    Free tier
  • 58
    Easy management, scalability
  • 13
    Flexible
  • 10
    Easy to Start
  • 9
    Elastic
  • 9
    Web-scale
  • 9
    Widely used
  • 7
    Node.js API
  • 5
    Industry Standard
  • 4
    Lots of configuration options
  • 2
    GPU instances
  • 1
    Simpler to understand and learn
  • 1
    Extremely simple to use
  • 1
    Amazing for individuals
  • 1
    All the Open Source CLI tools you could want.
  • 560
    Great value for money
  • 364
    Simple dashboard
  • 362
    Good pricing
  • 300
    Ssds
  • 250
    Nice ui
  • 191
    Easy configuration
  • 156
    Great documentation
  • 138
    Ssh access
  • 135
    Great community
  • 24
    Ubuntu
  • 13
    Docker
  • 12
    IPv6 support
  • 10
    Private networking
  • 8
    99.99% uptime SLA
  • 7
    Simple API
  • 7
    Great tutorials
  • 6
    55 Second Provisioning
  • 5
    One Click Applications
  • 4
    Dokku
  • 4
    Node.js
  • 4
    LAMP
  • 4
    Debian
  • 4
    CoreOS
  • 3
    1Gb/sec Servers
  • 3
    Word Press
  • 3
    LEMP
  • 3
    Simple Control Panel
  • 3
    Mean
  • 3
    Ghost
  • 2
    Runs CoreOS
  • 2
    Quick and no nonsense service
  • 2
    Django
  • 2
    Good Tutorials
  • 2
    Speed
  • 2
    Ruby on Rails
  • 2
    GitLab
  • 2
    Hex Core machines with dedicated ECC Ram and RAID SSD s
  • 1
    CentOS
  • 1
    Spaces
  • 1
    KVM Virtualization
  • 1
    Amazing Hardware
  • 1
    Transfer Globally
  • 1
    Fedora
  • 1
    FreeBSD
  • 1
    Drupal
  • 1
    FreeBSD Amp
  • 1
    Magento
  • 1
    ownCloud
  • 1
    RedMine
  • 1
    My go to server provider
  • 1
    Ease and simplicity
  • 1
    Nice
  • 1
    Find it superfitting with my requirements (SSD, ssh.
  • 1
    Easy Setup
  • 1
    Cheap
  • 1
    Static IP
  • 1
    It's the easiest to get started for small projects
  • 1
    Automatic Backup
  • 1
    Great support
  • 1
    Quick and easy to set up
  • 1
    Servers on demand - literally
  • 1
    Reliability
  • 0
    Variety of services
  • 0
    Managed Kubernetes
  • 87
    Backed by google
  • 79
    Easy to scale
  • 75
    High-performance virtual machines
  • 57
    Performance
  • 52
    Fast and easy provisioning
  • 15
    Load balancing
  • 12
    Compliance and security
  • 9
    Kubernetes
  • 8
    GitHub Integration
  • 7
    Consistency
  • 3
    Good documentation
  • 3
    One Click Setup Options
  • 3
    Free $300 credit (12 months)
  • 2
    Ease of Use and GitHub support
  • 2
    Great integration and product support
  • 2
    Escort
  • 1
    Integration with mobile notification services
  • 1
    Easy Snapshot and Backup feature
  • 1
    Low cost
  • 1
    Support many OS
  • 1
    Very Reliable
  • 1
    Nice UI

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Cons of Amazon EC2
Cons of DigitalOcean
Cons of Google Compute Engine
  • 13
    Ui could use a lot of work
  • 6
    High learning curve when compared to PaaS
  • 3
    Extremely poor CPU performance
  • 3
    No live support chat
  • 3
    Pricing
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    What is Amazon EC2?

    It 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?

    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.

    What is Google Compute Engine?

    Google Compute Engine is a service that provides virtual machines that run on Google infrastructure. Google Compute Engine offers scale, performance, and value that allows you to easily launch large compute clusters on Google's infrastructure. There are no upfront investments and you can run up to thousands of virtual CPUs on a system that has been designed from the ground up to be fast, and to offer strong consistency of performance.

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    What companies use Amazon EC2?
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    What tools integrate with Amazon EC2?
    What tools integrate with DigitalOcean?
    What tools integrate with Google Compute Engine?

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    Blog Posts

    Jan 26 2022 at 4:34AM

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    DigitalOcean

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    What are some alternatives to Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean, and Google Compute Engine?
    Amazon LightSail
    Everything you need to jumpstart your project on AWS—compute, storage, and networking—for a low, predictable price. Launch a virtual private server with just a few clicks.
    Amazon S3
    Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web
    Amazon EC2 Container Service
    Amazon EC2 Container Service lets you launch and stop container-enabled applications with simple API calls, allows you to query the state of your cluster from a centralized service, and gives you access to many familiar Amazon EC2 features like security groups, EBS volumes and IAM roles.
    Beanstalk
    A single process to commit code, review with the team, and deploy the final result to your customers.
    JavaScript
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    See all alternatives