Updated · May 02, 2022
Best for: Linux-based cloud computing
If you’ve dabbled with any computing platform services before, like Google’s or Amazon’s, you’d know how costly they are. And here is where Linode plans to take the spotlight.
Founded in 2003, this US-based cloud computing service claims to make hosting approachable and accessible to everyone.
That’s a pretty bold claim already.
Linode cloud hosting has many offers on display like:
- CPU and GPU computing
- cloud storage
- bare-metal servers
It also has free DDoS protection.
The company provides many different products as part of a wide range of solutions. Whether you’re part of the higher education sphere or specialize in machine learning, you’ll find Linode useful for your business.
If you’re looking to use CPU-intensive resources, you have multiple options.
One is a dedicated CPU instance. A virtual machine whose system resources you can use for whatever you see fit. From setting up game servers to encoding video or processing web traffic for your website.
The second option Linode hosting provides is shared CPU instances.
These are much more affordable virtual machines. The only drawback?
As the name implies, the virtual machine is shared across users. This means a shared CPU instance is better for lower intensity workloads and ones which won’t suffer from downtime.
Either way, the choice is yours.
High Memory Compute Instances
These virtual machines are specialized for memory-intensive applications.
According to the company, a high memory Linode VPS has similar system resources to a dedicated CPU instance. The difference is the much higher memory per core.
So what can you use it for?
Big data processing is a prime target. Any workload which uses up a lot of memory would be a great fit for these instances. Best of all, the instances are dedicated, so you won’t have to compete with other users for system resources.
Working on something particularly GPU intensive?
The company’s GPU-optimized virtual machines are powered by NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 graphics cards. This is pretty much the most powerful GPU on the market right now.
The prime target demographic of this kind of Linode server is mostly artists, engineers, and even scientists. Dedicated GPU instances let you work on machine learning and AI research, video encoding, and of course, graphics processing.
Storage solutions are offered in the form of block and S3-compatible object storage.
They are marketed as fault-tolerant and fast performance solutions, although they do have their limits. For instance, in terms of object storage, the maximum amount of data a cluster can hold is 50 terabytes.
Another point to consider is the cost.
Many Linode reviews fixate on the high prices of storage. But truly, it’s about the same as its competitors.
One strong point of Linode is their real-time network monitoring for DDoS attacks.
Distributed denial of service, or DDoS attacks can do a great deal of damage to your servers. They can overload the system and make it essentially unusable for extended periods of time. However, the Linode DDoS protection stops them in time. In addition, it omes at no additional cost.
If you’re managing a lot of domains, then the DNS manager is for you.
What does it do?
Simply put, it is a control panel that lets you add and modify the DNS records to all your domains. Linode web hosting is managed through the cloud dashboard, which is where you can add and modify your domains.
Linode has eleven data centers situated all around the world.
While exploring your options, you should keep in mind not every solution is available for every data center. GPU instancing, for example, is only available in a handful of locations.
Here is the full list of the Linode server locations:
All data centers take full advantage of DDoS protection and the cloud firewall. Unfortunately, Linode has yet to add server locations in South America, Africa, or Russia.
Ease of Use and Interface
Linode markets itself as accessible and easy to get into.
But is that really the case?
Upon logging in, you’ll be greeted by the main dashboard from which you will manage your account. This menu is actually fairly straightforward and easy to navigate.
This dashboard, called the Linode Cloud Manager, is where all the company’s services are provided. Here, you can deploy new virtual machines, manage your existing ones, and access the DNS manager. It’s all very fast and responsive.
You are definitely expected to have a bit of experience with the technical terms Linode uses. If you aren't, you are likely to get lost in the sea of information. So if you are a complete beginner in the sphere of cloud computing, you will face a steep learning curve.
But not all hope is lost!
The official website has guides on how to set up the Linode VPS that you want. By viewing the product documentation of the solution you’re interested in, you can view the Guides tab. There, you will be greeted with step-by-step instructions on how to set up your VM.
And if you’re still unsure?
In that case, you can contact Linode’s customer support and ask for further guidance. Which brings us to the next section of this review:
Customer service can be contacted in a variety of different ways. Here we have the usual list - phone call and email. But you can also join a specialized IRC channel which is operated by Linode staff, which is pretty unique.
Linode reviews tell a mixed story. Some people say phone calls have almost no waiting times, while others claim they waited for hours for a response. In my experience, receiving a reply by email took a couple of hours, which is about on-par with expectations.
Customer support is available 24/7. The company claims there are no tiers of priority. Phone service is available in the United States, but there is also an international line you can call globally.
Lastly, there is the community Q&A.
These are specialized forums where users can go and ask questions about the product. There are over 600 pages of threads, going all the way back to 2003. So definitely make sure to search those forums, in case your question has already been answered.
The community Q&A is driven mostly by other users, although Linode staff do occasionally reply as well.
While we already touched on aspects like the Linode DDoS protection, what other measures are in place to ensure security? And most importantly, can you trust them with your business?
Firstly, Linode offers a Cloud Firewall. What this does is defend your server from malicious attacks by filtering out unwanted traffic. And like the DDoS protection, it comes at no additional cost to users.
How does it stack up against competitors?
When comparing Linode vs DigitalOcean, the latter does not offer extras like DDoS protection. Furthermore, Linode is partnered with white-hat hacker group HackerOne to find and fix security flaws as quickly as possible.
Their data centers are also SOC and/or ISO certified, with the full list of certifications available to view online.
Now, what about uptime?
This is where the service falls a bit short. Ideally, you would want an uptime guarantee as close to 100% as possible. Every moment of downtime can cost you traffic and revenue.
Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say their server uptime is a deal-breaker, because it’s not. But if you are looking for highly reliable servers with top-notch reliability, it might be best to explore other options.
Pricing is where the company is looking to really make an impact. Linode claims their VPS services are more affordable than its competition like GCP and AWS.
But is this really the case?
First of all, upon signing up, you get $100 worth of credit for free. This acts as a free trial, of sorts. You can use it to test out the product you want, and it can last you quite a bit. But of course, that depends on the plan you choose.
So what are the prices you can expect?
The truth is, it is different for each type of cloud service. And naturally, the more data you want to process, the more money you will have to pay.
Here’s what the Linode plans include:
- Dedicated CPU - from $0.045/hour for two CPUs with 4 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD storage, and 4 TB transfer. Up to $5.76/hour for 64 CPUs with 512 GB RAM, 7200 GB SSD storage, and 12 TB transfer.
- Shared CPU - from $0.0075/hour for one CPU with 1 GB RAM, 25 GB SSD storage, and 1 TB transfer. Up to $1.44/hour for 32 CPUs with 192 GB RAM, 3840 GB SSD storage, and 20 TB transfer.
- High Memory Plans - from $0.09/hour for two CPUs with 24 GB RAM, 20 GB SSD storage, and 5 TB transfer. Up to $1.44/hour for 16 CPUs with 300 GB RAM, 340 GB SSD storage, and 9 TB transfer.
- GPU Plans - from $1.50/hour for one GPU and 8 CPUs with 32 GB RAM, 640 GB SSD storage, and 16 TB transfer. Up to $6/hour for four GPUs and 24 CPUs with 128 GB RAM, 2560 GB SSD storage, and 20 TB transfer.
- Linode Kubernetes Engine - for the Linode cost of LNK, you will have to contact sales.
- Block Storage - from $1/month for 10 GB up to $1024/month for 10240 GB.
- Object Storage - from $5/month for 250 GB up to $1000/month for 50 TB.
- Images - from $0.10/month for 1 GB up to $15/month for 150 GB.
- Shared CPU - from $2/month for 1 GB RAM, one CPU core, 25 GB SSD storage, and 1 TB transfer. Up to $240/month for 192 GB RAM, 32 CPU cores, 3840 GB SSD storage, and 20 TB transfer.
- Dedicated CPU - from $5/month for 4 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 80 GB SSD storage, and 4 TB transfer. Up to $240/month for 512 GB RAM, 64 CPU cores, 7200 GB SSD storage, and 12 TB transfer.
- High Memory - from $5/month for 24 GB RAM, one CPU core, 20 GB SSD storage, and 5 TB transfer. Up to $80/month for 300 GB RAM, 16 CPU cores, 340 GB SSD storage, and 9 TB transfer.
- GPU - from $40/month for 32 GB RAM, 8 CPU cores, 640 GB SSD storage, and 16 TB transfer. Up to $320/month for 128 GB RAM, 24 CPU cores, 2560 GB SSD storage, and 20 TB transfer
- NodeBalancers - $10/month
All purchases you make include free DDoS protection, as well as a seven-day money-back guarantee.
Linode Review - Verdict
Linode aims to provide accessible cloud computing solutions for an affordable price. And for the most part, they succeed.
Their list of features, while limited in comparison to GCP and AWS, is more than enough to get you started. From dedicated and shared CPU instances, to GPU computing and cloud storage. It has pretty much everything if you’re a small to mid-scale developer, or looking to run game servers.
And its security?
While some things can be improved, namely reliability, it’s in line with what you can expect for its price. The bundled Linode cloud firewall and DDoS protection are free of charge and provide better security than many competitors.
All in all, a good package. And with $100 worth of free credit upon registration and a seven-day money-back guarantee - there’s no harm in trying it.
What is Linode used for?
For cloud computing solutions and cloud storage. This is thanks to virtual machines which users can rent and use for various needs. They range from CPU and GPU-intensive workloads to storing large amounts of data.
Is Linode any good?
If you’re running smaller-scale enterprises, Linode is among the best solutions available. Their prices are affordable, servers are powerful, and support is available 24/7 if you have issues. Furthermore, Linode data centers are available worldwide for minimum latency.
Is Linode good for production?
Yes! Linode is great for its ease of setup and high performance. Just make sure to have your valuable data backed up off-site.
Which is better, Linode or DigitalOcean?
As you can see from my Linode review, it is generally safer to use. It is also better if you are looking for low latency servers, as its data centers provide worldwide high-speed coverage.
My fascination with technology began from quite an early age thanks to computers and video games. Nowadays, I love anything related to music production and astronomy. Coincidentally (or is it?), both of those have a great deal to do with tech. Honestly, most of the stuff that can be accomplished with modern electronics kind of seems like magic to me. This is why I feel this strong need to constantly learn more about it and talk about it, almost to the detriment of others.
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