Over the years of owning a VPS (Virtual Private Server) I have changed from one provider to another. I’ve had my fair share of super cheap deals to mid priced vps packages. Both good and bad experiences goes without saying.
So let’s start the Digital Ocean review on a good note. Price. The vps’s or droplets as Digital Ocean calls it are reasonably priced. In fact, it’s perfect. They’ve hit the nail on the head for pricing. Packages range from one core processor to twenty processors. Customisability is some what non-existant, to increase the droplets performance you would need to backup your droplet by creating a snapshot, and initialise a new droplet with a recent snapshot. However by doing this you would loose your ip address, I have heard that you could ask for the ip address to be relocated to the new droplet but I haven’t needed to increase the performance of the droplet just yet.
The bad points, if you require a managed server, then Digital Ocean is not for you. DO’s slogan is “Simple cloud hosting, built for developers.” Which says it all really. I’ve been in contact with support a couple of times, most of my droplets downtime was due to my own incompetence, however there was an incident in the data-centre which caused data corruption on my droplet. So I used this opportunity to move data-centres and start again. Due to this incident I have basically two support tickets that haven’t been resolved.
The first support ticket is in relation to the IP address that was issued to my droplet is still listed as level two blacklisted with apews. Support referred me to the FAQ’s on the APEWS website, which then refers me back to my provider. APEWS FAQ’s state that the provider must get in contact with them for the de-listing.
The second support ticket is to do with a new linux kernel. The community help pages state that if I need a kernel that isn’t on Digital Oceans list that I should open a ticket for them to add it to the list, after numerous messages back and forth the final message from support indicated that the kernel would be in the list within the next 24 hours. Four days have since passed and still no updates. If my business relied on email being sent to customers, getting de-listed from any email blacklist will be of high importance. The second issue with the kernel update is a potential security issue, especially any server with valuable data will be a target to any hacker out there so being up to date is critical.
So we’ve covered the good and the bad, and I feel like I have spent a lot of time explaining the bad points and haven’t really covered enough on the good points if that makes any sense? So I’m going to expand on a few other features that Digital Ocean has excelled. Digital Ocean has an awesome simplistic web design which is aesthetically pleasing. They also have a wide range of locations ready for droplets to be deployed. Pay as you go billing system. Various flavours of Linux distributions and architectures. IPv6 support for some locations and a community support with tons of helpful tutorials.
Any provider out there will have their good points and bad points, and a lot of providers out there will be as good and as bad as Digital Ocean. Let’s put it this way I have had worst and this is by far a better and reliable service than some of the providers available. Digital Ocean has space to improve on, and I hope I am still with them when they do.
My website has been hosted on droplets provided by Digital Ocean since October 2013, and has only had one serious incident resulting in my droplet being offline and data corruption. A lesson to be learnt is to keep regular backups.
Has this incident put me off Digital Ocean? No.
Have I lost trust in Digital Ocean? No.
Would I recommend Digital Ocean to friends or family? Possibly, depends on their needs and their capabilities.
Have I looked at other providers? yes, am always looking for better deals if it came about.
Edit: I have since moved providers after finding a better deal for not much Digital Ocean was offering.