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DigitalOcean Wants To Challenge Amazon, Linode With Focus On Simplicity (techcrunch.com)
77 points by raiyu 1459 days ago | hide | past | web | 37 comments | favorite

I run a handful of boxes on Digital Ocean. Unfortunately, until they provide an internal-networking feature, they're not going to be able to seriously compete with Linode and others.

Vertical scaling is easy ... just reboot your node into a higher tier. I build apps horizontally though, distributing tasks to various machines. Example, a web/app tier of boxes, a tier of database machines, etc... and all those need to communicate on an internal network for speed and security.

They're working on it:


But they really need to give this some more attention.

That wasn't an article. That was an ad. Nice to see TechCrunch still takes paychecks for fluff pieces.

We wish. If that was the case, we would keep paying them. :)

I would imagineĀ it's more a case that they come from the "startup world".

Most entrepreneurs like hearing and supporting success stories.

I've used many of the top VPS providers: Slicehost, Rackspace, Linode, Digital Ocean and AWS. I don't think anyone could beat Amazon at making the process of provisioning a fresh server instance more complex. Granted, this is from the perspective of someone using their web interface to do so. Digital Ocean has made that same process incredibly easy and kinda fun.

Sometimes I wonder if Amazon is purposely limiting their target audience to technical users by implementing their AWS UI in a manner that the average person cannot understand.

They likely don't care about one off people who fire up instances via the web UI, they want the kind of company that will ask for hundreds and thousands over their API.

exactly what I was thinking. Making "point and click" servers isn't the greatest idea in the world, and those folks are more difficult/time consuming to support I imagine.

based on the amount of effort they've put into their API, pretty sure they're targeting corps/companies that will build extensive api bindings for their infrastructure.

Sure. But Amazon's raison d'etre is medium to large customers who need the flexibility and power and don't mind the complexity. If you are smaller then simply go higher up in the stack with the "built on Amazon" services e.g. Heroku, IronMQ/IronIO, MongoHQ.

The problem with Rackspace, AWS especially is with consolidation in the market, they get lazy and don't innovate. I was at an event last night for a Neural Network PaaS startup[1][2], and there is no way he could efficiently build on AWS.

[1] http://ersatz1.com/

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5072958

The only thing I really miss when not using AWS is security groups, iptables isn't hard to use but its nice to have this as a simple external service.

Remotely modifying iptables terrifies me.

They have an option to log in to the command via a web interface in case you block yourself.

I'm currently test driving Digital Ocean, ServGrid, and Linode.

Digitial Ocean makes provisioning new servers incredibly easy (as does Linode). The process is near instant. Scaling a server up and down is also near instant, especially compared to Rackspace (it took over an hour the last time I scaled a server down with them).

But their network has proven the least reliable (I'm in their NY DC). My site monitors have reported a few outages, anywhere from 1 - 6 minutes a piece. By comparison, ServGrid and Linode haven't had any outages during my trial.

But their customer support is really fast, and I love the documentation and community they have around their offerings. I really wish they had a Dallas DC though.

Unfortunately network reliability is also an issue in the SF zone. Apparently they replaced some routers 2 weeks ago, but that hasn't solved the issues entirely. Over the past 2 weeks I've had easily over 30 minutes of downtime. During this downtime no pings / web requests can connect, nor can any SSH connections, so I'm fairly confident it's a loss of connectivity on their end.

Regardless, I'm still happy with the service and the pricing, and will continue to use them in the hopes of the network issues improving.

dont forget atlantic.net

I tried Digital Ocean. Their SSD backed servers didn't perform for me as well as Amazon's PIOPS EBS, so the allure quickly faded.

Do any of the hosting providers bake Chef or Puppet or the like right into their management consoles? I just use a custom bash file that I wrote, borrowing from some Linode Stack Scripts, to get my bare instances up to speed. An improvement on Stack Scripts, that were more up to date, and didn't feel like drinking the puppet-chef-cool-aid would be a cool feature.

AWS has recently added "OpsWorks" which is essentially Chef integrated with AWS. I played with it and it has a nice interface and good tutorials, but what's actually going on under the hood was a little mysterious.

It should be noted they are using a really old version of chef, and most cookbooks won't work it.

AWS has good support for provisioning scripts through OpsWorks (I believe they use chef).

Recently, I have been looking into DO to move my site from shared hosting. I wish they had prepackaged LAMP Droplets to speed up migration.

Is anyone using DO with MariaDB, PHP, and Python? Also, are there any restrictions on what can't be installed on droplets? For example, numpy, scipy, R.

You get root on the droplet, so I'm pretty sure you can install whatever you want. I run a couple of rails apps on a 512mb droplet and it works great. Very low traffic on my sites.

Thanks for the info. My site also has low traffic. The site sucks up lot of CPU and Memory during processing and large DB tables. It is primarily data analytics driven and does lot of dM/ML work. I will try out DO.

Well it's a VPS so you can do anything that's technically possible.

And when you create a new droplet when choosing the image there's an "application" tab (or something similar) that has an option for a LAMP stack, though from what I remember it's still in beta.

DigitalOcean is nothing special, don't know why they get so much hype.

Droplets are just another marketing gimmick, another layer of abstraction which developers don't really need.

If you want a bare box to play with, try the companies at LowEndBox.com.

It's not hype. They are cheap ($5/m), reasonably reliable, and trusted. I can't say I'd trust most of the companies on Low End Box.

Disclaimer: I have droplets with DigitalOcean in SF datacenter. I've experienced the occasional network issue, but its generally a quite stable network.

Is anyone using DigitalOcean with Cloud66? I've had my eye on this combo for a while. Otherwise, I might dive in to Chef.

Any recommendations for provisioning DigitalOcean servers?

Is FreeBSD supported?

Not yet but apparently they started working on it: https://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digital-oce...

The first one to successfully do this will definitely get me to open my wallet.

AWS has freebsd.

But you have to pay the Windows tax on most instance types if you want to use FreeBSD.

I think you should go look at ec2 pricing. Linux/BSD instances are cheaper to run per hour than there windows counter parts.

Scroll down a page or so to view the pricing charts.

https://aws.amazon.com/windows/ https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/

The FreeBSD images can only be run on Windows instances (except for a few expensive instance types). That's why I said you have to pay the Windows tax if you want to run FreeBSD on EC2.

Nope, just various linux flavours

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