DigitalOcean: First Impression

Posted under others On By xpk

My venture with VULTR ended prematurely, time to move onto a more popular platform – Digital Ocean. It’s one of the first to offer an all-ssd cloud offering.

Its ability to provide HTML5-based machine consoles is very interesting. For what I know, this feature does not exist on more advanced platforms like AWS / Azure.

Joining the club

After creating a new account and entered my card data, a verification process will be presented. You will need to verify your email, re-enter your mailing address, and connect to github and twitter. So happen I have github and twitter accounts so it’s not a problem for me. Once everything is entered, Digital Ocean still need to review your data until unlocking your account.

DigitalOcean_Control_PanelI don’t understand why their support asks me where I connect to the Internet from and won’t activate my account hours after I fulfilled all the verification requirements. They finally approved my account after I explained what I’m going to do with the instance.


There are 5 locations to choose from. Not a whole lot but good enough for me as most traffic will be serviced by Cloud Flare anyway.



They live up to their promise. The instance deployed in under 60 seconds. Once provisioned, a temp password was emailed to be in plaintext despite I’ve uploaded my public key.


Console access

As promised, console access is available and it’s reasonably fast.



There doesn’t seem to be any firewall  / security group. But that’s actually fine as it’s similar to traditional VPS. Access will need to be managed with iptables and that’s perfectly fine because console access is available. PTR record is automatically added with the droplet name I gave. Simple and effective!


Two factor authentication is supported with google authenticator. One must first register a phone number with Digital Ocean, and once verified, the QR code will show. Not sure why phone verification is necessary though.

Final thoughts

Now that my VM has been running for half a day, I think generally DO is quite fast both in terms of IO and CPU. There is one problem which I’ve yet to be able to solve. DO doesn’t offer any DNS resolvers. Droplets or instances are using google’s public DNS by default. I added ultradns’s public servers just in case the all-mighty google dns needs to go to maintenance.

Backup can be enabled during spin up and can be disabled afterwards, but it cannot be enabled after instance is spun up. So decide whether you need backup ahead of time.


If you’re thinking of deploying to Digital Ocean, I’d greatly appreciate if you use this link to sign up. You’ll get $10, I’ll get $25 if you stay.

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  1. I actually wrote a first impression post on Vultr before I wrote one for DigitalOcean. The experience wasn’t the greatest. If you’re interested, you can search for vultr on this blog.

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