sirkong2
By:
sirkong2

Confused with backup pricing

January 29, 2015 5.6k views

Hi. Today I received and email from Digital Ocean telling me that as from February they will be actually charging for backups (they where saying they would but they didn't).

On their email they say:
"Starting in February, however, you will begin to see charges for backups on your monthly invoice. Backups will now happen on a weekly basis, with at least four backups occurring per month. You'll only be charged for a maximum of four backups in any given month and you'll never be charged for backups that fail to happen."

Now, on the community pages I found this link:
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/understanding-digitalocean-droplet-backups

Which says:
"DigitalOcean backups cost 20% the monthly cost of your Droplet. So for a $5 Droplet, DigitalOcean backups will cost $1, bringing your monthly total to $6."

I'm a bit confused. If I have a $5 Droplet will I be charged $6 a month or $9 a month (if no backup fails)?

Thank you!

6 comments
  • $6

    "DigitalOcean backups cost 20% the monthly cost of your Droplet. So for a $5 Droplet, DigitalOcean backups will cost $1, bringing your monthly total to $6." is quite clear about that.

  • Thanks for your answer bit host.
    It gets confusing when they say "you'll only be charged for a maximum of four backup in a given month".

  • I am confused as well. It also seems like the frequency (currently every 3-4 days) will decrease to once per week? Seems odd to decrease the frequency of backups at the same time the price goes up (from $0).

  • I'm also confused about the wording. Yes, the pricing wording itself is very clear, and any charge greater than $1 on a $5 droplet would be an incorrect charge and therefore refunded.

    However.... this is the confusing bit.

    You'll only be charged for a maximum of four backups in any given month and you'll never be charged for backups that fail to happen.

    That could mean multiple things; re-reading it several times and trying to interpret it different ways, I'm guessing that what it means is that if a weekly backup misses, then you won't be charged for any of that month's backups.

    But there's something more important than this - once a week is NOT regular enough. Even once every 3 days wasn't really ideal. The backups guides here assume that everything is nice and tidy in one place, running one website and a couple of databases, and you can pretty much zip the whole lot up when you like and automate backups like that.

    On my Droplet, I run a telephony server, a voice server, an audio server, node, nginx, grunt, and 3 sites with fairly complex iptables firewall rules, plus of course php, fastcgi-cache, MariaDB and so on . Much of the above needs building, so I've got the build tools which sometimes require the latest kernel and so on and so on. It doesn't fall into the neat little package the backup guides have you believe. A reboot can be risky, especially after a kernel update. I speak from experience, so I like to wait until a backup has happened.

    And what about snapshots

    The other thing is - 7 months ago, we were promised that the "hot" snapshots - the ability to take a snapshot on demand, without taking the server offline - would be coming soon:

    In https://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digitalocean/suggestions/3890436-take-a-snapshot-without-shutting-down Moisey Uretsky said on Jul 29, 2014:

    "We’ve rolled out a new version of our cloud backend code in the new Singapore region, which is v1.5.

    This version has full support for snapshots that occur while the droplet is running without the need for shutting down.

    We are now beginning a process to migrate the existing regions to the new code base and will be rolling this out over the next several months."

    When really pushed hard for a response, support just say

    we do not have any ETA for the ability to take snapshots while the droplet is on.

    which is odd, as support are normally absolutely fantastic and always answer questions immediately.

    Does this email even apply to snapshots? I mean, yes, I know the snapshot pricing...

    https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/digitalocean-backups-and-snapshots-explained

    The price for snapshots will be $0.02 per GB of snapshot storage per month.

    but will this be implemented at the same time? And am I right in thinking that the way this is worded means that snapshot pricing is only for the actual storage, whereas backup pricing is fixed based on the droplet size?

    In an ideal world, "live" snapshots would be implemented soon, because the 35 minutes it takes to backup a 20Gb droplet running all of the above at ANY time of day or night is TOO long.

    Anyway, this sounds like more of a complaint than it is. DigitalOcean still rock. I think it's perfectly fair to charge for backups and a dollar a month is fine by me, but the email was badly worded and I'd like to see some clarification, and would be happy to pay another 20% for a guaranteed daily full backup. I'd be happy with a system that kept the last 3 days, one each week for the last three weeks, and one monthly.

    This tutorial provides an explanation for how backup and snapshots work on DigitalOcean. Additionally, it includes information on how to scale, backup, and clone out servers with snapshots.
  • I've asked the support and got the following response for my $ 20 droplet:

    Hello
    
    There is no per-backup fee.
    
    It would be a flat rate per-month of 20% of the droplet, in this case $4
    
    Let us know if you have any other questions or feedback
    
    Regards
    Support
    
  • Great! Thanks for this. Then we should keep this message in mind just in case they send us any extra charge. Thanks marc79690

2 Answers

Hi all,

Sorry about the confusion on this. I see how the phrasing "you'll only be charged for a maximum of four backup in a given month" is a bit unclear.

Backups are still a flat rate of 20% of the cost of the droplet. So enabling backups on a $5 droplet will be $1 per month. On a $10 droplet it will be $2, and so on.

Part of this change is our promise that backups will happen on a regularly scheduled weekly basis, with at least four backups occurring per month. The control panel will show you when the next backup is scheduled to occur. If we fail at our promise, the normal monthly cost of backups will be reduced accordingly. If a backup failure leaves you with only three backups for the month, that will reduce the flate rate to 15%.

Ohhh now I understand. The wording definitely didn't help.
Thanks for your clear answer, hope it helps others.
Cheers.

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