Mid Market Majors

There’s three companies that I think of as mid-market hosts:

What do I mean by mid market?  They’re between two extremes:

  • Tech behemoths like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google with their big public clouds.
  • Joe High School and his OVH dedi.

Some distinguishing characteristics:

  • They’re big, by hosting company standards
  • APIs and features that are custom to their platform, though not as extensive as AWS.
  • Hourly billing
  • Bundled bandwidth (unlike public cloud)
  • Backups/snapshots and similar features
  • Custom control panel that’s way better than Solus but maybe not as wildly dense as big public cloud
  • Many locations

The pricing between DO, Linode, and Vultr always seems to be always in flux, and they tend to emphasize different things – a little more RAM with one, a little more disk with another.  Vultr has recently ventured into the $2.50 territory, while Linode has doubled RAM (to 1GB) for its smallest plan, and I’m sure DigitalOcean will respond.

Your choice between these three is probably going to come down to which service attribute they emphasize, the network location, and if they have the specific feature you want.  Read on…

Mid Market Comparison

Block Volume/Addon Disk✔︎✔︎✔︎
Custom ISO✖︎✖︎✔︎
DDOS Protection✖︎✖︎✔︎
Floating IP✔︎✖︎✔︎
Hourly Billing✔︎✔︎✔︎
Load Balancer✔︎✔︎✖︎
Scripts on Installation✔︎✔︎✔︎
SSH Keys on Installation✔︎✖︎✔︎
Storage Nodes✖︎✖︎✔︎

Digital Ocean

DigitalOcean was famous for throwing around crazy promos, and that seems to have settled down.  But yeah, they’ve got venture capital money and lots of big stuff.  I like DO a lot, as I’ve always found performance excellent and their API to be easy to use.  I’ve just never gotten stuck or seen glitchiness with DO.  Every quarter or two, they roll out new features: load balancers, block storage, etc.  One downside is that as of this writing, they’re not offering any kind of anti-DDOS protection.

Features: block storage, floating IP, load balancers, snapshots/backups, ssh keys on install

Missing: DDOS protection, custom ISO



Vultr is just like DO only different.  Well, that’s the feeling anyway.  Slightly different network locations, slightly different feature set.  I’ve had a very good experience there and they are a bit more feature-ful than DO.

Features: block storage, floating IP, snapshots/backups, ssh keys on install, DDOS protection, custom ISO, official OpenBSD support (woot!)



Linode has been around a very long time, and to some extent they have benefitted from being early.  I don’t find their offerings as good as DO or Vultr, to be honest, because they’re not as feature rich.  For a long time if someone said “I just need a basic Linux VPS that is really reliable and I’ll pay a little more for that” I’d suggest Linode, but now they’re not really special any more and have somewhat fallen behind the better funded DO and Vultr.  That’s not to say Linode is bad – by no means.  They’re still a good provider, and continue to fight aggressively in the marketplace, but they don’t have all the features.

Features: block storage (and you can partition and boot from multiple partitions), add-on monitoring (Longview) is very nice, backups, load balancers

Missing: DDOS protection, custom ISO (in the not-a-preset-of-Linux-choices sense), ssh keys on install, floating IP, a panel written in the 21st century