DigitalOcean vs Scaleway: Comparing Cloud Hosting Solutions

Selecting a cloud hosting provider is crucial for deploying and managing virtual machines, virtual private servers (VPS), and other cloud services—from databases to cloud storage options. Cloud scalability, reliability, and performance are essential for businesses, making it challenging to find a provider that meets their specific needs. Developers and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) must choose wisely to leverage cloud computing effectively.

DigitalOcean and Scaleway are cloud hosting providers offering comprehensive services tailored to diverse requirements. Unlike hyperscalers, like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), DigitalOcean and Scaleway cater specifically to developers and SMBs. This article provides an in-depth comparison of DigitalOcean and Scaleway, helping you decide on the right cloud provider for your needs.

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Overview of DigitalOcean vs Scaleway

In comparing DigitalOcean and Scaleway, we see that their cloud computing approaches differ.

DigitalOcean offers a comprehensive range of cloud service products, including scalable virtual machines and managed databases. DigitalOcean caters to small to medium-sized businesses and developers looking for seamless cloud services. Its user-friendly interface, transparent pricing model, and robust and affordable customer service are particularly appealing. DigitalOcean also specializes in low-latency cloud hosting solutions, and its network of global data centers enables swift operations with minimal downtime.

A startup launching a web application can swiftly deploy a server using DigitalOcean’s Droplets. Additionally, the startup might appreciate its swift scalability for projects demanding quick expansion, leveraging Managed Databases to store and manage application data in a fully managed PostgreSQL cluster. Further, Spaces Object Storage enables efficient application management without delving into complex configurations.

Scaleway, a European cloud computing company, offers a versatile multi-cloud experience with dedicated bare metal servers, offering flexibility in managing and deploying workloads across diverse cloud environments. This is an advantage when you need a combination of services from various cloud providers. A unified interface provides further convenience, streamlining the management process for seamless cloud operations. Though beneficial, Scaleway’s broad spectrum of services might be daunting for beginners seeking simplicity. While Scaleway offers a comprehensive solution, it may best suit those seeking tailored customization and resource control.

A tech-savvy startup well-versed in managing diverse server types might prefer Scaleway’s flexible range of Bare Metal and cloud instances. A company with intricate networking requirements, such as creating private virtual networks between servers, might find Scaleway more suitable.

Comparing DigitalOcean vs. Scaleway cloud hosting solutions

In this section, we compare DigitalOcean and Scaleway over various factors including product offerings, performance, customer support, and pricing to help your business facilitate informed decision making.

1. Performance and reliability

DigitalOcean is known for its high-performance SSD-based virtual machines, known as Droplets, which ensure fast and efficient server operations. Its data centers are strategically located worldwide, providing low latency and high availability for all virtual instances. DigitalOcean offers a 99.99% uptime, which is crucial for businesses that require a constant online presence.

Scaleway also provides reliable services with a multi-cloud approach and a focus on European data centers, ensuring compliance with EU regulations. It offers instances such as DEV1, PLAY2, and GP1 for various workloads and ARM-based instances for specialized use cases. However, Scaleway’s global presence is less extensive than DigitalOcean’s, potentially affecting latency for users outside Europe. DigitalOcean’s emphasis on simplicity and performance, along with features like monitoring and alerting, makes it a preferred choice for developers and businesses seeking dependable cloud hosting solutions.

2. Product offerings comparison

This table compares DigitalOcean and Scaleways’ product offerings to help you decide which cloud hosting platform is best for your cloud hosting needs.

Feature DigitalOcean Scaleway
Product Wide range of Droplet VM configurations, including CPU-optimized, Memory-Optimized, and Storage-optimized options. VPS instances with a focus on cost-effectiveness. Offers dedicated servers (Dedibox) for high-performance needs.
Compute Resources Flexible options for CPU cores, memory (RAM), and Volumes Block Storage depending on workload requirements. Predictable pricing based on the chosen configuration. Limited customization compared to DigitalOcean for CPU and RAM within VPS instances. Dedibox offers more control but may be less cost-effective for smaller deployments.
Networking Private networking and virtual servers with VPCs and private IP addresses for secure communication between Droplets. Private networking is available, but the configuration may be more complex than DigitalOcean’s.
Block Storage Managed Block Storage with various SSD and HDD options offering high performance and scalability. Predictable pricing per GB. Limited Block Storage options compared to DigitalOcean. It may require more manual management.
Object Storage Scalable Object Storage (Spaces) with pay-as-you-go pricing, ideal for backups and large datasets. Offers S3-compatible Object Storage, but functionality may be more limited than DigitalOcean Spaces.
Containerization Supports Docker containers and Kubernetes for container orchestration. Limited containerization support compared to DigitalOcean.
Cloud Management tools A comprehensive suite of cloud management tools, including the DigitalOcean API, Command-Line Interface (CLI), and web control panel. Cloud management tools are available, but API and CLI functionality may be less mature than DigitalOcean.
Integrations Integrates with popular data analytics and DevOps tools like Terraform, Ansible, and GitHub for streamlined workflows. Limited integration options with DevOps tools compared to DigitalOcean.

3. Pricing and plans

DigitalOcean offers predictable monthly billing with no hidden fees, making budgeting easier. Basic Droplets plans start at $4 monthly. Cloud tools such as App Platform, a fully managed infrastructure solution, Functions, a serverless computing solution, and services such as Container Registry for rapid deployment to Kubernetes, and Uptime for high-performance server monitoring start at $0 monthly, providing a cost-effective solution for developers and SMBs. DigitalOcean offers many scalable plans to accommodate growing needs without unexpected cost increases.

Scaleway is also competitive in pricing and offers various plans that focus on affordability. It provides options like the DEV instances for lightweight applications starting at €6 per month and GP instances for general purposes. However, its pricing structure can be more complex due to different billing models for various services, including hourly and monthly billing. While Scaleway’s flexible pricing can benefit specific use cases, DigitalOcean’s simplicity in pricing and clear cost structure often make it a more attractive option for businesses looking for a hassle-free financial planning experience.

Note: Pricing and product information are correct as of May 15, 2024, and subject to change.

4. User experience and customer support

DigitalOcean’s intuitive control panel offers a robust user experience, simplifying the deployment and management of Droplets. Committed to supporting all customers, DigitalOcean includes a Starter Plan with every account, which features email support with a response time of under 24 hours and access to a vast collection of community Q&As, product documentation, and tutorials. These resources improve the user experience, making the platform accessible even for newcomers to cloud computing. With DigitalOcean’s range of support plans, users benefit from troubleshooting tips, unlimited customized support, and quick response times, enabling faster time-to-market for new products. Additionally, DigitalOcean actively hosts various events, meetups, and hackathons, further establishing itself as a platform that prioritizes user engagement and knowledge sharing.

Scaleway also offers a user-friendly interface and a range of services designed for simplicity. Its console allows users to manage instances, storage, and networking easily. Scaleway provides extensive documentation and has a growing library of tutorials. However, its platform can sometimes be less intuitive for new users than DigitalOcean’s seamless interface. Some users have reported inconsistencies in customer support, impacting issue resolution and an overall rating of 1.5, highlighting the need for improvement in support quality compared to DigitalOcean, which has a 4.3-star rating.

5. Security and compliance

DigitalOcean offers robust security features, including cloud firewalls, private networking, and secure load balancing. The platform provides built-in DDoS (Denial of Service) protection to help safeguard cloud resources against attacks. Partnering with Cloudflare, DigitalOcean enhances website security against DDoS threats. The monitoring service lets customers set up alerts and notifications for multiple metrics, including security-related events. For backup and disaster recovery, DigitalOcean provides Snapshots for Droplets and Spaces and automated backups for Managed Databases. DigitalOcean holds several industry certifications like SOC 2 Type II, SOC 3 Type II.

DigitalOcean also runs a Bug Bounty program on Intigriti, rewarding ethical hackers for finding vulnerabilities in our systems. The program offers tiered rewards based on the severity of the bug. Focusing on website and server security, it prioritizes reports with a clear impact and proof-of-concept, potentially leading to higher payouts.

Scaleway also offers security features, including DDoS protection, private networks, and comprehensive Identity and Access Management (IAM). While their compliance primarily focuses on European regulations like GDPR, this makes them a competitive choice for businesses operating within the EU. Scaleway emphasizes hardware security through features like isolated bare metal servers and Key Management Service (KMS) for encryption key management. This focus on hardware-level security can particularly appeal to businesses handling highly sensitive data.

How to choose between DigitalOcean and Scaleway for your business needs

Choosing between DigitalOcean and Scaleway depends on your business’s technical expertise, application needs, budget, and target audience. Let’s delve deeper into how these factors connect to each cloud provider’s strengths:

1. Technical expertise

  • DigitalOcean: If your team is comfortable with cloud management basics, DigitalOcean’s intuitive interface makes it easy to deploy and manage cloud instances. Its focus on core cloud functionalities minimizes configuration complexity.

  • Scaleway: For teams seeking a more comprehensive platform with a wide range of features, Scaleway could be a great choice. However, due to its product complexity and less intuitive interface than DigitalOcean, it might require a steeper learning curve.

2. Application needs

  • DigitalOcean: For web applications with fluctuating traffic patterns, DigitalOcean’s scalable virtual machines are a perfect fit. Its predictable pricing structure allows for easy cost control as your application grows.

  • Scaleway: If your application demands high-performance or dedicated resources, Scaleway’s bare metal servers offer sufficient processing power and control for tasks like scientific simulations or complex data analysis.

3. Budget

  • DigitalOcean: If you are looking for straightforward pricing with predictable costs, DigitalOcean’s transparent pricing model ensures easier financial planning for your business needs.

  • Scaleway: For businesses with complex cloud infrastructure usage requirements, Scaleway offers competitive pricing and flexible billing options. However, the complexity of cloud offerings might incur hidden costs. In contrast, DigitalOcean often includes features like automated backups and monitoring at no extra cost, which can result in lower overall expenses compared to Scaleway.

4. Global reach

  • DigitalOcean: If your target audience is global, consider DigitalOcean’s wider global presence. Data centers in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America help ensure low latency for users worldwide.

  • Scaleway: For businesses primarily focused on the European market, Scaleway’s data centers in Europe might be perfectly suitable.

Simplify cloud hosting and boost performance with DigitalOcean

Explore DigitalOcean as a reliable alternative to Scaleway for robust cloud hosting services. DigitalOcean offers a comprehensive range of hosting solutions, featuring scalable cloud servers optimized for memory or storage, cloud VPS hosting, and an extensive product lineup, including Function as a Service (FaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) tools.

Here’s what DigitalOcean provides:

  • A steadfast platform with a 99.99% SLA for Droplet virtual machines, highlighting the platform’s commitment to consistent and dependable performance for virtualized computing resources.

  • Volumes block storage, offering scalable and flexible solutions that enable users to adjust their storage needs dynamically, ensuring efficient resource utilization and adaptability to changing requirements.

  • A focus on customer satisfaction with elevated support options. Customers can choose paid plans starting at $24/month for faster response times and comprehensive coverage for critical incidents. Free 24/7 support channels are available for all customers, complemented by extensive documentation and tutorials for seamless cloud server management.

  • A user-friendly control panel that simplifies cloud resource management for users of all expertise levels. Managed services support databases like MongoDB, Redis, MySQL, NoSQL, and Kafka, enhancing ease of use and facilitating seamless integration of database functionalities.

  • Managed Kubernetes to streamline the deployment and management of containerized applications, allowing users to focus on developing and deploying applications without the burden of intricate infrastructure management.

  • One-click WordPress deployment and managed hosting via Cloudways by DigitalOcean, simplifying the setup process for users.

  • GPU servers and AI/ML Notebooks through Paperspace by DigitalOcean for accelerated computing tasks, providing a powerful environment for machine learning and artificial intelligence development on the DigitalOcean platform.

Here’s what Sportunity, one of the world’s biggest sports tracking applications had to say about using DigitalOcean: “When we started this business, we were the best in functionality and features, but we needed to gain full control over our performance. Now with an improved team, good server setup, and DigitalOcean’s help, we are the market leader both by having the best front end product, and we can also handle a lot of traffic and are really good in the performance on the back end.” - Niels Schut, CEO, and Founder

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