About 2 years ago, we had an issue with an internal server blowing up, taking data and config with it. I resolved to place some of our core infrastructure (external DNS, etc.) beyond our virtual boundaries, so we could maintain email/web presence in the event of a power or server issue.
This has proven to be a prescient and wise move. We started out on Amazon with their small instances. And started out with dnsmasq, as I didn’t want to re-learn bind and all that config.
Both of these choices were a mistake. At the time, dnsmasq couldn’t be a real DNS server, it was a fancy cache with a number of great features. Perfect for some of our use cases. Not so perfect as a corporate DNS server.
So, around the time the day job started playing with SmartOS, one of our friends and customers pushed us to look at Joyent. Joyent leverages smartOS to provide zones with kvms. There are things I like about this, and there are gotchas. Likes are observability. Gotchas are resizing (impossible). But our needs are simple, and resizing isn’t an issue. It was a little more expensive than Amazon at the time.
Right now, we have the second lowest tier linux kvm for our DNS. It clocks in at $40/month +/- some. We got that as I thought we might want to run our web server there as well. Which we did for a while.
Web server + DB + DNS was a little bit of a tight fit on that VM. And the performance wasn’t good on web.
So I pulled web back in house, gave it a much higher power machine. I left DNS in place.
But I can’t shrink this. So its $40/month until I change.
So I’ve been looking around, and saw Digital Ocean with a 5$/month tier, about equivalent to what I have at Joyent for $40/month. Well, I get more CPU on digital ocean. We could use the $20/month tier at Joyent, but then I’d have to tear it down, and then rebuild it.
So I created a droplet (very cool BTW). The user interface is very good.
Aside from that issue, I was able to create a machine, log in, change the password, install keys, install the DNS server, install a few other things, configure the dns server, and have it serve correctly, in the span of under 5 minutes.
That is sweet. I’ll see how this goes, and if it looks like it holds up well, I may turn off the Joyent version.
I do see Digital Ocean hitting the day jobs site from time to time. Maybe they can become a customer of ours, as we have become of theirs. We build some of the most awesome high performance clouds and fastest/densest storage available in market.
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