Spiky usage or traffic overage fees? Adding droplets rapidly?

I’m strongly considering using DO after friends of mine have recommended it as ideal for use with clients. That said -

Spiky Traffic

My question is about “spiky” traffic. A friend of mine had a client site of his briefly get mentioned in the national news. He used a different provider with some kind of cloud oriented scheme that seems fairly similar. Anyway he rapidly updated the amount of workers or w/e they called it on that provider and it cost him at least +$1k. He left them working on the 2nd month so he got billed for 2 months at that rate. The client received about a dozen visitors the following month and wouldn’t pay for the second month, which is a different problem, but I think you get where I’m going with this.

Notify Can we set up notify or something for extraordinary usage? Cutoffs? And opt to scale down after that?

I’m extremely hesitant about taking on a relatively unknown book author client because his book has some buzz at various “Sci-fi Conventions” and I’m thinking his traffic will be about zero except right after them. If his book gets mentioned on the news it could cost me a fortune if something like this happened. If I can rapidly and transparently add droplets and bill him for this, it wouldn’t be awful though so long as they can downscale if this is just a momentary thing.

Kind of a Catch 22. Famous author client would be nice for the portfolio. But not if it costs me money.

I already offered to do his site at a discount provided he gets his own hosting, He had no idea what I was talking about even after I explained it to him with pictures. Apparently, he doesn’t even own a desktop computer and wrote his book on a typewriter.

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Ryan Quinn
DigitalOcean Employee
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September 6, 2016
Accepted Answer

Hey. Those are great questions.

On the first one, we don’t currently provide “workers” as a service but you can scale up your droplets as needed. We offer two types of resize, a permanent resize will upgrade all aspects of your droplet and cannot be un-done while a flexible resize will update everything except for your disk (it will not be resized) and this can be reversed. You can scale your droplets whenever you need to but it does require a reboot.

While what you describe is something we’re looking at internally we do not yet have a solution to notify you once you’ve used a certain amount of bandwidth. In fact we do not currently report bandwidth use in the control panel at all. Because of this we also do not charge for bandwidth overage at all currently. In effect your droplets receive unmetered bandwidth so there is no need to worry about a sudden traffic spike running up your bill in that way. At some point in the future this may change but not without sufficient notice.

I would also highly recommend placing your sites behind CloudFlare. Even their free service will signifigantly reduce the load and bandwidth use on your server by caching static content and delivering it through their CDN as well as providing DDoS protection.

By using CloudFlare along with your DigitalOcean droplet(s) to host these sites, a sudden spike is unlikely to bring down your site due to CloudFlare’s service caching and handing most of that extra load. This will allow you to run your sites on more inexpensive droplets as well.

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