As of today, Linode announced the completion of their upgrade effort, dubbed "Linode NextGen". Upgrading an internaitonal fleet of servers is nothing to sneeze at, but they succeeded with flying colors.
In the last few months, we saw Linode:
- Double the amount of RAM per instance
- Bump all instances up to eight virtual cores (from four)
- Invested heavily in improving their network
- Bump instance outbound cap by 5x
- Increased outbound monthly transfer by 10x
They have allowed much higher usage of their resources without compromising on performance. This wasn’t a matter of just upping the quotas and calling it a day.
Why does it matter?
One only need take a look at lowendbox or ServerBear to see that there are plenty of affordable options for VPS providers. Linode is still nowhere close to being the cheapest, but that’s not really Linode’s game. They’re going to give you something a little faster, a little more roomy, and they’re going to keep you happy wth their support. While it’s entirely possible you’ll find someone with similar specs, you’ll be hard pressed to find a competitor with the strength of this offering from top to bottom (price, hardware, network, service/support).
Linode has traditionally been a little more expensive, very developer-centric, and has (in my experience) had a pretty good customer service story. These latest round of upgrades don’t push Linode down into the "budget" category (nor should they), but they do make a good chunk of their competitors in the same category/price range look inadequate. For example, I’m not sure how I could justify using Rackspace after these adjustments for my own purposes.
We all win
Regardless of whether you use Linode or even like them, let’s be clear about one thing: When upgrades and bigger jumps like this happen, we all win. Other providers are going to look at this and will have to decide whether their current offerings need a shot in the arm. Linode is no industry juggernaut, but they are well known enough for this to cause a few ripples.
Let’s sit back and see who makes the next big jump.