Some time ago, I began testing two of the best known hosting companies: Linode and Dreamhost.
There are already lots of comparisons on the Internet, and I have to say I agree with most of them.
I can confirm they are both very good services, with their differences: Linode is a VPS, so you have root password and are responsible for configuring everything from scratch; with Dreamhost you have only a normal user password, and an excellent panel (developed in house) cares for most of the configuration and software installation.
What I did not find on the Internet is a performance comparison… so here it is
I’m comparing Linode 360 (the smallest plan) with the default Dreamhost plan: performances are similar, but Dreamhost is marginally faster. Of course it wildly depends on what the other users are doing, since with Dreamhost you have no guaranteed resources. Linode is more consistent.
Here are the results; I used Unixbench WHT-2.
TEST BASELINE RESULT INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables 376783.7 24106732.8 639.8
Double-Precision Whetstone 83.1 1436.1 172.8
Execl Throughput 188.3 6059.3 321.8
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 2672.0 151199.0 565.9
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1077.0 39214.0 364.1
File Read 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 15382.0 1233959.0 802.2
Pipe-based Context Switching 15448.6 412594.9 267.1
Pipe Throughput 111814.6 2436024.3 217.9
Process Creation 569.3 12112.8 212.8
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 44.8 1671.4 373.1
System Call Overhead 114433.5 1758193.6 153.6
FINAL SCORE 324.3
TEST BASELINE RESULT INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables 376783.7 13739822.9 364.7
Double-Precision Whetstone 83.1 1250.2 150.4
Execl Throughput 188.3 4637.6 246.3
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 2672.0 215155.0 805.2
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1077.0 51188.0 475.3
File Read 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 15382.0 1039034.0 675.5
Pipe Throughput 111814.6 3055155.6 273.2
Pipe-based Context Switching 15448.6 849918.2 550.2
Process Creation 569.3 17039.8 299.3
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 44.8 676.9 151.1
System Call Overhead 114433.5 4660295.7 407.2
FINAL SCORE 350.1
CPU info for the hosts I’m on (from /proc/cpuinfo):
Linode: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5420 @ 2.50GHz
Dreamhost: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5405 @ 2.00GHz
For linode here is a “hdparm -Tt” also. I cannot do the same test with Dreamhost.
Timing cached reads: 19868 MB in 1.99 seconds = 9963.46 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 226 MB in 3.01 seconds = 75.11 MB/sec
Of course I cannot say if the situation will be the same for you: I may just be lucky (or unlucky).
About service levels: with Linode everything is absolutely smooth and perfect (it’s a VPS after all): no outages till now, you have your own VPS, so no one can interphere with what you are doing. On the other hand, with Dreamhost I already had some outages and support is not so fast as I would like. So, if uptime is important for you, Linode seems to be the better choice.
Finally, if this was useful for you, and would like to sign up for Linode or Dreamhost, feel free to use one of my referral URLs: