I was recently looking for a decently priced cloud hosting service provider for my High Traffic and Image blog. Where I could host a couple of small to medium sized websites. Eventually, I started looking around the internet a bit more, and ran into a relatively new cloud hosting company called Digital Ocean. Very very useful and easy to handle manuals from your side as well excellent customer care support also. DigitalOcean is a fairly new kid on the block of cloud hosting services, and they have a very bold tagline: “Simple Cloud Hosting built for developers”. Let’s see if they live up to it 🙂
Digital Ocean Pricing and Droplets Features
The services digital ocean provide are quite basic – you get cloud in the cloud server and DNS management, that’s all. No fancy load balancing, hosted databases, hadoop clusters, etc.. Compared to AWS, for example this could be seen as a disadvantage, but don’t judge just yet.
Let’s see some features of this simple cloud provider,
Digital Ocean Wiki:
- High performance SSD hard drives
- KVM virtualization technology, guaranteed system resources
- Server network speed at 1Gbps
- Dedicated IPv4 and IPv6 addresses
- Private networking available
- Easy-to-use control panel, almost foolproof
- Server snapshots and automatic backup options
- Highly scalable, resizing servers with a few clicks
- Available DNS management
- RESTful API extension
- One-Click Installs of WordPress, LAMP, and RoR
- Two-factor authentication security
- HTML5 enabled full console access via VNC
- 6 data centers, NYC(NY1 & NY2), San Francisco, Singapore and Amsterdam
- A large collection of helpful tutorials and an active community
- 24/7 ticket support, an IRC channel, and a forum
- 99.99% Uptime SLA
- Pay-As-You-Grow, per hour billing, no contract
- Credit cards and PayPal accepted as payment methods
Digital Ocean SSD:
Digital Ocean have created the fastest and most convenient cloud technology to help you easily and more efficiently manage your infrastructure so you can get back to coding. Digital Ocean provide all of our users with high-performance SSD Hard Drives, a flexible API, and the ability to select the nearest data center location.
Digital Ocean SSD Hard Drives:
SSD hard drives will improve performance of your site dramatically, from faster disk i/o performance.
Simple plans and Pricing Of Digital Ocean:
1 ). $ 5 / mo * 512MB Memory * 1 CoreProcessor * 20GBSSD Disk * 1TBTransfer
2 ). $ 10 / mo * 1Gb Memory * 1 CoreProcessor * 30GBSSD Disk * 2TBTransfer
3 ). $ 20 / mo * 2Gb Memory *2 CoreProcessor * 40GBSSD Disk * 3TBTransfer
4 ). $ 40 / mo * 4Gb Memory * 2 CoreProcessor * 60GBSSD Disk * 4TBTransfer
5 ). $ 80 / mo * 8Gb Memory * 4 CoreProcessor * 80GBSSD Disk * 5TBTransfer
6 ). $ 160 / mo * 16Gb Memory * 8 CoreProcessor * 160GBSSD Disk * 6TBTransfer
7 ). $ 320 / mo * 32Gb Memory * 12 CoreProcessor * 320GBSSD Disk * 7TBTransfer
8 ). $ 480 / mo * 48Gb Memory * 16 CoreProcessor * 480GBSSD Disk * 8TBTransfer
9 ). $ 480 / mo * 64Gb Memory * 20 CoreProcessor * 640GBSSD Disk * 9TBTransfer
Digital Ocean Cloud Scalability:
Needless to say, more system resources will be allocated, if you choose to create or upgrade to a larger digital ocean cloud. If you already have a digital ocean cloud in use, and just want to upgrade (or downgrade) the RAM. Also, the number of CPU cores instantly, you can always do a “Fast-Resize” on your cloud.
That can be achieved with just a few clicks on the control panel. Support tickets are not necessary at all and the system downtime required for that change is minimal.
If you would like to do some per-production testing for a new website, or application, you can always spin up a small size server to do all the tests you want, and the cost for that will be less than a cent per hour.
Digital Ocean Cloud Performance:
As a part of this Digital Ocean Review, we tested the performance of 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB Cloud droplets and more. Unlike the usually oversold OpenVZ solutions, Digital Ocean’s KVM based virtualization guarantees the allocated CPU and RAM resources.
The lightening fast SSD disks are a big help in improving overall performance, as already evident during the creation process of a fresh Cloud.
Digital Ocean Data Backup and Recovery Option:
Digital Ocean provides its users with two types of mechanism for data backup and recovery. Snapshots of your Digital Ocean instance can be manually taken at any point in time and that requires your Cloud be offline for just a minute or two.
Automatic backups are done periodically and without the need to bring your servers down. The costs for snapshots and backups are very reasonable. Automatic backups for the least expensive server configuration cost just a dollar per month.
Digital Ocean Customer Support, Document Library and the User Community:
Digital Ocean ’s technical support is superb. Tickets are usually answered in a matter of just minutes. The technical support people are friendly and eager to help.
- An IRC channel is officially maintained for users who are interested in participating in real time chat.
- There is a network status website thoughtfully hosted on a separate domain.
- DigitalOcean maintains a large number of tutorials on its website.
- Basic steps,
- such as creating your cloud droplets,
- setting up IP tables,
- installing MySQL,
- or even Nginx,
- are very well documented.
- Linux first-timers can just rely on those step-by-step guides to get a website or an application up and running easily.
- The tutorials are up-to-date and easy to follow.
- Comments are allowed so readers can interact with the writers or the huge DigitalOcean community if they have questions.
- There is a forum where users can exchange ideas as well.
- It’s also commendable that DigitalOcean is very active on User Voice, a customer feedback system.
The Competition: Digital Ocean vs Linode:
Digital Ocean beats most cheap cloud competitors hands down with its superior combination of SSD, KVM and a long list of other features.
However, it is absolutely not just competing in the low-end server market. In fact, the comparison chart on its official website only includes the most reputable competitors like Linode, Amazon, and Rackspace.
For $20 a month, Digital Ocean offers twice the RAM, much faster disks, a lot more included monthly transfer, and much cheaper extra transfer than Linode, although Linode’s CPU is slightly more powerful.
Digital Ocean is also leading Linode in payment and billing: Per hour billing for cloud and “Fast-Resize” usage, and accepting PayPal as a payment method.
If you do a lot of encoding, you should probably choose Linode for more raw CPU power. For those who prefer fast disk IO performance and larger size of memory, choosing Digital Ocean as oppose to Linode is a no-brainer.
We have conducted disk IO performance comparison tests and the results indicated that Digital Ocean’s SSDs are at least 3 times faster than the competitor’s spinning drives.
Well, here is the latest update: Both Digital Ocean and Linode now offer similarly priced SSD hosting plans. The competition has brought Linode’s prices down. However, Digital Ocean still offers much cheaper extra transfer.
Additionally, Digital Ocean’s least expensive plan is just $5 a month while Linode doesn’t have a similar offer. The least expensive plan from Linode is $10 per month. Digital Ocean accepts PayPal and credit cards as payment methods. Linode does not accept PayPal payments as of this writing
Here’s a chart taken from their pricing comparison:
Digital Ocean is not just a budget cloud provider. It offers a great value for money.
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Digital Ocean Network Status:
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We like what Digital Ocean cloud has to offer at a price that can’t be beat: KVM, high performance SSD, tier-1 bandwidth, a simple yet powerful control panel with a long list of features, excellent scalability, and superb support.
We are now using Digital Ocean for most of our web development projects and we have recommended it to many of our clients.