Question

ELI5: Using a digital ocean droplet, how to monitor traffic and manage accordingly.

Posted April 4, 2020 221 views
API

I code websites but I know next to nothing about servers. Been using “shared hosting” all my life (whatever that means…thought I was just uploading stuff). Now I have a digital ocean droplet (I barely know what that even means) with a node server.

I have the cheapest option. $5 per month, and I get 512 MB (of what? it doesn’t say), 1 CPU (one computer?), 20 GB SSD disk (cool, what’s that?), and 1000 GB transfer (what is transfer)?

Now, my website may gain more traffic in the future, so I assume with the cheapest option that it won’t be able to handle traffic. I sent the site to a whatsapp group of around 200 people and I noticed the page took longer to load than usual. Which led me to make this post.

Maybe one day something will be posted to Reddit and make the front page. How to be prepared for something like this without wasting money when the site has little to no traffic?

So explain like I am five, what are the basic things I need to know about managing traffic on a digital ocean droplet?

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1 answer

Hi there @sawantbhushan543,

I will try to go through the different resources that you get with your Droplet:

So with the $5 Droplet, you get the following resources:

  • 1GB of RAM - this is essentially your device’s short-term memory. It temporarily stores (remembers) everything that runs on your server. This is the same as on any other computer/PC.

  • 1 CPU - this is like the brain of the server (or the computer). It stands for Central Processing Unit, it’s the chip that executes instructions and where most calculations/processes take place.

  • 20 GB SSD disk - this is the storage of your server, that is where your website files, operating system and anything that you installed get stored. So for example, if you upload a picture to your Droplet, it would be stored on that 20GB disk space. SSD on the other side is a specific type of disk, which replaces the traditional mechanical hard disks by using flash-based memory, which is significantly faster.

For more information regarding the different hardware components of a computer/server, I would recommend going through some of the videos on this youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Techquickie/videos

Regarding the spikes in the traffic, I could suggest a few things:

  • If you are expecting spikes in the traffic, I could recommend setting up a CDN like Cloudflare for example, that way they would reduce some of the load on your actual Droplet.

  • Generally speaking, it is good to optimize your website so that it does not consume too many resources. For example, if you are running a WordPress website, make sure that you have a good caching plugin and you reduce the number of other plugins as much as possible.

  • Make sure to keep an eye on your resources’ utilization and upgrade your Droplet in case that you start getting more traffic

The most straight forward way of monitoring your Droplet is to use the DigitalOcean Monitoring. It is provided at no additional cost, for more information you can visit this link here:

https://www.digitalocean.com/docs/monitoring/

Hope that this helps!
Regards,
Bobby

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