Should you get a regular VPS or CPU-optimized, or memory-optimized instance? Many of the biggest VPS companies (Linode, Digital Ocean, Google Cloud, Amazon) now offer several different instance types. But how do you know which one is the best for your web server?
My recommendations below are intended for WEB-SERVER use only. I do not account for gaming server, bitcoin mining, or any other kind of server use.
STANDARD plans are best for general use
Don’t know what you need? If you have to ask this question, I highly recommend the general plans for you. They typically come with a CPU/MEMORY ratio of 1:2. Which is 1 CPU CORE for every 2 GB of ram. I find it to be a nice balance with enough CPU to process things and enough ram to store frequent processes and database queries.
Again, if you don’t know what you’re doing…stick to the standard general plans and then you can always upgrade from there depending on your resource usage. Standard plans are fine for 99% of the sites out there. I’ve never ran into a scenario where we really need one of the more extreme plans like CPU-optimized or MEMORY-optimized.
Example sites for STANDARD plans:
- Any site, really.
- Blogs, business, ecommerce, etc.
CPU-OPTIMIZED plans are best for dynamic processes
Are you CONSTANTLY running many dynamic processes and almost none of it is cacheable to storable in memory? Going with more CPU cores or a dedicated-CPU plans are a great idea here. Do note that having more CPU cores means you probably get a faster burst whereas having a dedicated CPU means your cores aren’t shared with anyone else (theoretically) and less subject to noise from neighbors. The former is better if you simply like having faster overall speed. The latter is better if you need guaranteed around-the-clock performance. It’s like having to share 4 laundry machines with neighbors vs having only 1 but it’s all yours.
Good candidates for high CPU usage are any sites with heavy processing and/or mostly showing private (uncacheable) dynamic content.
Example sites for CPU-optimized plans:
- Sites with many [uncacheable] logged-in members. Membership sites.
- Sites with lots of recent numbers, scores, tickers, stocks, etc.
- Some ecommerce sites.
- Any site not using much caching and preferring to process everything dynamically.
MEMORY-OPTIMIZED plans are great for caching processes
Do you have tons of cached database queries or have a need to cache many items in memory? Do you really have items that need to be stored in memory because SSD’s and dynamic processing isn’t fast enough? Memory-optimized plans may be the right choice for you. Great for heavy object caching. Great for caching many items and/or items with short expiry times.
Example sites for MEMORY-optimized plans:
- Can also be any sites with ecommerce, logged-in members, or also numbers.
- Any site preferring to short-term cache items instead of processing them dynamically.