Why would i use App Platform VS Kubernetes (and other questions)

Hi! I recently signed up for Digital Ocean and want to know why would i use app platform vs kubernetes vs load balanced droplets (besides the ease of use), App Platform seems like a bit of a worse deal, what with the loss of bandwith.

Another question i had is why pay 15$/month for a managed database vs. using a free outside database, or hosting one in a droplet

This is for a web app that would probably start with around 100 users but could scale up to over 2000.

Thanks everyone!

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Jon Friesen
DigitalOcean Employee
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August 31, 2021
Accepted Answer

👋 @RhinoCodes

Great questions, I’m going to address the database question first. DigitalOcean’s managed databases have automatic backups, deep integration with App Platform, and are managed and monitored on your behalf. Hopefully this gives our users a sense of comfort and security worth the price. If an external database or managing one on a droplet better fits your needs, that’s great and supported.

Whether or not to use Kubernetes vs App Platform is similar to using managed databases, it depends on what the app needs, what the operators want to manage, etc.

For example, getting an App from GitHub, deployed, with HTTPS, a database, domain names, insights metrics, logging, takes about 5 minutes on App Platform. On Kubernetes this would prohibitively longer, require a CI/CD pipeline to build an app into a container image then deploy, create something to handle HTTPS certs, add ingress, inject database credentials, configure prometheus and grafana for metrics, add something for log aggregation, etc, and that’s just stuff that would be needed to get the K8s cluster ready for an app. After that, the cluster needs to be maintained, updated regularly, and all of those services need to be monitored, etc etc etc.

With App Platform, all of these services are managed and monitored so you can focus on your app and not all of the infrastructure required to run it.

With that said, there are absolutely cases where Kubernetes is the right choice, large bandwidth usage is one of them. Though for most apps the bandwidth offered by App Platform more than sufficient given that amount of time, energy, and money that is saved from managing clusters/supporting infrastructure.

I hope this helps answer your question!

As someone who had to make this decision recently, I say if you are just getting started with the app: use the app platform. I deploy apps to AWS/EKS in my full-time job and we have an entire team of people that administer it and all of the integrations. You will spend more time getting K8s set up the way you want it instead of building and testing your app. You can always migrate to K8s later.

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