Hard limit on data usage?

Posted October 24, 2017 4.5k views

I’m considering using Digital Ocean but am reluctant to sign up while there’s still any possibility that I can get hit with a 3 to 6 digit bill out of the blue because someone is DOSing my droplet or something else goes haywire that causes traffic to significantly exceed my plan’s transfer cap. (It tentatively looks like a bill much higher than $15,000,000 is theoretically impossible at the $5/month service tier, assuming 40 Gb/sec full duplex for the entire month…presumably something would catch on fire or someone would pull the plug before then, but even at 40 Mb/sec nonstop one-way that’s still around a $7500 bill.)

In short, I’m hoping someone from Digital Ocean can notify me when they’ve added a transfer capacity tripwire to their management system that is guaranteed to automatically shut down a droplet when (according to Digital Ocean’s own metering) it exceeds its monthly transfer quota.

A vnstat solution, etc., running periodically in the droplet isn’t a solution: it isn’t foolproof and it can’t read traffic from Digital Ocean’s perspective. An email alert doesn’t solve the problem either because email is neither reliable nor instantaneous, charges still accrue after the mail is sent, and I may not be available or able to check email, let alone shut down the droplet in a timely manner.

In normal circumstances I expect to use less than 1 GB/day.

As soon as this transfer limit short circuit feature exists I’ll sign up.


These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Submit an Answer
1 answer

Thanks for your question. First to clarify a DDOS can not run up your bill because inbound traffic is free, so that would not cause a bandwidth charge.

In regards to outbound bandwidth we do offer billing alerts which you can setup in your control panel to email you whenever your current balance exceeds a specific limit. You did mention that email isn’t your preferred communication method, but we do offer that specifically for the general purpose of someone exceeding their bill whether it be bandwidth or something else.

If you want to ensure that you do not exceed a certain amount of bandwidth what you can do is traffic shaping on your droplet through the network interface. If you figure out that you do not want to exceed x amount of GBs of transfer, then you can take x / 320 = y Mbps. Then you can shape traffic on the public interface to not exceed y Mbps, and then for the month you would never exceed the amount of GB of transfer that you specified before.

  • Hi, I know this is an old question. I stumbled upon it while googling this exact issue. I am fairly new to this area of computing and was wondering if you have any references or examples of how to do what you are saying. That is to say, I am not sure how to implement “traffic shaping”.