High Memory Droplets? No, create option for the poor lone devs

September 26, 2016 1.9k views
Storage Ubuntu 16.04

The introduction of Block Storage was amazing, as I could add as low as 1 Gig to my storage, extremely great for the poor developers.

When Memory storage was introduced, I thought it was gonna have a similar approach until I realized starting price is 120$ per month. That's insane, I think. If I had 120$ to shed in the first place, I would have signed on to a bigger droplet from day one.

At the moment, I wish to pay for only 512 MB of additional memory for my droplet. CPU can remain the same, everything else can remain the same, just 512 MB of memory.

Please think of the poor guys too.

2 Answers

In the end, DigitalOcean needs to run as an actual business. If it were profitable to offer those plans, they would have.

  • You've given me 512 MB RAM, 1 Core, 20 Gig SSD for 5$ each month, letting me pay for 1.5 or 2$ for (per week or month) an extra 512 is not/won't be "profitable to offer those plans"?

    I knew someone would throw in the 'needs to run as business' but didn't think it'll come up soon.

    I'm not saying DO should go bankrupt, I'm just saying there're also opportunities for those of us on the other side of the fence

    By giving blocks options, the developer has the opportunity to rig their droplet in ways of their choice, depending on their needs.

    Someone might need 2 TB of Storage but only needs 2 Cores, whiles another might need 224 Gig of RAM but only 20 Gig SSD. Whichever side of the scale, the dev is still paying, which is revenue for DO whichever the direction is.

    Flexibility and options, that's all I'm saying.

    I'm in a similar situation now where I neither need more storage nor CPU power, rather more RAM, but I can't, and will have to move my ENTIRE system to higher specs just because of 512 RAM I'm in need of

    • What you're describing doesn't work the way you think it does.

      Hypervisor capacity planning is a huge part of what plans you're able to offer to your customers. In order to give you a cheaper 1 GB plan by not giving you CPU and disk, they would have to take that extra RAM off other droplets, so they're unable to sell that particular VM you just stole all the RAM from. Sure, it's revenue for DO - less revenue than before, which is no way to run a business.

      There's a certain price point where you don't take as many losses creating high capacity droplets. Presumably that's the price point that DigitalOcean decided on before coming out with the new plans.

      It's possible that things will change and it becomes profitable to do custom plans, but it doesn't seem likely any time soon.

      • There's no reason a hosting company can't provide flexible RAM choices. You can make up hundred of reasons why that's infeasible or you can just do that, provided people will use that.

        • Not wanting to lose money is a great reason for a business not to offer a service, actually.

          • True, why earn less money by providing specific option if you can earn more from users who would buy that as part of more expensive package?

            That would be the case until there is considerable amount of users who would buy RAM-only upgrade or none at all. If there's enough interest in that, I'm sure businesses would roll it out. Just as it has been with block storage.

          • Your implication that DigitalOcean is not offering those custom plans because they make more money by selling you resources you do not need is absurd.

            You seem confused about how hardware allocation works. It's not that they would make less money, it's that there's a very real possibility that they would LOSE money.

            Keep in mind that DigitalOcean already offers high memory droplets.

          • Good morning there!

            True, I don't know shit about rack hardware.

            I do know, however, that I can buy extra RAM, plug it into my desktop and just increase the RAM slider on a VM that runs on my desktop OS.

            And being a software engineer I also know that people tend to overcomplicate things and tell how great the problem are and provide 10 reasons why it can't be implemented. And that usually sounds very credible. Until the other engineer just gets the thing done.

            Cheers.

          • Never did I suggest there were technical barriers to implementing this, only business ones. Note the very first part of your message, though: Purchase more RAM. You're suggesting that DO revisits their entire hypervisor planning to accommodate you.

            This is why you cannot compare the desktop and an enterprise spanning thousands of VMs.

          • Yeah exactly, good businesses accommodate clients.

          • "Yeah exactly, good businesses accommodate clients."

            Sure, but not at a loss. You can see that DigitalOcean has introduced new plans again since this discussion begun, proving that they're willing to accommodate clients if their demands make sense.

          • Yeah, clarification: good businesses accommodate clients and profit from that. Selling additional GB of RAM for couple of bucks should work just fine, if there's enough demand.

          • "Selling additional GB of RAM for couple of bucks should work just fine, if there's enough demand."

            Unfortunately, in the real world, servers need to have capacity for this, and as it has been explained countless times, it's not just a matter of throwing some extra RAM on the server.

          • Sorry, I just can't buy this. Throwing some more ram to server and letting people use it as addon to the droplet (until rans out) is good start. During closed beta it will be very clear on how viable that would be.

          • "Throwing some more ram to server and letting people use it as addon to the droplet (until rans out) is good start."

            Except it's already possible to buy high memory droplets, you're just saddened that DigitalOcean doesn't operate at a loss to give people who can't afford it a plan too. They already know how viable it is, and they're already doing it.

          • I'd say you're overcomplicating this for some reason. Are you a digitalocean employee pissed with customers and their requests?

            If they are selling cpu + 1gb ram + ssd, it's definitely possible to sell just ram as addon. They are already providing a purchase option as a package, this is about providing an option of purchasing an item individually. Industries are doing that. By stating "this is impossible" you contradict common sense.

            Btw, not that I badly need that feature, quite the opposite. I use DO occasionally and mostly perfectly served with $5-$10 instances. But I like the idea.

          • "I'd say you're overcomplicating this for some reason."

            You're oversimplifying it.

            "If they are selling cpu + 1gb ram + ssd, it's definitely possible to sell just ram as addon. They are already providing a purchase option as a package, this is about providing an option of purchasing an item individually."

            This is what they are doing. The high memory droplets are instance that have been designed with more memory in mind. Think of it a different way, instead of paying to get just RAM, you're also getting CPU, disk space, and additional transfer, for free!

            "Industries are doing that. By stating "this is impossible" you contradict common sense."

            I guess it's a good thing I never said that, then.

            Also, sure, Linode used to do that. It was really expensive, and barely anyone used it, so they stopped doing it.

          • Yeah, I love to make complex stuff simple.

            I see linode offer high-memory plans 16gb+ / $60+. But did they offer ram addon? Interesting, I somehow missed that. Quick looking through their blog does not reveal that either. I'd be interested to read about that if you have any prooflink?

            You mention it was too expensive, was it more expensive than $5 / 1gb? That's what they are charging for their lowest plan.

            The thing with high-memory plans is that I had a need once or twice in couple GB of extra RAM, but not 16 :)

            Another thing is that you not necessary want to move to other server (by moving to other plan). Compare configuring new server with just power off - add ram - power on.

          • "Yeah, I love to make complex stuff simple."

            Ignoring the complexity isn't quite the same thing.

            "I'd be interested to read about that if you have any prooflink?"

            I tried googling a few minutes ago to highlight how bad of a deal it was, but didn't find the pricing. But the numbers were similar to now: you could upgrade your Linode for a few dollars, and you'd barely get any RAM (or disk) in return. It was really a poor investment.

            "You mention it was too expensive, was it more expensive than $5 / 1gb? That's what they are charging for their lowest plan."

            No, the Linode feature was almost exactly as you described it previously. You could either upgrade to the next plan, or purchase only RAM (or disk) as an add-on. Because of the high cost of the addon, it was often a better deal to spend a few more cents and upgrade your plan.

            "Compare configuring new server with just power off - add ram - power on."

            It looks like you're unaware that DigitalOcean allows you to resize your existing plans on the fly, too, instead of migrating. See this link for more details.

            Resizing your servers can be an effective way of increasing their capacity, by allowing them to utilize more memory (RAM), CPU, and disk storage. The ability to resize a server, also known as vertical scaling, can be useful in a variety of situations that prompt the need for a more powerful server, such as if your concurrent user base increases or if you need to store more data. In this tutorial, we will show you how to resize your server, also known as a droplet, on DigitalOcean.
          • It looks like you're unaware that DigitalOcean allows you to resize your existing plans on the fly, too, instead of migrating.

            Resize is not bad for temporary solution. Still can't get e.g. 4gb RAM with 1 CPU and small disk.
            Quite surprised it works snappy now, especially comparing to snapshots. Even though docs say it takes 1 minute per gb it worked faster for me. Thanks for sharing. +1 for the resize.

            Ignoring the complexity isn't quite the same thing.

            I don't know, still you're overcomplicating it for my taste. You mention planning complexity and business obstacles, but that's not even necessary here. Really, it just looks to me like you don't like this feature, you don't want it implemented for some reason. It sounds like an employee who can't say "no" to his boss and makes lots of obstacles in order not to do what he does not want to do. Not sure why you're so against this feature. I'd be ok if it's left behind as unwanted, I'd be glad to see if it is done.

            I tried googling a few minutes ago to highlight how bad of a deal it was, but didn't find the pricing.

            Yeah. Found no reference to that in their blog either. Was it THAT bad for them or what...

          • "Resize is not bad for temporary solution. Still can't get e.g. 4gb RAM with 1 CPU and small disk. "

            Of course not, that would be silly. You already get 2 vCPU with the 4 GB plan, so you're suggesting that users get less resources for the same price. I can understand why DigitalOcean does not want to do this.

            "I don't know, still you're overcomplicating it for my taste"

            This isn't a matter of taste. The only reason why you think your idea makes sense is because you're ignoring every one of its flaws.

          • Yeah, the pricing should reflect what you get, that's the whole point!

          • "Yeah, the pricing should reflect what you get, that's the whole point!"

            It does. You're under the false impression that the price of what you're asking would actually be lower, when that isn't the case.

          • When you go to McDonalds and want one menu (burger, fries, cola) and extra fries - you get just that and pay for just that. You don't need to get bigger menu or two menus.

            Definitely you get slight discount if you have a menu, but if you want just extra fries - that's fine.

            If you want extra 1gb of ram - that should be fine. That's exactly how it should work.

          • DigitalOcean sells virtual private servers, not hamburgers, which is why they are priced differently. Every computer needs RAM, not every order needs fries.

            Since you're definitely not convinced by facts, logical thinking, well thought out arguments, and common sense, maybe reading it from the head of product of digitalocean himself will convince you. Although at this point I would not be surprised if you came up with yet another excuse why you're right and practically everyone else in the industry is wrong just so you can save 50 cents on a server.

            Again: What you are asking for IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN UPGRADING YOUR DROPLET.

            Just in case the link goes down:

            "which would then result in an increased price back to the customer which wouldn’t be ideal."

            "because we won’t move to a “slider” scale where customers can dynmaically select each component individually, it would just lead to increased costs for customers."

            This is why I'm arguing with you, because I don't want DigitalOcean to increase their costs across the board because of your misunderstandings.

          • In all, I conclude by saying, the first company to truly find a way to do what DO and whoever the head of DO is whining about, would earn the biggest in the virtual server world.

            No one said it was gonna be easy. No one ever said it was that simple. There're gonna be probably some really under the hood crazy turn arounds to happen, however, there's this restraint Do has on the whole idea of customizable.

            At least now, there's a NICHE available for another startup to explore and rise.

            It is when people/businesses sit on their loins, that new start-ups get to shine and outweigh them.

            All the best DO, but don't say nobody told you so.

            They say, 'If there's a will, there's a way'. DO has NOT even a single will to get this customizability thing going, so it is a waste of time trying to nudge them.

            Before they know and adapt, it might be too late.

          • They want to do it, and have done it already, see high memory and high CPU droplets. It would be stupid for them to do it for the lower sized plans, as it would increase the cost instead of reducing it.

          • Ok, some points:

            • I'll anyways keep using DO for the single fact that they have support that is more or less fine. I'm not a power user and mostly served fine by the basic droplet types. But still, I love the idea. That's why I keep recommending DO to people.

            • that post from head of product is dating 2014, that was 3.5 years ago, things change. I'd love to hear their current vision

            • a company has to have a vision, a plan. If DO chooses this approach it's fine. Anyways, simplicity that comes from packages is what we loved DO for in the first place. Guess everybody remember traffic charges in AWS / Google / Azure and guessing how much that server would cost you?

            • One can't say everyone else in the industry does things only one way. Google compute engine have a slider that allows you to select RAM and vCPUs. But well, even if everybody in the industry were doing things one way - who cares, industries change

            • whatever you say @gparent, but DO slightly comes to this approach of integrating more 'sliders' in their service. It just takes them time to do it their way

            • IMO pricing/value in DO high-memory plans still suck. Charge whatever, $2.5 per / 1 GB ram. Want 8gb extra - pay $20 extra. That'd be cool.

            • ability to pay for what you use is why we use VPS that much nowadays. Anybody want to go back to rentals with 1 month minimum duration? I prefer current 1 hour (or 1 minute on some platforms). "Pay for what you need" is where the things are going

            • They have block storage now, "Block RAM" is the next logical evolution of those currently ridiculous high-memory plans

            • @gparent and me might disagree, but over the years DO proven to get closer to accommodating customer needs, not further from it.

            • @seanmavley you're getting frustrated when you see @gparent's vision, but is that DO's vision?

          • I don't disagree at all that DO adapts their service to their customer, which is why they already implemented what you want, for both CPU and memory.

            You already have their current vision, you're just refusing to believe it. If the high memory plans made sense at the lower end, they would exist.

            This is completely in line with the post that I linked to, even if it's from 2013.

            Comparing Google to DigitalOcean does not make any sense. Google is one of the largest tech company to ever exist in the entire world, established in dozens of countries, the other one is a VPS provider. This doesn't make much more sense than your hamburger analogy.

            Nobody ever said my vision was DO's vision, I dunno why you're quizzing random people about this.

          • I didn't have a chance to check the CPU; RAM should definitely be different, high-memory plans don't quite cut it.

    • @seanmavley as a temporary workaround swap is an option. Worked for me when I need 1gb ram to install swift, while app would need below 120mb to operate later on.

      fallocate -l 2G /swapfile
      chmod 600 /swapfile
      mkswap /swapfile
      swapon /swapfile
      

      |f you'd like swap to be there after reboot, add this to crontab -e

      @reboot /sbin/swapon /swapfile
      

      Or this to /etc/fstab

      /swapfile   none    swap    sw    0   0
      

      Cheers.

Hi @seanmavley I think its a great idea. I would certainly increase memory on some of my droplets if this feature was available.

Have you added this as a suggestion?

https://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digitalocean?query=memory

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