A few months ago I decided to switch from my web space to a virtual server. I wanted to host everything by myself. Mail and webserver.

So I started looking for the best provider for my needs. I looked into several ones. My initial needs were, hosting in Germany, SSD drives, and optional backups.

I compared several providers. I liked some products with plenty of storage but the overall performances were poor. And some of these providers put most of the money in marketing instead of hardware.

AWS was one of these options but I wanted a capped price model. After lots of comparing I came to the conclusion to host on digitalocean but for additional web space I mount an external service via fstap.

The main factors were quick setup for running new hosts and the capped price model.

Some other details are light and shadow:

You can add your ssh-pub-key from the web interface. But you still have to reconfigure the sshd config.

You can add for a small fee automatic backups. But they run only ones a week.

Plenty of images and software to choose from. But no custom image support.

But overall I am happy with my decision. Now outages yet.

For a smooth system health, I recommend a bigger package or add a swap drive. If you running a database on the smallest package it is necessary.

# create swapfile 256MB
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1024 count=256k
# make swapfile usable
mkswap /swapfile
# mount
swapon /swapfile
# check result
swapon -s

# for startup edit in /etc/fstap
/swapfile       none    swap    sw      0       0
# and
echo 10 | sudo tee /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
echo vm.swappiness = 10 | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf

sudo chown root:root /swapfile
sudo chmod 0600 /swapfile

# resize swap
# turn swap off
sudo swapoff -a

# resize the swapfile to 4GB
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=4M count=1024

# make swapfile usable
sudo mkswap /swapfile

# turn swap on again
sudo swapon /swapfile

If you are using docker and want to mount additional space via fstap. I ran into an issue after a restart. Docker couldn’t run with my configs in fstap. As a workaround, I am using autofs for mounting my external storage.