UpCloud Review (2020): Best Vultr Alternative?

Today, I will provide an in-depth and honest UpCloud Review and tell you at the end of this discussion whether or not UpCloud is a good Vultr Alternative.

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Other cloud hosting providers such as Digital Ocean, and Linode will not be included in this review as this will mainly focus on the strengths and weaknesses of UpCloud over Vultr.

UpCloud, similarly to other cloud hosting company which you might already be familiar with such as Digital Ocean, Linode, and Vultr, also offers on-demand cloud servers which can be turned off, deleted, restarted, upscaled, or downscaled, depending on your needs and requirements.

UpCloud started in their business for quite a while now, they launched their online cloud platform in 2011. UpCloud is a European cloud hosting company and their main quarters is located in the capital city of Finland, Helsinki.

UpCloud Review

The main points for evaluation here are the price, performance, and features offered by UpCloud.

By the end of this review, you will be able to know whether or not UpCloud fits in your budget, and if the performance of UpCloud is the right for your computing needs, lastly, the features that are UpCloud offers over Vultr and the key features that it lacks as a cloud hosting provider.

So, let’s take a look first at the pricing of UpCloud and compare it with Vultr pricing.


Pricing

Before we can say that UpCloud’s a good Vultr Alternative, it is important to determine whether or not UpCloud even deserves to be compared with Vultr’s competitive pricing for its cloud server plans.

Luckily, UpCloud’s pricing is as competitive as Vultr and other cloud hosting companies.

FIXED PLANSUpCloud PriceVultr Price
1 CORE/ 10GB SSD / 512MB MEMORY3.5$
1 CORE/ 25GB SSD / 1 GB MEMORY5$5$
1 CORE/ 50GB SSD / 2GB MEMORY10$10$
2 CORES/ 80GB SSD / 4GB MEMORY20$20$
4 CORES/ 160GB SSD / 8GB MEMORY40$40$
6 CORES/ 320GB SSD / 16GB MEMORY80$80$
8 CORES/ 640GB SSD / 32GB MEMORY160$160$
12 CORES/ 960GB SSD/ 48GB MEMORY240$
16 CORES/ 1280GB SSD/ 64GB MEMORY320$
20 CORES/ 1920GB SSD/ 96GB MEMORY480$
20 CORES/ 2048GB SSD/ 128GB MEMORY640$
*The pricing on this table is last updated September 2020.
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Looking at the pricing both providers offer, UpCloud offers big cloud packages over Vultr.

Vultr’s bare metal servers are sold out during the writing of this article.

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UpCloud allows you to also customize your server using the “flexible plan” which would cost a little bit higher compared to the fixed plans.

UpCloud Flexible Plan

So far, when it comes to pricing, UpCloud is highly competitive with Vultr.

The pricing used on the comparison above is the cloud compute servers and not the high-frequency servers.

UpCloud allows you to customize your plan, add cores and memory if you prefer to have a custom setup, however using the flexible plan over the simple plan would cost you more.

When it comes to pricing, I can say that UpCloud can be a pretty decent if not a good Vultr alternative especially if you want flexibility of upscaling or downscaling your projects.


Performance

As for the performance, we will look at the response times, CPU performance, and Disk I/O Performance of UpCloud plans over Vultr plans. The data that is used here are from VPSBenchmarks tests and runs.

Response Times

The cloud server response times measures the responsiveness of a website/server when it is put under load.

For this test, a database intensive application was used to put each setup on a load to determine the average response times of each server.

With regards to the response times, it is shocking that UpCloud performs at par with Vultr here! The response times difference between the two is not that significant however the response times of 1GB Vultr Plan is extremely poor. At the same price bracket of 5$ plan, UpCloud outperforms Vultr’s 5$ plan when it comes to response times. Upgrading the server specs reduced their differences however making their response times right just near of each other with difference of 3-10 milliseconds.

CPU Performance

The CPU performance measures the rate of operations that each server configuration is able to sustainably operate given a CPU stress load.

The higher operations per second the better as the CPU is able to process more operations and instructions at a time.

Again, looking at the CPU performance benchmarks between UpCloud and Vultr, UpCloud dominates the performance over price ratio as it performs much more operations per second when compared to Vultr plans.

Disk I/O Performance

The Disk I/O performance tests the amount of system input and output operations that each cloud server plans is able to perform using the random read tests in MiB.

One of the main feature of UpCloud that it confidently compares with its competitor is the fastest disk I/O performance. They have called this MaxIOPS as their technology is able to surpass common average ssd speeds offered by Vultr, Digital Ocean, Linode, and is even being compared with Amazon and Google Cloud storage performances.

Looking at the results, it is indeed true what UpCloud claims that it obviously outperforms Vultr when it comes to Disk I/O performance. UpCloud shown up to 2x more transfer operations per second when compared to Vultr cloud instances.

Higher Disk I/O Performance is important especially when transferring files and media exchanges between users and the cloud instance. The faster the disk I/O performance, the bigger and the more files you are able to send and receive during peak operations / load.

The full technical details with the benchmarks performed by VPSBenchmarks can be found here.


Features

When it comes to features, we will compare the essential features that is expected to be available when using cloud servers and the additional features that one might offer compared to the other.

FeaturesUpCloudVultr
BackupAvailableAvailable
Cloning InstancesAvailableAvailable
+ Cloning as TemplateAvailable (Paid per hour of storage)Available (Snapshots, Free; Price subject to change anytime)
Storage
+ Attach additional SSDAvailableAvailable
+ Attach additional HDDAvailable
+ Ready ISOsAvailableAvailable
+ Custom ISOManualAvailable
Locations9 Locations17 Locations
Support
+ EmailAvailableAvailable
+ Ticket / Live ChatNo Ticket; 24/7 Live ChatTicket Only; No Live Chat
Billing
+ Credit Card / Debit CardAvailableAvailable
+ PaypalAcceptedAccepted
Uptime100% Uptime SLA100% Uptime SLA

Verdict: Is UpCloud a good Vultr alternative?

To end this review, I believe that UpCloud deserves to be recognized. Having a live chat support which is lacking in Vultr and other companies like DO provides a good impression that the company is up for the competition. UpCloud also delivers unique features which I personally find useful such as adding additional hdd (lesser cost per hour) if you need a hefty amount of storage just for backups and less frequently accessed files. It offers more flexibility in setup, configuration and at the same time provides better performance/price ratio.

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One thing that needs to be improved in UpCloud is the custom ISO upload feature. Uploading custom ISO’s in your instances in Vultr is as simple as pasting the ISO link and Vultr will automatically grab the ISO file and store it for you. UpCloud on the other hand, you’ll have to create a separate drive, download it using wget or a tool using command line, and then mount it on the system.

Also, cloning a server instance from one location to another needs to be improved in UpCloud. It took 2-4 hours to clone a 10$ server hosted in Singapore to US while in Vultr it took only around 30-1 hour tops.

However despite these additional feature flaws, what matters is the performance you get with the price you pay, reliability and support.

Vultr support system only relies on ticket submission while UpCloud gives you a free 24/7 support that you can contact anytime to help and assist you with your cloud instances.

Overall, UpCloud is a no-brainer the best Vultr alternative and if not also a good alternative for big cloud providers such as Digital Ocean, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud.

If you decide to give UpCloud a try, you can signup and get 25$ free credit for you to try the service. Credit card is required as proof and to prevent trial abuse.

UPDATE:

September 14: As of September 14, the URL import function is already available in UpCloud! I believe they really do listen to customer feedback. You need to deploy a server first however then go to your server > resize > under storage you’ll see “Add from URL”. This will allow you to import ISO files remotely and store it in a hdd drive or maxiops drive.

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