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What is Digital Ocean? – Review

Cloud-based applications and storage have become increasingly popular over the years. Often, it is a more cost-effective method. This is because you don’t need as much physical space on your computer, but also it is often easier for remote employees to access the projects they are working on. Furthermore, regular workers can do a little overtime from home when the office is closed.

There are plenty of cloud companies in operation, with some of the bigger names being Amazon and Google, but one that really gives you everything you need is DigitalOcean Cloud.

With fantastic company ethics, pricing that will work with your budget, and some of the best features around, there are plenty of reasons why you should pick this DigitalOcean as the company to work with. Here, I go through a little more about who they are, how they operate, and the various benefits that they offer.  

What is Digital Ocean Cloud Services?

DigitalOcean is an American cloud hosting company that gives developers reliable and easy to use virtual servers and object storage (amongst others). It was founded in 2011 in New York City, back when cloud infrastructure services were becoming popular, and they have since thrived thanks to their easy to use products that make life for developers and business owners alike that much easier. DigitalOcean’s hosting has been made with developers in mind, so you can expect plenty of facilitation and tools.

The size of your business doesn’t matter either. As the company states, it doesn’t matter if you are running one virtual server or ten thousand – the products works seamlessly across each of your sectors and remains simple for any of your employees to use. It doesn’t take a front and centre position either, it stays out of the way so that your team can get to work on the cloud applications that are most important, and in a faster and more efficient manner.

DigitalOcean Features?

DigitalOcean offers two main classes of products, and these are Droplets (compute servers), and Storage.  Droplets include dozens of different sizes and configurations of compute servers, from 1 CPU Droplets for $5/mo, up to 32 CPU servers using the latest Intel chips.  Storage products include Spaces for object storage, and Block Storage that you can attach to your Droplets.

DigitalOcean also offers Network services like load balancers, firewalls, and DNS.  All of these products can be managed through their UI, API, CLI, or client libraries.   You can find the right configuration for most applications, so it is important to know what separates each before you go any further.

Droplets (DigitalOcean servers)

Also called a cloud instance, this is what is known as a scalable computer service in that it provides you with add-on storage, security, and monitoring capabilities that are able to run production applications with great ease. The great thing about Droplets is that they are available in 8 locations around the world.

Furthermore, they are re-sizable at any time, meaning that you can send them across the globe with ease, and can also upgrade them as you need to later on – so you can get the essentials out immediately and worry about the rest later.

The distributions (or distros) can be pre-built, and there are six for you to choose from, each of which comes with a detailed description before you choose. Plus, you can back them up simply by clicking a box when you set it up, keep them safe with cloud firewalls, and receive immediate alerts if anything changes or has been altered by a team member.

Data Centers

Quite simply put, this is object storage that can be used to store and deliver any amount of data you desire to end-users and applications. It’s a simple and cost-effective route to take, and uses an easy drag-and-drop UI or API to make things efficient for you. It even comes with a 60-day free trial if you aren’t entirely sure.

Some of the features you can expect from this product are things like scalable storage, ensuring that your projects always have the space they need to expand without limitation. The setup process is also fast, taking mere seconds and it’s ready for use, and you can use Spaces as a standalone feature if you are not interested in the other services. Affordability and ease of use are the key features this product has. The server locations are distributed across the entire world, giving you stability, speed, and reliability of your cloud servers. On top of that, you can choose the data center region that corresponds best with your location.

Tools and Integration

DigitalOcean has an excellent selection of tools and integrations to bring your company closer together and also keep everything on track. The DOCTL CLI tool allows for better control and management of the Droplet cloud server.  DOCTL is open-sourced and is regularly updated to manage all your resources, reducing the amount of time you have to spend manually interacting with web-based interfaces. Still, compared to other hosting providers such as Google, the options are pretty limited.

The API is well documented and provides flexibility in how you control your DigitalOcean infrastructure. Using curl commands or API wrappers, your possibilities are virtually endless. One of the best tools, however, is the free team accounts feature providing the ability to work seamlessly with your entire team to share access to infrastructure.  This includes security features so that you can stay on top of all activity.

How do They Work?

In many ways, DigitalOcean is a modern and visionary company as they integrate remote and on-site work to create the perfect team. Situated in eight different locations across the world, they offer their staff the chance to work from home or in the office, allowing employees to spend time with family or follow their personal aspirations between work projects.

With many statistics saying that half the population in most Western countries will be working remotely or on a self-employed basis by 2020, it’s interesting to see a company like DigitalOcean taking a step ahead and implementing the option to work from home so early on.

Many experts reckon that it will set the tone for other companies in similar (and even different) sectors as remote work can allow you to employ some of the best minds who would otherwise not be able to work for the company.

Of course, DigitalOcean holds regular video calls and conferences to keep in touch with their remote employees, but also to ensure that they feel as though they are part of the company. They even deliver gifts to their remote workers for holidays and milestones, as well as ensuring that local events are held for those who live close to each other. It’s something that could certainly be considered a benefit of this company as they treat their staff with the utmost respect.

The Benefits of Using Digital Ocean

If the above information hasn’t quite convinced you that DigitalOcean is right for you, there are a number of other benefits that come with using this service

The first of these is the pricing. The reason for this is that as of January 2018, DigitalOcean took a bold step and gave customers massive storage increases for the same price – so you get more for less. It’s a move that shocked tech gurus across the web.

One example of their new hosting plans is that you can get 1GB of RAM, 25GB of SSD storage, and 1 CPU core for a mere $5 monthly fee. This is cheaper than any other web hosting platform offering similar services, which is part of what makes this company so appealing.

Essentially, they have taken each of the packages they offer and doubled what you get without changing the price, and this is an offer that spans across each of the Droplet products that they sell. Additionally, they have announced that they will be releasing per-second billing in the near future (something which other services already offer), and that despite changes to pricing, the services all remain just as flexible as they have always been.

As we have mentioned a few times before, it is an incredibly fast, simple, and efficient basic services that make things easier for you. The admin tools are effortless to use, and it helps you to build better apps at a faster pace. It’s a system that incorporates everything you need into one neat little package that you and your entire team can access with ease – allowing everyone to work together to update and work on projects in a timely manner, giving your customers better software.

The global availability means that you can deploy to any of the eight regions the company operates in around the world, so that international teams can benefit from improved communication and the ability to really work as part of the team. Everything is protected, and you receive immediate and real-time alerts to ensure that you never miss even the smallest amount of activity.

Their security and customer support team is also top of the line, offering you support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year without fail. That way, you can always keep track of what’s happening and address any issues or concerns you have immediately. There’s also the DigitalOcean community where you can ask any pressing questions. It’s a reliable app, and is even able to boast a 99.99% uptime SLA for all services.

Digital Ocean alternatives

Vultr

Vultr is a cloud service provider with 17 locations worldwide. They’re probably the most prominent competition for DigitalOcean. Founded in 2014, their aim is to provide the highest quality cloud computing. What differs them from the rest are no long term contracts, one-click apps, ease of use, and full control over the resources.

Amazon EC2

This cloud computing platform belongs to the giant, Amazon. They have millions of clients and are the biggest provider of such services. Clients such as Netflix, Airbnb, BP, and Volkswagen chose to put their trust in them. They provide all of the features you would ever need from a cloud platform.

Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine is arguably the leader when it comes to cloud computing and web hosts. They offer good value for money, easy integration, global scaling, and great file encryption methods. Google integrates with far more other software products compared to Digital Ocean, where things are pretty limited New customers also get $300 to spend in credits.

UpCloud

UpCloud boasts twice as fast block storage compared to other hosting companies. Scaling your business has never been easier with them, as all it takes is a single click. Moreover, they offer you a two-month free migration period if you choose to switch to them. They have an API perfect for developers and it’s easy to integrate your app with them.

To Conclude

Hopefully, this has given you a better idea of how DigitalOcean works and what they are able to offer you. They really pride themselves on customer communication and satisfaction, and it is important to note that you are always first in their mind. With a simple interface and a system that has been designed for efficiency and speed, it’s not one that is going to take up a lot of time, but it is one that is sure to make life easier for you.

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