Managed Database or Droplet?

Posted February 26, 2020 21k views
DigitalOcean Managed MySQL Database

I am currently running 1 droplet and within that it’s running 1 web server and 1 database (MySQL).

My plan is to move out the database into a server of it’s own.

The database is still fairly small, it’s only at 250MB.

However, I am not sure which to pick, either a managed MySQL database or another Ubuntu droplet that only runs MySQL database.

What are the pros and cons of running a managed database versus running a droplet?


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3 answers

It depends on how much time/energy you want to dedicate to maintain/update/backup your DB server. If you’d rather focus on something else, you could spin up your own Droplet. However, if you trust DO to have better methodologies and security, a managed DB could let you focus on to more important things.

I really like the idea of managed DBs, and I could not care less about managing my own server. As long as security and performance are okay, that’s good enough for me.

“Control” is really the primary downside of managed DBs for me. I have complained in other places in these forums that not being able to configure key performance factors such as innoDB size, keys, etc increases the likelihood of the performance of efficiency issues for which the only option becomes “spend more”.

The lack of more granular performance metrics is also a problem for the same reasons.

That said, if you look at managed DBs that allows for that level of control (namely AWS Aurora or RDS), they cost also quite a bit more.

Hi there @davidyap,

In addition to what @Zehubert mentioned, in my opinion, one of the biggest benefits of the Managed MySQL Database Clusters is the scalability and the automated failover.

You can scale up at any time by easily spinning up read-only nodes to scale read operations. I’ve managed a lot of MySQL clusters in the past and manually adding new read-only nodes is really a complex process and takes a lot of time, so being able to automate all that with the DigitalOcean Managed MySQL Clusters is truly a gamechanger for me.

Also for an unmanaged MySQL cluster, if your Master node crashes, the manual recovery process is again a complex and time consuming, there would also be a lot of downtime. On the other side with the Managed MySQL Clusters, in the event of a failure, Managed Databases will automatically switch data handling to a standby node to minimize downtime.


  • I am curious about the pricing? I noticed I can add additional Databases within a managed database? Is that cheaper than spinning up another instance? It would be good to understand the difference between additional DB’s vs additional Managed DB’s in the control panel. Pricing and management? I didn’t see a way to restrict certain users to certain databases…



    • Hi there @neilheuer,

      You would be charged only for your Managed Database Cluster and any read-replicas that you create.

      On that cluster, you can create as many databases as you need, as long as there is enough Disk space.

      Hope that this helps!

I don’t see a reason not to try your own MySQL server on a separate droplet, it will save you some money. Don’t be afraid of all those failures as they don’t happen that frequently, I am sure you haven’t faced any failure and you are running MySQL on you droplet itself with web server. I am not saying failures don’t happen, all I am saying is they don’t happen that often. Most of the web hosting’s and websites run on such environment.

Note : Just take frequent database backups(Just to be safe if failures ever happen)