VPS or Dedicated Server?

Posted March 4, 2017 101.1k views

I remember Digital Ocean used to provide SSD VPS. I have a question now.
Is Digital Ocean Providing VPS or dedicated servers?
Cloud Servers here are referred to VPS or dedicated servers since I remember they don’t provide dedicated servers anytime soon.
Please help!

1 comment
  • I still have some confusion here, VPS’s can have pinned vCPU/s. So if they are they would be dedicated. So my question is are they pinned or are they floating?

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9 answers


DigitalOcean only provides VPS’s (Droplets), however, a VPS functions much like a Dedicated Server in many ways.

You’re able to choose your OS during deployment and you’ll receive root access which allows you to configure the VPS to your liking.

  • But VPS is virtual server and indeed have virtual resources and not dedicated resources in a technical way. So a VPS always stays a VPS without dedicated resources like a dedicated server. Tell me if I am wrong? :)

    • @sagargulati

      VPS’s are deployed using KVM, which is virtualization, however, the RAM that is allocated to your VPS is dedicated in a sense that no other VPS will be able to use it. You’re able to fully utilize 100%. There’s no burstable RAM (as there would be on an OpenVZ or similar VPS), so the RAM you see is the RAM you’ll receive.

      CPU Cores are shared, though your Droplet gets it’s own share; whether that’s 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 CPU Cores depends on the Droplet size you choose.

Hi there,

Just came across this question in 2020 and wanted to add some additional information to what has been said already.

Resources like RAM, disk storage, and network bandwidth are always dedicated with both dedicated servers and VPSs.

The main downside of a VPS compared to a dedicated server has always been the CPU, but now with DigitalOcean, you can choose between shared CPU and dedicated CPU plans for dedicated vCPU so you kind of get the best of both worlds.

Dedicated CPU Droplets have guaranteed access to the full hyperthread at all times. With shared CPU Droplets, the hyperthread allocated to the Droplet may be shared between multiple other Droplets. When a shared CPU Droplet experiences heavier load, the hypervisor dynamically allocates more hyperthread(s) to it.

DigitalOcean now offers a few different types of Droplets/VPS plans:

  • Standard
  • Dedicated CPU: General Purpose Droplet
  • CPU-Optimized
  • Memory-Optimized

Here is a quick rundown of the differences:

Standard Droplets

Standard Droplets are still a great solution for things like Blogs, Discussion forums, Content Management Systems (CMS), Small databases, Dev/test servers,
Repository hosting and even Microservices as they have the most efficient CPU usage at a lower cost for workloads that would underuse dedicated threads.

Dedicated CPU: General Purpose Droplet

General Purpose Droplets have a balanced ratio of memory to dedicated CPU, suitable for a wide variety of production workloads. They are suitable for:

  • Medium-to-high-traffic web servers
  • E-commerce sites
  • Medium-sized databases
  • Enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS)

Dedicated CPU: CPU-Optimized Droplet

If your workloads require guaranteed and sustained CPU performance but are not as memory-intensive, CPU-Optimized Droplets let you minimize cost per dedicated vCPU. CPU-Optimized Droplets are suitable for:

  • CI/CD
  • Video encoding
  • Machine learning
  • Ad serving
  • Batch processing
  • Heavily loaded front-end web servers

Dedicated CPU: Memory-Optimized Droplet

In case that you have a setup that requires a lot of RAM, like large production databases or in-memory caches, which require larger amounts of memory to store working sets of data. Without sufficient RAM, such applications typically run slowly, or can occasionally become unstable and crash. With 8 GB of RAM for each vCPU, Memory-Optimized Droplets are ideal for these applications:

  • High-performance SQL or NoSQL databases
  • Web scale in-memory caches and indexes
  • Real-time big data processing
  • Resource-intensive or mission-critical business apps, especially those with large JVM requirements

For more information I would strongly recommend going through the official documentation here:

Hope that this helps!

  • very good explanation , but I want to know

    Did you mean with “hyperthread” in the follwing Sentence

    “Dedicated CPU Droplets have guaranteed access to the full *hyperthread *at all times”

    that 1vcpu in dedicated servers is equal to physical processor core
    or a half of core
    as you know (1 core has two thread)??

DigitalOcean only offers VPSes.

@asb : can u help?

DigitalOcean specialize in vps. Tks

Dedicated (server) - in many cases means - bare metal server. Provider basically rents to you hardware hooked to Network/IPMI.

VPS - is virtual server inside an Hypervisor like KVM, Xen, Hyper-V, whatever.

Dedicated (resource, like cpu) - means, server running inside Hypervisor(i.e. it is VPS server) and Hoster pinned this resource to your VM for dedicate usage.

What means pinned?

VPS server running inside Hypervisor, which on his own running on bare-metal server. Hypervisor might run several VPS on one Bare Metal server at same time and depends on configuration, several VPS might share CPU cores(and another resources) or not.

In terms of DO - it is VPS only provider, which running servers inside Hypervisor.

Standard means - shared cpu core
Dedicated - pinned to only one VM