Question about droplet "Region"

December 7, 2014 3.5k views

Dear DO community,

I did not yet create our first droplet, and my knowledge is moderate, so please bear with me. We want to setup a hosting environment to host a small PHP website-application for several client websites. These clients are located all over the world, so essentially it is a challenge to select the droplet "Region" ... I am in fact wondering what the "region" selection involves ...

1) Does it mean the server is entirely run from the specified "region", handling ALL requests, processing ALL scripts, and serving ALL assets from the same location regardless of the location the request was made from?

I ask because "cloud" in other services offer refers to serving resources from multiple locations, thus to serve data closer to where the request was made from.

2) If the above is correct, is there any method to set an "origin" region, but then host the application across multiple regions depending on request? If so, are there additional costs involved? ... would we have to create multiple droplets for several locations, and then have them "synch" or something?

3) For a main base "region" for global access, I wonder what the best choice would be ... I am guessing east coast US, as that would be best compromise for US/Europe where most visits would be made from.

Excuse my lack of understanding and choice of terms, but hopefully someone with knowledge understands what i am asking! PS! don't worry, I will have someone more able than me setting up the server, but I still want to understand how it works.

2 Answers

DigitalOcean is at lower level of the "cloud" than many consumer facing services. We provide server instances that can be spun up on demand and allow you to easily scale your resources. We give you the building blocks to create a service.

There are many different ways to ensure visitors to your site from different geographical regions are served content quickly. You can launch servers in multiple regions and use a load balancer to direct requests to the nearest server. Though, in many cases setting something like that up can be a bit of an overkill.

Depending on your needs, I'd look into using something like CloudFlare in front of your server. It will cache requests to your server using their geographically distributed CDN to serve your content to visitors.

Thanks for the clarification. Basically we want to roll out dedicated hosting for our x3 gallery app (only), and we have clients from around the world interested in the service so they can avoid having to deal with server in the first place.

I would imagine that in our case, it would make sense to have a few mid-sized droplets across a few regions, instead of a single high-end droplet in a single region ...

Have another answer? Share your knowledge.