Image Hosting: Amazon S3 vs. DigitalOcean Storage?

I am currently hosting a service on Digital Ocean, as I move from development to release I have a few things I have to adjust.

I require that users be able to upload images and other media for storage. Ordinarily I’d use a service such as Amazon S3 or for smaller projects the free version of Cloudinary, however due to the fact that the number of images uploaded will be significantly large I think a separate solution is ideal.

Is Digital Ocean block storage sufficient for performing this task? I’ve found few resources on the topic and the official FAQ under When Should I Use Block Storage states: “As the document root or media uploads directory for a web server”

I understand that S3 is an object storage and not a block storage [It is also priced somewhat higher at ~$0.10/GB per month vs. ~$0.03/mo for S3] but I would like to keep things as simple as possible. The additional configuration to setup S3 alongside my meteor project seems daunting.

My question boils down to:

  • Is Digital Ocean Block Storage is suitable for this purpose?
  • Will everything play nicely with my existing CDN?
  • Can I create subdomain based image links? I.E.: (Amazon allows this through CNAME configurations)

Thanks for your time and sorry for the length, I tend to ramble. Raymond.


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Hey @RaymondLC92!

I’m happy to say that we have just announced Spaces Object Storage. It can definitely be used for storing images and other user uploaded files. It’s fully compatible with the S3 API so it’s a simple drop-in replacement!

Pricing is $5 per month for 250GB of storage and 1TB of outbound transfer. Inbound transfer/uploads are completely free of charge. Additional storage is available at $0.02 per GB stored, and additional bandwidth at $0.01 per GB of data transferred.

Check out the announcement here:

Hi, What is the main difference between “block storage” and “spaces” digital ocean product’s?

Practical warning: be aware of AWS charging data transferred out of their regions (e.g. to Digital Ocean droplets).

Few years ago I was processing bigger amount of data and the invoice was big surprise. Just estimate the amount and calculate.

how much space do you foresee using?

I think block-storage will be cheaper, as Amazon charges for uploading as well as storage space…so you could quickly run up a hefty bill with aws from the uploading and downloading even if you were not using much space.

Yes, you can create subdomains.

Not sure about CDN, but block-storage will just be a directory on your linux server. It is pretty straight-forward to work with.


Take a look about this DigitalOcean Alpha Object Storage here:

That’s will be a nice alternative of S3.