£3 Discourse hosting questions

(Gabor Meszaros) #1

Hi! I would like to create a blog with Discourse. I am not planning to do any specific modifications on the forum except of the installation of the Basic plugins from here. My users cannot create new topics, they just can answer the ones I created. I would like to start a budget friendly way, so I found these two really cheap, ~£3 Discourse hosting alternatives:

  1. OVH VPS SSD 1
  2. Scaleway VPS VC1 S

The most notable differences between the two are the processor and the SSD size. While OVH has a really fast CPU (faster than DO or Linode), Scaleway has Atom CPUs which are about 2-3 times slower. However, both of them can run Discourse.

The SSD size which worries me more. OVH has only 10 GB SSD which can be problematic for Discourse. I am planning to use S3 for backup and images, but it can be problematic in the future or at an upgrade. OVH offers two option to fix this problem: VPS SSD 2 has 20GB SSD (and 4 GB RAM!) for about £7 or you can buy additional 50GB SSD for £7.

On the other hand Scaleway has 50 GB SSD from the start but slower CPU.

I would go with OVH if 10 GB SSD can be enough for my use case. When I need more SSD I can just use one of the fore-mentioned update options. The reason I would prefer OVH is the performance. It can be useful if one of my blog post get attention on HN or any of a popular websites. Is 10 GB SSD enough for Discourse?

If it is not possible to safely use Discourse on 10 GB SSD, I will go with Scaleway. My problem is that I am not sure whether it can handle higher peaks in traffic. It is not an option to upgrade on Scaleway as you will still use Atom CPUs (but with more cores) which has bad single core performance. Can Atom processors handle occasional higher traffic on Discourse?

Thank you!

(Martial) #2

I can tell you 10GB is not enough !

I have OVH VPS Plan 2 with a community of 200 people. Discourse use 12GB with backup.
Also with plan 2 you get 4gb of ram which is very nice since you don"t have to enable swap file.
I strongly recommand plan 2 for OVH in production mode :slight_smile:

With OVH you can choose to install a Docker station : VPS Windows or Linux: choose your distribution- OVH
(Ubuntu 14/15 with Docker) directly.

Also a good CPU with Discourse is important, just saying :yum:

(Gabor Meszaros) #3

So you say that 10GB space is no go. I should consider then Scaleway’s offer. Maybe I can start with that and later if I have any issues with the performance, I can buy another VPS somewhere else and move the content there (as I understand it is quite straightforward with Discourse: export + import).

Is it something that can work?

(Régis Hanol) #4

Yup, that’s pretty straightforward. The harder part will be changing the DNS :wink:

(Gabor Meszaros) #5

What do you mean? Isn’t it just change the CNAME record to somewhere else?

(Régis Hanol) #6

Yes, that’s the “hard” part :wink:

(Gabor Meszaros) #7

Ah, I see. Thanks for the confirmation then! :slight_smile:


What?! 12GB of backup? I think there is something wrong. In another discussion @pfaffman wrote this to me.

(Martial) #9

Not 12GB of backup, 12GB with backup. A backup take 500mo for me so considering Discourse take between 9GB to 11GB. I started from version 1.5 and made all the update to 1.7 beta4 :slight_smile:


Ah, OK I see. Did you cleaned your previous docker containers? And how many backup do you store on your server?

(Martial) #11

I cleanup with .\launcher cleanup, Discourse use 9.7GB with two backup. I have 1000 topics, 10000 messages, 200 users, 400mo of download files (images), this is why the backup take 500mo :slight_smile:

The images inside the container :

And the space taken by Discourse :

This is why i say 10gb is not enough :imp:

You want more : :laughing:

du -sh /var/discourse/
2.3G    /var/discourse/
du -sh /var/lib/docker
5.2G    /var/lib/docker

(Jay Pfaffman) #12

You know? Those images were not in the backups.


What do you mean by those images?

(Jay Pfaffman) #14

In the quot d post I claimed there were 7000 images and 230k posts, but i just remembered that the images were on an external server, so those images were not part of the backup.


Oh… May I ask you is it possible to upload images to imgur? How do you use external server? I just saw some imgur text in translation files, but couldn’t find it in discourse admin panel…

(Jay Pfaffman) #16

In the default configuration, if you link to an external image, discourse will copy the image locally to be a good citizen and protect against link rot. You can change that setting, though. Search settings for “download”, I think.

I don’t know if any way to have discourse upload to imgur, but there are things that I don’t know.

(cpradio) #17

Discourse used to permit uploading to imgur, but it was removed

It is recommended to use S3 for storing images, if you are image heavy.


OMG… There is nothing left to say. Docker or discourse, I don’t know… Consumes too much disk. I need to find a way around it. Because I don’t want to pay for another server.

(Martial) #19

Come on ! 5$ per month to run a beautiful, reliable, convenient, secured, constantly updated, open source forum… this is not so much regarding all this points :yum:

(Jay Pfaffman) #20

I haven’t done the math, but now that Digital Ocean has their 100GB/$10/month volumes, that’s a simpler way to configure things. That Amazon stuff is a twisty maze of passages that all look alike.

I’d like to configure discourse-setup so that it would recognize a volume if it was mounted and automatically put uploads (and maybe bacukps?) there. It just occurred to me, though, that if uploads was a symlink to /mnt/thevolume/standalone/backups that backups might not follow that symlink. (I haven’t looked).