Digital Ocean

I came across Digital Ocean today, and am fairly interested. (Though I’m not really planning on jumping from my current host.)

The premise is that they offer SSD-based virtual machines cloud servers. They’re not the only ones doing that, but their pricing is beyond competitive. The front page advertises a VM with 20GB of SSD storage and 512 MB RAM for $5/month. (And unmetered transfer.) Prices climb a bit as you go, but are pretty proportional — $20/month for a 2GB instance with 2 cores and 40GB of SSD-backed storage. That’s a very good deal — but almost frighteningly low, along the lines of “Would you like this 40-cent bottle of champagne?” in that it leaves me a bit worried about what’s “wrong”. (Though I’m yet to find anything.)

In not-very-scientific (nor real-world) tests, hdparm -t showed 310.29 MB/sec throughput (932MB in 3.00 seconds). Various speed tests give scattered results, from 2-6 MB/sec. (16-48 Mbps), though it’s entirely possible that the bottleneck was the remote server. I must say, though, that yum is faster than I have ever seen it before.

They do seem to block outbound ICMP, probably due to abuse problems. They also appear to block NTP, which is odd and makes me wonder what else is blocked.

I don’t plan on switching over any time soon, but at the same time, it’s tempting to think of $10/month as a reasonable expenditure if I find myself needing something to host the occasional app or whatnot.

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