Choosing the Right Droplet for Your Application
Choosing the Right Droplet for Your Application
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Choosing the Right Droplet for Your Application

UpdatedApril 19, 2018 25k views DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean has different classes of Droplet plans for you to build your application: Standard, Flexible and Optimized Droplets. Each of these plans has its own benefits which we'll discuss in this article.

Standard Droplets

Standard Droplets contain a healthy balance of CPU, RAM and local SSD and were originally the only set of Droplet plans available from DigitalOcean. In January of 2018, these plans were upgraded to offer additional amounts of RAM and SSD which expands the set of use cases suitable for them.

Typically, people use Standard Droplets when they’re just getting started with their applications and are either unsure of how much of each resource they’ll need or just want to keep things simple. As their application becomes more specialized or demanding, they typically resize to larger Standard Droplet plans or horizontally scale up multiple instances at the same small price point.

If you’re just getting started with a new application or are generally unsure of what plan to use, you should start with Standard Droplets. Typical workloads we see on these Droplets are web applications, back-ends for mobile applications, self-managed databases and personal and business websites with sporadic traffic behaviors.

Get Started with Standard Droplets in the Control Panel.

Standard Droplet Image

Flexible Droplets

Newly introduced in January of 2018 are three Flexible Droplet plans. DigitalOcean offers three pricing plans, all at the same price point, with varying degrees of resources so that if you’re just getting started you can try out multiple combinations without worrying about price.

These three configurations are available, each with 60GB of SSD, to allow you to move freely between the ratios of RAM and CPU as you’re getting up-to-speed with your new project.

Get Started with a Flexible Droplet Plan in the Control Panel.

Screenshot showing 1vCPU/3GB RAM, 2vCPU/2 GB RAM, and 3vCPU/1 GB RAM options.

Optimized Droplets

Optimized Droplets (previously referred to as “High CPU Droplets”) are optimized for computationally intensive workloads. They have smaller proportions of RAM and local SSD relative to Standard Droplets but run on top of compute-optimized hardware separate from Standard Droplets, and they are are powered by best-in-class CPUs. Additionally, these Droplets are engineered to have dedicated underlying physical resources so that other guests on the same hardware very rarely impact your Droplet performance. Each vCPU on an Optimized Droplet maps directly to a dedicated hyper-thread on the underlying physical CPU.

Workloads that typically run on Optimized Droplets include:

  • CI/CD
  • high performance application servers
  • data analysis, batch processing
  • video and image transcoding.

We tend to see more ephemeral workloads run on these Droplets that scale up to get a job done then destroy the Droplets when no longer needed.

Get Started with Optimized Droplets in the Control Panel.

High CPU Image


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