DigitalOcean: a direct path to shipping your software product
February 14, 2017

DigitalOcean: a direct path to shipping your software product

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with DigitalOcean

We use digitalocean as a way to prototype infrastructure code in a way that is fundamentally different from Amazon Web Services. DigitalOcean's product features are more minimal and thus let us be sure we aren't relying on proprietary or non-standard features of AWS. In the past, I've deployed personal projects to DigitalOcean. And at a previous employer, we used DigitalOcean as our primary deployment target.
  • A simple feature set that is easy to get started with.
  • Plenty of integrations with userland tools such as CLIs, configuration management, and infrastructure as code.
  • Offers a clear pricing model that is easy to reason about. Other providers are less clear with how pricing will work in practice.
  • Their community outreach is fantastic including a wealth of tutorials and articles.
  • One-click installers for popular technologies are a really easy way to test out interesting technologies.
  • Their feature set is more focused than other providers like AWS, GCE, or Azure.
  • They charge a relatively high amount for image backups.
  • In years past, I've noticed droplets getting into a stuck state periodically. I'm not sure how much of a problem this is today.
  • Lack of software defined networking is a big minus. Once you are used to providers which offer this, it is tough to go back.
  • An excellent API that let us integrate their service tightly into our CI/CD pipeline.
  • Our existing toolchain, Ansible and Terraform, supports DigitalOcean out of the box.
  • I've been surprised by high bandwidth charges in the past. Though this particular usage would have bitten me on other providers as well.
DigitalOcean's dead simple pricing and solid but basic feature set combine for a no-nonsense way to get your product shipped. Its API makes it nicely scriptable/automate-able compared to traditional shared hosting providers like Dreamhost. I think it compares most closely with a provider like Linode. AWS and Google Cloud have a much richer catalog but also carry higher overhead and cost. Heroku and other PaaS products provide a nicer experience for people that don't want to deal with server setup.
When you need to get something deployed quickly, DigitalOcean can be one of the fastest routes if you can't use a PaaS and have requirements that necessitate a VPS.

I would avoid DigitalOcean if you don't need a full-blown IaaS and can use something like Heroku to get your app out the door quickly. I would also use a more advanced provider like AWS if you need features beyond DigitalOcean's catalog.

DigitalOcean Feature Ratings

Service-level Agreement (SLA) uptime
Dynamic scaling
Elastic load balancing
Pre-configured templates
Monitoring tools
Pre-defined machine images
Operating system support
Security controls