What performance fluctuation to expect from a Shared CPU on DO?


We are running a microservice on a shared CPU droplet. This microservice performs occasional, long running, CPU intensive background tasks. The time it takes for a task to finish depends on input, and can take from 10 seconds to an hour (or even more), depending on its complexity.

Because the input data is technically user-provided, I’d like to apply a time duration limit. Say, the task is allowed to run for 30 minutes, and if it’s still not done by then, it’s rejected and marked as non-processable.

However, on a shared CPU, it’s well understood that the available processing power is effectively unknown. Thus, in this case, the very same task can take a different duration to finish.

We want to take this into consideration when deciding on a limit, but for that, a rough estimation of CPU power fluctuation is needed.

Does anyone have any experience as to what to expect here? Say, is there a rough threshold of CPU power that’s always available in practice? For example, can we expect CPU power to be at least 20% of its peak capabilities at all times in practice?

Thanks in advance.

PS: I know simply switching to a dedicated CPU would make this a non-issue, but currently it’s way above our requirements.

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Hi there,

I don’t think that there are any official numbers that could be stated here, but in general, at the moment there are no hard limits for CPU usage on Droplets.

However, DigitalOcean teams monitor for Droplets doing a consistent 100% CPU and might CPU limit Droplets displaying this behavior. Since each droplet shares physical hardware with other Droplets, constant 100% CPU use degrades the service quality for other users on the same node. That way other users would not be impacted as much.

Regards, Bobby