Dedicated vs. Shared CPU Plans

Linode Staff

How will my Linode perform if I switch to Dedicated? Will I see any performance gains? Will my Linode use less resources?

Can I switch back to Shared after I upgrade to Dedicated?

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How will my Linode perform if I switch to Dedicated? Will I see any performance gains?

Depending on your use case, you may see some performance gains. The following are some use cases for Dedicated CPU Linodes:

  • CI/CD Toolchains and Build Servers
  • Game Servers
  • Audio and Video Transcoding
  • Big Data and Data Analysis
  • Scientific Computing
  • Machine Learning

The reason for this has to do with the primary difference between Shared and Dedicated CPU. With Shared CPU plans, your Linode is sharing its CPU resources with other users on the same host. Since most users do not consume 100% of their CPU at all times, this allows CPU resources to be "shared" where and when they are most needed.

However, this can result in "CPU steal", and depending on the type of application you're running, this may affect your performance. CPU steal is more-or-less what it sounds like: other users on the same host can "steal" or use CPU that you aren't currently using.

The disadvantage of this is that if your web application is sensitive to things like latency or fluctuations in a host's load (e.g. - VOIP servers, video / audio streaming), you may experience poorer performance than you'd like with a shared instance.

Will my Linode use less resources?

Your Linode will use the same resources regardless of whether you're on a Shared or Dedicated plan. This is because your resource consumption depends on a variety of things that are under your control, such as how your services are configured. The following guides go into more detail regarding how to fine tune your webserver or database:

If it would be helpful, the following resources go into more detail regarding differences between Shared/Dedicated servers:

Can I switch back to Shared after I upgrade to Dedicated?

Yes, you can move between these plans at any time. The only thing to keep in mind is that if you're downsizing you'll need to first ensure your disks don't contain more data than the smaller storage plan allows. The following Community post covers how to address this if you run into it:

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