Reducing Your Database Hosting Costs: DigitalOcean vs. AWS vs. Azure

If you’re hosting your databases in the cloud, choosing the right cloud service provider is a significant decision to make for your long-term hosting costs. This is especially apparent in today’s world where organizations are doing whatever they can to optimize and reduce their costs. Over the last few weeks, we have been inundated with requests from SMB customers looking to improve the ROI on their database hosting. In this article, we are going to compare three of the most popular cloud providers, AWS vs. Azure vs. DigitalOcean for their database hosting costs for MongoDB® database to help you decide which cloud is best for your business.

At a glance

ScaleGrid Blog - At a glance overview - 1st point

Comparing Cloud Instance Costs

DigitalOcean instance costs are over 28% less expensive than AWS and over 26% less than Azure. Read now

ScaleGrid Blog - At a glance overview - 2nd point

Comparing ScaleGrid DBaaS Costs: AWS vs. Azure vs. DigitalOcean

ScaleGrid for MongoDB® database on DigitalOcean saves on average 122% on your monthly AWS hosting costs and 140% on Azure. Read now

ScaleGrid Blog - At a glance overview - 3rd point

DigitalOcean Hosting FAQs

Learn about DigitalOcean high availability options, latency performance, and how to migrate between cloud plans. Read now

Comparing Cloud Instance Costs

So, which cloud provider provides the most cost-effective solution for database hosting? We compare AWS vs. Azure vs. DigitalOcean using the below instance types:

AWS EC2 instances
Azure VM instances
DigitalOcean Droplets


Since database hosting is more dependent on memory (RAM) than storage, we are going to compare various instance sizes ranging from just 1GB of RAM up to 64GB of RAM so you can see how costs vary across different application workloads.

Let’s take a look at the monthly cost (720 hours) of database hosting for standalone, on-demand, dedicated instances on AWS, Azure and DigitalOcean. As you can see from the graph below, DigitalOcean database hosting provides significant cost-savings over both AWS and Azure. Additionally, their Droplet pricing is extremely simple and easy to understand – $5/GB.

Monthly Database Hosting Costs: AWS vs. Azure vs. DigitalOcean - ScaleGrid Blog

As you can see from the above chart, on average, DigitalOcean instance costs are over 28% less expensive than AWS and over 26% less than Azure.

Comparing ScaleGrid Database Hosting Costs: AWS vs. Azure vs. DigitalOcean

As mentioned above, the reason we decided to write this article is because of a recent increase in questions from customers on how they can reduce their database hosting costs, so we wanted to make sure to compare the costs of our fully managed DBaaS solution across cloud providers as well. Here are the configurations for this comparison:

Plan Dedicated Hosting
Database MongoDB® Database
Replication Strategy 2 Replicas + Arbiter

Our Dedicated Hosting plans are all-inclusive, including all machine, disk, and network costs. These plans are fully managed for you across any of these cloud providers, and comes with a comprehensive console to automate all of your database management, monitoring and maintenance tasks in the cloud.

Let’s take a look at how ScaleGrid Dedicated Hosting pricing for MongoDB® database compares across AWS vs. Azure vs. DigitalOcean:

ScaleGrid Dedicated Plans AWS Azure DigitalOcean
2GB $190 $187 $104
4GB $330 $374 $140
8GB $657 $750 $300
16GB $1,164 $1,250 $500
32GB $1,912 $2,025 $800


ScaleGrid also offers DigitalOcean support for MySQL, PostgreSQL and Redis™ with the same pricing by RAM when compared to DigitalOcean’s Managed Databases solution. While pricing is the same, ScaleGrid provides an average of almost 40% higher throughput over DigitalOcean for MySQL, and up to 94% higher throughput for balanced workloads when compared to DigitalOcean for PostgreSQL. Check out these posts to see the performance benchmark between these two providers:

How much can you save migrating to DigitalOcean?

So, are you’re deploying MongoDB® database on AWS or Azure, and wondering how you can lower your database hosting costs? Let’s see how much you can save by migrating your hosting for MongoDB® database to DigitalOcean:

DigitalOcean Savings Over AWS and Azure for Database Hosting at ScaleGrid

ScaleGrid’s Dedicated Hosting service with 2 Replicas + Arbiter for MongoDB® database on DigitalOcean saves you on average 122% on your monthly AWS hosting costs, and 140% on your monthly Azure hosting costs. The above chart outlines the cost savings across different plans, and ranges from around 80% cost-savings for 2GB of RAM, up to 153% cost-savings in our 32GB of RAM plan size.

Reducing Your Database Hosting Costs: DigitalOcean vs. AWS vs. AzureClick To Tweet

DigitalOcean Advantages

DigitalOcean provides many advantages for database hosting, and you can learn more about them in our The Best Way to Host MongoDB on DigitalOcean blog post. Here’s a quick overview of the key advantages:

  • Developer-friendly
  • Simple pricing
  • SSD-based VMs
  • High performance

DigitalOcean Hosting FAQs

Is my database cluster still highly available?

Yes. All of our high availability options are offered in DigitalOcean, including 2 Replicas + 1 Arbiter, 3 Replicas and custom replica set setups. DigitalOcean does not have the concept of availability zones (AZ), so we distribute the nodes across different regions. For example, in the US, we distribute nodes across New York 3, New York 2 and New York 1.

Does it affect latency?

Yes, you can see an increase in latency. Ideally, we would want to see both the application and the database in the same datacenter. So, if you’re hosting your application in AWS or Azure and move your database to DigitalOcean, you will see an increase in latency. However, the average latencies between AWS US-East and the DigitalOcean New York datacenter locations are typically only 17.4 ms round trip time.

How can I migrate?

ScaleGrid provides an Import wizard to migrate data from one cluster to another. If you have any special needs for your migration, please contact [email protected].

Learn More About DigitalOcean Hosting

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Anton is part of the marketing team at ScaleGrid. He has a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Digital Media with background in digital marketing for a wide variety of different industries.