Question

Would you choose multiple Droplets or would you scale a single Droplet

  • Posted January 3, 2015

Suppose I have customers using my web app, and there’s no overlap in customer data, so no shared database is required. This means I could spin up a Droplet for each customer.

Seems like there could be a number of advantages:

  1. No single point of failure that would bring down all customers ( assuming all the Droplets don’t reside on the same server ).
  2. Better security since each customer is on their own Droplet. One getting hacked into doesn’t put the other customers at risk.
  3. Easy to add resources if the needs of one customer grows

I’d think the tradeoff of this approach versus a single high capacity server might be administration overhead ( and possible additional cost ) of multiple Droplets.

Has anyone looked at this tradeoff and decided why one approach might be better?

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If you plan on a good number of users using your web app, I’d recommend scaling out from the start. Why? Because of the way DO handles disk upgrades.

To upgrade CPU & RAM, all you’re troubled with is a reboot; quick and easy. For disk, it’s shutdown, snapshot, deploy snapshot to a new Droplet, potentially lose the current IP and in the process, hope you don’t have to reconfigure the network each time as it’ll become a PITA.

I would normally recommend learning to manage LXC/LXD containers (Linux Containers), though with the disk upgrade “issue”, this would be a bit of a nightmare and would spell downtime for many.