DigitalOcean vs Vultr - The Asian Face-off

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Howdy everyone!  

So I decided to spin up an instance of DigitalOcean Singapore and Vultr Japan to see which one truly kicks more butt for Asia! (Or in my case... for me).  This may look like a review, but its not meant to be a review (probably because I just got this and believe a true review would require a few months of usage and interaction with the support staff).  

Let's get this rolling!  

DigitalOcean - Singapore

DigitalOcean Singapore is located in Equinix's Singapore facility (or so as their blog post states here), but it seems they're not using Equinix's network blend there because it's incredibly lacking.  Either way, network to me (Korea) from their Singapore Datacenter is around 120ms during peak hours and 100ms during regular hours.  

Here's the serverbear benchmark: http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2014/03/06/l112zUCMCPYolGFU

Vultr - Japan

Vultr's backed by Choopa and is in their Tokyo Datacenter location (didn't really try to look for specific information behind it).  I'm not too sure specifically what their network blend is nor did I really spend the time to look it up further than a simple bgp lookup.  For my uses (to Korea), I think they just plain screwed up the routing because my traces goes from Korea to Los Angeles (Level3) then Los Angeles (NTT) to Tokyo.  

Here's the serverbear benchmark: http://serverbear.com/benchmark/2014/03/06/9vEoPjgVAg1OOokC (Ignore how it says DigitalOcean, I entered Vultr but it just didn't seem to accept it and think it was DigitalOcean)

Comparison

Hardware

They're all 1 CPU with 40GB HDD, but the CPU for Vultr seems to be better as it received higher unixbench ratings and was also clocked at 3.4 GHz (in comparison to DigitalOcean's 2.0GHz CPU).  

IO Vultr is better but my assumption is that I'm on an unpopulated Vultr server in comparison to DO's already-filled/full server.  Regardless, not a big issue at the moment because I have way more than I'll ever need for both companies.

Network

Now... this is where it bothers me.  Vultr should technically have better network to me because it's RIGHT THERE next to me.  Unfortunately, Vultr has the worst network to me.  DigitalOcean and Vultr though seems to have a decent connection in the country they're located in, and their network internationally seems to be a big "Ehhhhhhhh".  Vultr does have a faster route to Cachefly than DigitalOcean though.

Conclusion

This isn't supposed to be a review, it was supposed to be a simple comparison and presentation of information (especially since I just got this and I immediately ran this test).  DO seems to have a better network for my uses but Vultr seems to have better hardware (or at least better per VM).  

So here's the discussion part, does anyone see Vultr beating DO?  Anyone see it as a good alternative for Asia in general?
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Interesting comparison outside of the US.  Thanks for it.

Care to post some traceroutes to common Asian locations from each?  So we can see wonky routing and where each maybe excels and fails?
 

tchen

New Member
Just curious if you've submitted a ticket to them (Vultr) with the traceroute and their response.
 

Mun

Never Forget
Drmike, I think there is some network issues with Vultr, they might use CC for there hosting. You should look into it.

Nods assuredly

(I'm not fibbing man)
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Sure.

There's multiple IPs I operate out of, but the main IP I use peers with these ISPs: 

http://bgp.he.net/AS9318 

http://bgp.he.net/AS9270 

http://bgp.he.net/AS1237

http://bgp.he.net/AS3786

http://bgp.he.net/AS4766

There's this one thing that's been annoying the living crap out of me.

[email protected] LA During Low Network

http://paste.ee/p/THPgY 

Quadranet LA During Low Network

http://paste.ee/p/BbTIy

If you look at those results, you'd think [email protected] is perfect for my use (and it is during the right times), but during peak network usage (aka evenings) the network is incredibly congested to [email protected] that my ping to [email protected] is usually around 300+ms while Quadranet remains more consistent with 150ms.  My previous tests shows that Quadranet utilizing PCCW as one of their upstream providers really helps relieve network congestion from Asia.  

Of course HE Fremont location is around 150ms as well even during peak network hours.  [email protected] is great for the US and the general west-coast, but is pretty unreliable for the rest of Asia (at least for Korea).  

I'll try to get some tests during high-network times but don't count on it.  Been pretty busy over here.  
 
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HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Just curious if you've submitted a ticket to them (Vultr) with the traceroute and their response.
I probably should.

I'll get right on it right now.  Thanks for reminding me.  

Edit: And email sent to my go-to  support guy (If anyone knows, Mike from Vultr has been an incredibly helpful person)
 
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DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
Anyone see it as a good alternative for Asia in general?
There is unlikely to be any one size fits all "good alternative for Asia in general" in the near future.  In Asia (and South America and Africa) you need to find a good alternative for "country x" (and in many cases for "city y") because the infrastructure/routing/greedy transit providers/etc currently make it impossible for any provider to create a single location good alternative for the entire continent. 

tl;dr You'll need more than one location if you're trying to target multiple countries in Asia.

Unfortunately, Vultr has the worst network
Earlier this week DO had a couple of days network problems in Singapore that made their nodes unreachable at times (DDoS followed by network congestion at their upstream provider).  DO's network (both in terms of routing and reliability) has always been one of their weak spots in all of their locations so I think I'll give the nod to Vultr for better overall network.
 

Wintereise

New Member
>   I'm not too sure specifically what their network blend is nor did I really spend the time to look it up further than a simple bgp lookup.

It's mostly LLNW, small amounts of direct NTT (Not very often used), and some very small amount of the Japanese Equinix blend (ODN / KDDI / IIJ / NTT in that along with JPIX.)
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
There is unlikely to be any one size fits all "good alternative for Asia in general" in the near future.  In Asia (and South America and Africa) you need to find a good alternative for "country x" (and in many cases for "city y") because the infrastructure/routing/greedy transit providers/etc currently make it impossible for any provider to create a single location good alternative for the entire continent. 


tl;dr You'll need more than one location if you're trying to target multiple countries in Asia.
I'll add a clarification to my statement there. 


I am well aware of the network situation in Asia (seeming as I'm currently one of the individuals who are experiencing it...).  I guess my specific statement was mostly focused on "is this a good location for Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and parts of the South-East Asia countries?"  Overall, it was a general statement on which of the two is preferred for usage in Asia (again, generally speaking) (a comparison you might add).


Yes there are incredible restrictions behind it (e.g. The great Firewall of China) and political tensions in addition to physical limitations (the way they set the cables and whatnot).  


Overall, the internet situation sucks in Asia.  Living in the States for so long and using Asian internet, I can definitely say I miss the internet back in the states (even if Comcast sucked major weiners, at least Comcast didn't charge international bandwidth usage/fees, which by the way are almost double if not ten times as much as domestic bandwidth costs).

Earlier this week DO had a couple of days network problems in Singapore that made their nodes unreachable at times (DDoS followed by network congestion at their upstream provider). DO's network (both in terms of routing and reliability) has always been one of their weak spots in all of their locations so I think I'll give the nod to Vultr for better overall network.
Well, first we have yet to test the actual network in terms of it's capacity and the limitations of it (so while I agree with you in a few spots I disagree with that statement).  I guess my opinion of their network was one of those "first glances".  

Either way, I'm kinda interested in the way it'll mature.  
 

Echelon

New Member
Verified Provider
Some benefit I can definitely see between Japan/Vultr and Singapore/DO would be applicable laws. IP protection is quite heavy handed in Japan by far.
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Update:

So, I contacted Vultr about the issues in related to the routing.  I received a simple "Thanks for letting us know, I'll forward this to the networking team".  

At my work-location it still routes to the US then back to Japan, but from my home now it routes straight to Japan (with 40ms latency!)!  Not bad really!  

It seems everything's evening out a bit now, just wish my work latency didn't suck haha.  It was a rocky start, but not bad.  
 

adilimran

New Member
I heard about this review from my friends.. From my perspective Digital Ocean is old hosting provider and they should upgrade their constraints so that their performance goes better. Other thing about the Digital Ocean that they are reliable with good support. 

On the other hand Vultr i don't know about it because i don't have any services from them, but trusting on some one new is hard for me.

Thanks.
 

sv01

Slow but sure
SGP1: Emergency Network Maintenance (2014-03-25 20:00 GMT)

Posted on 2014-03-25 19:29:00 UTC


Start: 2014-03-25 20:00 GMT


End: 2014-03-25 23:59 GMT

We will be performing an emergency software upgrade on our Singapore 1 Core Routers.

Expected Impact:

There may be several brief periods lasting 1-3 minutes of latency and packet loss as traffic is routed off of the core router being update and when it returns to service.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact support.

Thanks,


DigitalOcean Networking Team.

shhh - this is for v6 :)
cat wait that IPv6 ;) in SG location
 

fm7

Active Member
Vultr's backed by Choopa and is in their Tokyo Datacenter location (didn't really try to look for specific information behind it).  I'm not too sure specifically what their network blend is nor did I really spend the time to look it up further than a simple bgp lookup.  For my uses (to Korea), I think they just plain screwed up the routing because my traces goes from Korea to Los Angeles (Level3) then Los Angeles (NTT) to Tokyo. 
It seems the route is no longer that bad, at least from Tokyo's Vultr:

 2  unknown.servercentral.net (50.31.249.201)  1.341 ms  1.417 ms  1.423 ms


 3  72.ae1.cr2.tko1.jp.scnet.net (50.31.249.197)  0.282 ms

     71.ae1.cr1.tko1.jp.scnet.net (50.31.249.109)  0.270 ms

     72.ae1.cr2.tko1.jp.scnet.net (50.31.249.197)  0.387 ms


 4  SRV-0001.asianetcom.net (203.192.150.81)  1.065 ms  1.065 ms  23.859 ms


 5  SRV-0001.asianetcom.net (203.192.150.81)  1.097 ms  23.863 ms  23.860 ms


 6  gi2-0-0.cr2.nrt1.asianetcom.net (202.147.0.68)  1.381 ms

     gi12-0-0.gw4.sel2.asianetcom.net (202.147.8.120)  36.209 ms  36.214 ms


 7  * * *


 8  * * *


 9  58.229.12.229 (58.229.12.229)  40.170 ms * *


10  1.255.23.14 (1.255.23.14)  45.171 ms

      118.221.4.149 (118.221.4.149)  40.768 ms

      58.229.9.218 (58.229.9.218)  43.190 ms


11  1.255.23.14 (1.255.23.14)  45.176 ms  45.176 ms  45.175 ms


12  116.121.204.150 (116.121.204.150)  45.573 ms

      116.121.204.158 (116.121.204.158)  45.546 ms  45.523 ms


13  211.108.22.106 (211.108.22.106)  40.780 ms  40.121 ms

      147.46.254.187 (147.46.254.187)  41.298 ms


14  147.46.254.187 (147.46.254.187)  41.217 ms  41.394 ms

      147.46.2.34 (147.46.2.34)  34.745 ms

Just-Ping KR -> Vultr Tokyo is in the same RTT range.

It would be interesting to see an updated KR -> JP (Vultr) traceroute.
 
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Kayaba Akihiko

New Member
Thanks for the "not review".

Though I personally will choose DO just because I live in Singapore but meh.

Sucks that my ISP doesn't support IPv6(Singnet/Singtel)
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
Thanks for the "not review".

Though I personally will choose DO just because I live in Singapore but meh.

Sucks that my ISP doesn't support IPv6(Singnet/Singtel)
Haha well it's mostly just for the available data starting off ;)

Choosing DO Singapore because it's closer/better for you is definitely reasonable! Personally for me it was way too much trouble to go through, especially since the network goes to Japan anyways before heading down South.

It seems the route is no longer that bad, at least from Tokyo's Vultr:

 2  unknown.servercentral.net (50.31.249.201)  1.341 ms  1.417 ms  1.423 ms

 3  72.ae1.cr2.tko1.jp.scnet.net (50.31.249.197)  0.282 ms

     71.ae1.cr1.tko1.jp.scnet.net (50.31.249.109)  0.270 ms

     72.ae1.cr2.tko1.jp.scnet.net (50.31.249.197)  0.387 ms

 4  SRV-0001.asianetcom.net (203.192.150.81)  1.065 ms  1.065 ms  23.859 ms

 5  SRV-0001.asianetcom.net (203.192.150.81)  1.097 ms  23.863 ms  23.860 ms

 6  gi2-0-0.cr2.nrt1.asianetcom.net (202.147.0.68)  1.381 ms

     gi12-0-0.gw4.sel2.asianetcom.net (202.147.8.120)  36.209 ms  36.214 ms

 7  * * *

 8  * * *

 9  58.229.12.229 (58.229.12.229)  40.170 ms * *

10  1.255.23.14 (1.255.23.14)  45.171 ms

      118.221.4.149 (118.221.4.149)  40.768 ms

      58.229.9.218 (58.229.9.218)  43.190 ms

11  1.255.23.14 (1.255.23.14)  45.176 ms  45.176 ms  45.175 ms

12  116.121.204.150 (116.121.204.150)  45.573 ms

      116.121.204.158 (116.121.204.158)  45.546 ms  45.523 ms

13  211.108.22.106 (211.108.22.106)  40.780 ms  40.121 ms

      147.46.254.187 (147.46.254.187)  41.298 ms

14  147.46.254.187 (147.46.254.187)  41.217 ms  41.394 ms

      147.46.2.34 (147.46.2.34)  34.745 ms

Just-Ping KR -> Vultr Tokyo is in the same RTT range.

It would be interesting to see an updated KR -> JP (Vultr) traceroute.
Haha yeah I guess I haven't updated this in a while. After talking with Vultr staff for a bit and waiting about a week or so I found the routing to Japan much more reasonable. Now it's directly from Korea to Japan (I don't have traces available at the moment because I'm currently in the United States) and is averaging around 30/40 ms or so! Since the writing of this post I have dropped DigitalOcean completely and have simply gone with Vultr. Now I'm not saying DigitalOcean is bad, I'm simply stating that for my needs DigitalOcean lacked the network I needed for my own uses.
 
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