Daniel Groves

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Ninty–nine days on Digital Ocean

Published: 23 May 2013

Some thoughts around the care and features behind Digital Ocean

Roughly three months ago I got fed-up with the slow speeds of my old VPS. I decided to make the move to a new company, and after some toing and froing I decided to give Digital Ocean a try; so far I've been thoroughly impressed.

Digital Ocean logo
To-date, I've been very impressed with the speed and support offered by Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean boast impressively low prices and SSD powered VPS' that can be created in just 55-seconds. This makes it quick for you to spin-up a new VPS as an experiment and just throw it away when you're done. With a starting price of $5/month they're cheap as well.

I've been using the $20/month package to run a several of sites. This features 2GB of RAM, 2 CPU cores, 40GB SSD storage and 3TB of transfer. Running the current long-term release of Ubuntu server with a stack featuring MySQL and nginx I've found this to be more than powerful enough to run several WordPress powered sites, a couple of static sites and an install of GitLab.

Digital Ocean currently offer hosting in San Francisco, New York and Amsterdam (my location), with plenty more locations such as the UK planned in the near future.

To help get those who are new to running an un-managed server off the ground they have an extensive collection of articles which help you set-up and maintain a server with many of the major linux operating systems.

Digital Ocean also provide best-of-class customer support. Many people who use their DNS services have reported Digital Ocean fixing incorrectly configured DNS for them before it becomes an issue, as well as dropping them an email to inform them of this. They provide quick replies to customer service tickets and are more than happy to help you with just about any issue you might face.

They also actively listen to what the community wants. They run a UserVoice forum for collecting feature suggestions which they allow customers to vote for in order to gauge how important each feature is. They feedback quickly on these and will aim to quickly implement the most popular features.

The hosting also features a free backup system; personally I'd always keep a local copy though.They also feature an API which allows you to do everything from re-sizing a current server to destroying or crating a new one.

Over the last year we've seen a massive surge in the volume of companies offering two step authentication; from Dropbox to Google and App.net. Digital Ocean havn't been left behind here which is great to see, given the sensitive nature of the data we're trusting them with and jsut how much damage can be done with a hosting control panel.

Summary

In the last three months I've been using them I've not had any speed or down-time issues. They listen to what the customers want and take security seriously. Digital Ocean have remained fast with good customer service and looks to be my host-of-choice for sometime to come.


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