Skip to main content

Raymii.org Logo (IEC resistor symbol)logo

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Home | About | All pages | RSS Feed | Gopher

DigitalOcean Sucks. Use DigitalOcean!

Published: 19-11-2013 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article


Table of Contents


DigitalOcean sucks. And rocks. This is an article reviewing the pro's andcon's on Digital Ocean after +1 year of usage.

What is DigitalOcean? Buzzword Bingo, DigitalOcean provides scalable cloudservers across the globe. Down to earth, they provide virtual private servers.And frankly, they do it quite well.

If you like this article, consider sponsoring me by trying out a Digital OceanVPS. With this link you'll get $100 credit for 60 days). (referral link)

Why they suck!

Their defitinion of Cloud is different than that of most people.
When you think of a cloud server provider you probably think they have a SANwhere the disk images are stored. This because when a virtualization node fails,all virtual servers are automatically failed over to another server and you havelittle to no interruption. DigitalOcean does not have a SAN. They use localstorage in RAID 5, when more than one disk fails you are going to have a badday. There are more people having trouble with failed nodes.

There is still no IPv6.
Come one you guys, even Comcast and Time Warner Cable are now rolling outIPv6. It is almost 2014, and they hoped to have had something working in 2012already.

You cannot install your system yourself, or provide your own ISO.
When I buy a KVM VPS I do that because either I need special kernel/firewallsettings or because I want to do the install myself from my own provided ISO. Imight want to run FreeBSD, Windows, Mikrotik RouterOS or whatever else theprovider does not provide. Heck, I've even ran MINIX on a KVM VPS because I wasreading the book by Tanenbaum. DigitalOcean does not provide thispossibility, they only allow their set templates to be used on a VPS.

There have been security issues with SSH Host Keys.
See above point, DigitalOcean only provide images to roll out. Some time agosomeone found out that the SSH Host keys were the same for all Ubuntu VM's onDigitalOcean because of the use of images.

Why they Rock!

Cheap.
$5 for an SSD based VM with 512MB RAM, 20GB of disk space and 1TB of transfer?That is holy cow cheap. The base Linode costs $15 more. Many other VPSproviders exist around this price point but most of them are not as good asDigitalOcean.

Fast Network.
I'm from the Netherlands, their Amsterdam location has a 20ms ping to my homeinternet. That is fast. Even the US based nodes have a ping around 125ms fromThe Netherlands. Most providers outside the country are at least 200 or more msaway. Heck, even some in the country are.

Fast Disks.
Here's a disk benchmark on a DigitalOcean VPS:

remy@vps23:~$ dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync16384+0 records in16384+0 records out1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 3.84315 s, 279 MB/s

Other VPS I have are around 80/150MB/s. I use a few DigitalOcean VPS for diskintensive applications, speeds are just really fast.

A lot of Operating Systems and Images.
From Ubuntu, Fedora and Arch to a full PHP or Rails stack, everything isavailable. The amount of images available is more than enough for me. 29 base OSimages and 7 stack images available on the current date. Even better, when youhave your own VPS, you can image that and use it to provision new servers basedon that image.

Great Management Panel.
Do you know all those WHMCS+SolusVM VPS Providers?. Where you have threepanels, one for billing, one for support and one for server management? Andmaybe one for DNS at your domain provider? DigitalOceans panel combines servermanagement, support, billing and DNS in one panel. Tickets, invoices, domainsand servers all in one place under one login. Heck, you can even add SSH keysvia the panel which then will be available in all current and new VPS fromDigitalOcean.

Lots and Lots of support articles and a great community.
There are a lot of good copy/paste tutorials, there is a forum, theyhave a blog and there is an IRC channel. The forums and IRC arehelpfull, the blog is nice to read and most of the tutorials are great for newusers and also good as reference for experienced users. If you have an article,they even pay you for it.

Coupon codes all the way.
You can get your first two months free using available coupon codes or byfollowing them on Twitter for coupon codes. And when they accidentally give outa $60 coupon code, you get to keep it even when it is their error.

Customer Care.
Three hours after this article was published I got an email from John Edgar fromDigitalOcean:

Hey Remy, I wanted to thank you for your article about us, I appreciated both your honesty and your kind words, so thanks!! Feedback is something that is extremely important to us, and very very welcome. One thing I needed to quickly point out is the post you linked RE: ssh. You mentioned we had issues with SSH keys, this would be AWFULLL. The issue was with ssh hosts, not keys. (box vs user)Thanks again! :)j. 

Updated the article plus a smile on my face :).

TL;DR: DigitalOcean is a good VPS provider with minor issues. I like them andhave been using them for over a year.

Disquss this article on Hacker News

Tags: articles, cloud, digitalocean, ipv6, kvm, vps