DigitalOcean vs Google Compute Engine: What are the differences?
Developers describe DigitalOcean as "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. On the other hand, Google Compute Engine is detailed as "Run large-scale workloads on virtual machines hosted on Google's infrastructure". 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.
DigitalOcean and Google Compute Engine belong to "Cloud Hosting" category of the tech stack.
Some of the features offered by DigitalOcean are:
- 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.
On the other hand, Google Compute Engine provides the following key features:
- High-performance virtual machines- Compute Engine’s Linux VMs are consistently performant, scalable, highly secure and reliable. Supported distros include Debian and CentOS. You can choose from micro-VMs to large instances.
- Powered by Google’s global network- Create large compute clusters that benefit from strong and consistent cross-machine bandwidth. Connect to machines in other data centers and to other Google services using Google’s private global fiber network.
- (Really) Pay for what you use- Google bills in minute-level increments (with a 10-minute minimum charge), so you don’t pay for unused computing time.
"Great value for money", "Simple dashboard" and "Good pricing" are the key factors why developers consider DigitalOcean; whereas "Backed by google", "Easy to scale" and "High-performance virtual machines" are the primary reasons why Google Compute Engine is favored.
DigitalOcean, BlaBlaCar, and Accenture are some of the popular companies that use DigitalOcean, whereas Google Compute Engine is used by 9GAG, Snapchat, and CircleCI. DigitalOcean has a broader approval, being mentioned in 943 company stacks & 686 developers stacks; compared to Google Compute Engine, which is listed in 592 company stacks and 427 developer stacks.
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 ).
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.
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.
I chose DigitalOcean because their pricing is very fair. Their tech support is very quick to respond to any inquiries you may have. They also have a community of developer who are more then happy to help you with any non-account issues you may have.
The drawbacks of this decision are their managed services can be quite pricey at $15/mo extra for a MySQL database.
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