Well, I see this DigitalOcean vs AWS fight as a tiny, young upstart (DO) facing competition from an established leviathan (AWS). To be honest, this isn’t a face-off since DigitalOcean and AWS address the needs of different audiences. So, we are going to help you solve the following questions:

  • Which service should I use if I am completely new to Linux Server Management?
  • Which will be a better host for my personal blog: DigitalOcean or Amazon EC2?
  • In DigitalOcean vs AWS EC2, which is better for autoscaling?

Before we jump onto to decide which one is ‘superior’, the need is to analyze the requirements of your project. 

How to Analyze the Needs of Your Business?

First, you have to understand what type of business you have. You can do this by analyzing the following:

  • Size of Business: Are you a startup or a big venture?
  • Type of Application: Is it a static website or your application’s critical server?
  • Traffic Estimation: What is the range of traffic you see on an average?

Rate of Growth

Here’s the popularity of Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud (red) vs DigitalOcean (blue) in past 5 years. From the Google Trends, it is clear that DigitalOcean is steadily growing while AWS has maintained its popularity constantly.

DigitalOcean VS AWS EC2: Finding the Winner

On the basis of following categories, you can find the best fit for your project.

1. Range of Services

DigitalOcean sells standard VPS servers with a very flexible provisioning and billing. The majority of the audience is developers who want to deploy ‘servers’ and applications to test it out.

DO focuses on selling cheap compute droplets, which is one of AWS’s many products.

Since AWS has the ‘everything for everyone’ approach, it sells multiple products in multiple categories. You can choose various products ranging from storage, networking, to database and compute.

2. Set up

Both are easy to set up. They are straightforward. AWS and DigitalOcean have an API that you can configure to add/launch/destroy/delete your projects. But DigitalOcean has a nicer UI for launching droplets.

 

With DO’s user interface, it doesn’t seem like you are sitting in Boeing 777 cockpit. No extra buttons, levers, or knobs. Just a couple of clicks and you are good to deploy your first server.

digitalocean vs aws -DO control panel

 

So, a plus 1 to DO.

3. Time Value

Here, it depends on the type of project you are working on.

For instance, if you are a developer looking for a MySQL instance, you should spin up a DigitalOcean droplet and setup MySQL yourself.

Whereas if you are a senior DevOps professional working for an enterprise, you don’t have time to invest in Operating Systems, patches, and updates. So an obvious choice is Amazon RDS.

4. Pricing

DigitalOcean wins with both eyes closed in the pricing structure point. They have simplified pricing by bulking it all together. They charge $5/month..less than a cup of coffee!

It is not only the most affordable but also has a transparent structure. With no complex calculator to guess your usage, it is definitely the best choice for startups. You have the choice for hourly and monthly payment. All droplets are billed hourly.

5. Complexity

Both Amazon’s Instance and DigitalOcean’s Droplets could be hard to manage if you are totally new to IT world. But if you know the basics, you might not have a hard time managing both DO droplets or AWS EC2 although other AWS offerings like Lambda, ELB, VPC, etc are a bit complex.

6. Support

The support system provided by DigitalOcean is far more superior than Amazon when you are new to the cloud. However, if you are an advanced user, DigitalOcean and Amazon’s services are almost on the same plane.

Amazon’s process is a bit mechanical which is fine considering their platform and scale. DigitalOcean has a huge community for developers and users. There are tutorials, how-to guides, and everything you need answers to.

7. Compatibility With Windows OS

If you are using Microsoft Windows operating system, then DigitalOcean isn’t an optimum choice. You can deploy servers using predefined Linux installation only. However, Amazon EC2 is compatible with any OS. So, a plus to EC2 in DigitalOcean vs AWS match! 

8. Advanced Operations

Basically, DigitalOcean is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), where you have to manage almost everything (like security, operating system, databases, and more). Whereas, AWS offers managed services (Platform as a Service or PaaS), which manages everything on its own except applications.

aws vs digitalocean

 

Conclusion

However, the DigitalOcean vs AWS fight cannot be justified. The former is targeting a small market of developers who need a small high-performance instance. Whereas, Amazon is massive with its ‘everyone-approach’.

Interestingly, Amazon is still facing a tough competition from a startup when it comes to user experience, and performance. Facing problems in managing your Instance or Droplets? Feel free to contact us 🙂

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