Updated VPS Hosting Price Comparison (June 2010)

Update: There’s a more recent version of the data below at http://blog.jeffreymcmanus.com/projects/hosting.

Linode announced that they’re increasing the amount of RAM by a lot (like 40%) on all of their virtual server products today. I’ve been watching pricing for a few of these services for about a year now and I’ve made a few posts comparing pricing. Today, for most servers under 8GB of RAM, Linode is a better value among the services we’re tracking. Here are the details:

RAM (MB) HD (GB) Bandwidth (GB) Price/Month Cost/RAM Notes
Amazon EC2 Large 7680 850 1024 248.88 0.0324
Amazon EC2 Extra Large 15360 1690 1024 497.76 0.0324
Amazon EC2 Small 1740.8 160 1024 62.22 0.0357 Maybe buy Linode 1536 instead
Linode 512 512 16 200 19.95 0.0390 Best value for this size
Linode 768 768 24 300 29.95 0.0390 Best value for this size
Linode 1024 1024 32 400 39.95 0.0390 Best value for this size
Linode 1536 1536 48 600 59.95 0.0390 Best value for this size
Linode 2048 2048 64 800 79.95 0.0390 Best value for this size
Linode 4096 4096 128 1600 159.95 0.0391 Best value for this size
Slicehost 15.5GB 15872 620 2500 800.00 0.0504 Buy Amazon EC2 Extra Large instead
Slicehost 8GB 8192 320 2500 450.00 0.0549 Buy Amazon EC2 Large instead
Slicehost 4GB 4096 160 2500 250.00 0.0610 Buy Linode 4096 instead
Slicehost 3GB 3072 120 1800 190.00 0.0618 Buy Linode 4096 instead
Slicehost 2GB 2048 80 1200 130.00 0.0635 Buy Linode 2048 instead
Slicehost 768 768 30 450 49.00 0.0638 Buy Linode 768 instead
Slicehost 384 384 15 225 25.00 0.0651 Buy Linode 512 instead
Slicehost 1.5GB 1536 60 900 100.00 0.0651 Buy Amazon EC2 Small instead
Slicehost 1GB 1024 40 600 70.00 0.0684 Buy Linode 1024 instead
Slicehost 512 512 20 300 38.00 0.0742 Buy Linode 512 instead
Slicehost 256 256 10 150 20.00 0.0781 Buy Linode 512 instead

The chart is sorted according to best value, defined in terms of cost per megabyte of RAM per month.

This time rather than placing the data in a chart like I did last time, I calculated it in a spreadsheet so I could come up with a total cost per megabyte of RAM per month. I also included pointers to which product is the better value choice at each price point, so, for example, if you’re thinking about getting the smallest Slicehost machine, you’d actually be better off with a Linode 512, which provides twice the RAM for $0.05 less per month.

As in the past, I’ve stacked up two VPS hosting providers (Linode and Slicehost) against Amazon EC2. (I didn’t do Rackspace Cloud this time because I have yet to hear much about the reputation of that service, and they charge for bandwidth and storage separately so it’s more difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Amazon EC2 charges for bandwidth/storage separately, too, but they provide a handy calculator for that and I couldn’t find anything comparable for Rackspace. Also, Slicehost is owned by Rackspace now.)

As in the past, everyone’s battling for supremacy at the low end but Amazon is still a better choice if you a) need a larger machine, b) need a guaranteed level of CPU, or c) need some of Amazon’s programmability features such as the ability to spin up new virtual machines automatically or if you’re going to use their automatic load balancing feature.

I’d been thinking about using Linode for a while and today’s pricing changes compelled me to sign up for an account for a few upcoming projects we’re working on. So far, so good — I like that Linode’s control panel is a little more granular than Slicehost’s, although I was initially tripped up by the fact that they don’t automatically boot a new instance for your when you provision it.

It’ll be interesting to see what Slicehost does in terms of pricing now, since they haven’t done anything significant there in the year since I’ve been paying close attention to these products.