DigitalOcean is a cloud storage provider and was founded in 2011 by Moisey and Ben Uretsky, Jeff Carr, Alec Hartman and Mitch Wainer. Since then, they have more than 300 employees worldwide and provide super quick SSD storages for more than 550,000 customers. DigitalOcean is one of the most reliable and trusted name in the industry, offering web storages from $5 per month.
SSD storage is the new generation of web storages, using small flash memory chips, offering more reliable services for customers. Because the hardware itself does not have moving components, these kinds of solutions are more fault-tolerant and provide better up time with less costs. This means cheaper prices and faster data serving for users.
Advantages of Droplets
DigitalOcean realized the advantages of SSD technology early and started to offer its SSD based services. They call the scalable virtual servers droplets which have many advantages.
Easy scaling: However there are many plans to purchase, users can modify the package components at any time. The SSD based plans are real flexible, so if more resources are needed for a project, they can be easily assigned to the purchased package.
Data centers around the World: The company has data centers in 8 cities: Amsterdam, Bangalore, Frankfurt, London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Toronto. This means that the user can choose the nearest center to make the data transfer path shorter and the serving time faster.
Pre-built applications or distributions: User can install their own applications or distributions on DigitalOcean droplets, but there are many pre-built apps or distros to choose from. By selecting the desired ones, the company automatically installs them on newly purchased servers.
There are 6 distributions to choose from: Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, CoreOS and FreeBSD. Only 55 seconds are needed for the one click install solution to create a brand new instance of the chosen distro.
Users can also choose one re more of the 16 applications to install them in a minute:
- Discourse, the popular discussion platform, based on Ruby on Rails
- Django, the main Python app for automatization
- Docker for building and running distributed apps
- Dokku for web allocation management
- Ghost for publishing
- GitLab for shared work and version handling
- LAMP, the leading one-click solution for having Apache, MySQL and PHP
- LEMP for having NGINX, MySQL and PHP with one-click
- Machine Learning: machine learning assets
- js: for creating web applications
- MongoDB, the leading NoSQL database
- MySQL, the most common database type on web
- js for building network applications
- phpMyAdmin, the leading SQL management tool on the Internet
- full assets of Ruby on Rails
- WordPress, the most knows content management system with millions of instances
Plans and pricing
DigitalOcean offers 2 kinds of Droplets, Standard and CPU Optimized ones.
Standard Droplets are balanced virtual servers what are ideal for blogs, websites and application development testing. They have a good mix of memory, virtual CPUs, data transfer amount and SSD storage.
There are 14 plans in Standard Droplets section:
|RAM Memory||Virtual CPU||SSD Storage||Data Transfer||Monthly Price|
|Droplet #1||1 GB||1||25 GB||1 TB||$5|
|Droplet #2||2 GB||1||50 GB||2 TB||$10|
|Droplet #3||3 GB||1||60 GB||3 TB||$15|
|Droplet #4||1 GB||2||60 GB||3 TB||$15|
|Droplet #5||2 GB||3||60 GB||3 TB||$15|
|Droplet #6||4 GB||2||80 GB||4 TB||$20|
|Droplet #7||6 GB||4||160 GB||5 TB||$40|
|Droplet #8||16 GB||6||320 GB||6 TB||$80|
|Droplet #9||32 GB||8||640 GB||7 TB||$160|
|Droplet #10||48 GB||12||960 GB||8 TB||$240|
|Droplet #11||64 GB||16||1280 GB||9 TB||$320|
|Droplet #12||96 GB||20||1920 GB||10 TB||$480|
|Droplet #13||128 GB||24||2560 GB||11 TB||$640|
|Droplet #14||192 GB||32||3840 GB||12 TB||$960|
By turning the prices to working hours, the cheapest plan costs $0.007 per hour, while the biggest plan with 192 GB memory and 32 virtual CPUs costs only $1.429 per hour. These prices describes well why DigitalOcean SSD storage are so common among the users, there are hardly other companies on the Internet which offer such huge packages for low prices.
CPU Optimized Droplets
In special cases more computing resources are needed so DigitalOcean developed its CPU optimized plans as well. When it comes to big data handling, like continuous integration or continuous delivery, video related processing or machine learning, robust central processing units are vital. The CPU weighted plans are available in 6 versions where the strong CPU presence has small memory, SSD storage and bandwidth limits:
|Virtual CPU||RAM Memory||SSD Storage||Data Transfer||Monthly Price|
|Droplet #1||1||2 GB||25 GB||3 TB||20|
|Droplet #2||2||4 GB||25 GB||4 TB||40|
|Droplet #3||4||8 GB||50 GB||5 TB||80|
|Droplet #4||8||16 GB||100 GB||6 TB||160|
|Droplet #5||16||32 GB||200 GB||7 TB||320|
|Droplet #6||32||64 GB||400 GB||9 TB||640|
By turning the prices into working hours, the cheapest plan means $0.030 per hour, while the biggest plan with 32 virtual CPUs means $0.952 per hour.
Spaces: the simple object storage
DigitalOcean offers an additional service its main products, the Droplets, and it is called Spaces. As the name implies, this service is about data storage. By choosing Spaces, users can securely store their objects on DigitalOcean servers and serve the data to their customers or applications on a reliable way.
Advantages of Spaces
- Quick making: Users just need to give the name of instance and then click on create button. The new storage becomes available in seconds.
- Scalable storages: As Droplets, Spaces can be also easily scalable if more storage is needed.
- Combined usage: Spaces can be combined with Droplets.
- User friendly interface: the files can be handled by dragging and dropping them
- Advanced command solutions: Spaces has an advanced API with very detailed documentation. The storage can be also reached and controlled via command line tools as well.
Pricing of Spaces
The pricing of Spaces is quite simple and straight forwarding, 250 GB of SSD storage with 1 TB of outbound data transfer costs $5 per month. All additional GB of storage costs $0.02 per month and all used extra GBs of data transfer costs $0.01. This way all Spaces users can calculate the payable amounts and can cut off the costs by optimizing the stored data on virtual servers.
Uploading to Spaces also needs bandwidth and data transfer, but these GBs are not counted in monthly payable, just the data distributed from server to end targets.
DigitalOcean has a great Support that can be reached via contact form. Existing users can also open a ticket using the company ticked handling system. DigitalOcean is also active on social media platforms; they have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Glassdoor profiles as well.
There is a great Community section on the website, where comprehensive tutorials and how to articles are available for free of charge. The super detailed posts contain code pieces too and can be read without registration, however commenting on them requires a free DigitalOcean account. The more than 2000 articles cover almost every topic that can come up about web hosting and more advanced development actions.
The Questions and Answers section has a considerable amount of questions, at the moment of writing this review there are more than 20,000 questions. Users can use the search field to explore the already answered topics and navigation was made easier by introducing tags in the system. The tags are clickable on the site, so a click on any of them will show all related questions from the past.
The Projects section contains more than 200 projects of users, which can be used for free. They can be upvoted, commented and shared by other users, so real feedbacks can be read any of them by visiting the project profile.
DigitalOcean is a reliable and cheap SSD storage provider which already gained great reputation in the industry in the past decade. The big number of data centers offers the flexibility to choose the nearest data location, while the high amount of packages can be used to plan the costs.
The CPU weighted packages are a big plus, so more calculation dependent project owners can also find a reliable provider for data transfer to end users. There may be similar company on the market with even cheaper prices, but Digital Ocean is a rare one with good services and engaged support.