Migrate from Digital Ocean to OVH?

(ljpp) #1

I run 3 VPS’s, two of them for Discourse hosting. Looking at the pricing of OVH and Digital Ocean I could make somewhat significant month savings by moving my business to OVH. Especially the 4-core/8GB plan has a huge difference of 34$ vs 80$.

The OVH reviews on the web however are very mixed and there is a lot of seriously negative feedback included. Digital Ocean customers seem to be 99% positive and so am I - very realiable service and good admin panel with flexible scaling.

  • What do you think - what is your experience on OVH? I run a high traffic forum so I need performance and reliability.
  • OVH pricing varies geographically (Ireland, Canada, UK, Germany, etc.). Is there any reason why I should not pick OVH.ie as it seems to be even cheaper than other Euro locations?

(Jeff Atwood) #2

I would not recommend moving to OVH. In your particular case, we believe moving to two servers, one web, one database, would give you the most benefit – versus doing everything on one server.

(ljpp) #3

Thanks. This topic is not limited to my specific case. I am generally interested how good is the OVH. The two other boxes are low traffic and there are some savings there as well.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

OVH is very sketchy in everything I’ve read. I would move there only if high risk is acceptable in your hosting.

(ljpp) #5

Yeah, the web reviews are very mixed. Most negative comments are about customer service and support, yet some say that the technology is totally fine. Somehow they manage to be the 3rd largest provider globally (After Amazon, and Digital Ocean). OVH has been around for a long time.


There’s nothing wrong with OVH. The main difference is the time you’ll spend waiting for support. I generally call in if there’s an issue and bypass the waiting for a support ticket. On their 2016 line the vcore performance is about 20% slower. The price is significantly lower than that. With OVH you get full infrastructure first party from the lines in the ground to the datacenters where the servers are housed.

I prefer DO for spinning up quick instances and having them destroyed just as quick. At their charge by the hour policy, ovh can’t compete. It is designed by and for developers. Either which service can have a drive fail out and if you don’t have a backup in order you’re hosed. That’s where DO has the upper hand. Backups are easy.

Here’s how a worst case scenario could be handled by either provider. Server goes down and your site is offline. With DO you can spin up a new droplet and restore the most recent database. If you’re spot on total downtime could be under half an hour. With OVH you’ll wait to get that second instance up, but with a call it’ll be pushed through within a few minutes if your account is properly verified. Then you restore the same, total time down less than an hour, but likely longer than half an hour.

Then you’ll deal with having paid for two months overlapping instead of migrating back with DO (if the drive isn’t failed out), or restoring from a backup.

DO provides faster response time for support and more options including backup on their lowest tier droplet. With OVH you’re paying for a similar (but still cheaper) priced tier (cloud vps) before having in-house backup.

I like them both.

(Héctor Fernández) #7

DigitalOcean should be compared to the OVH public cloud. OVH also charges by the hour. You can switch to monthly billing at any time and get a 50% discount at the end of the month (pricing starts at $0.009 / hour, that is $3.5 when billed monthly). Provisioning is instant. And can also be automated through the OpenStack api. Instances are provisioned with high availability storage (non local) and additional disks can be attached (I think DO doesn’t offer any of these features). You also get DDoS protection.
Regarding the reviews that you read on the web, you should consider that DO has a much more select target audience. OVH has a very broad offering, from shared hosting to dedicated servers. You’ll find very negative reviews of the support, but never about the hardware and especially the network, that is top notch.

(Matt Palmer) #8

OVH’s lowest-priced plans are, I believe, running on OpenVZ, which is itself a containerisation technology rather than a fully-fledged VPS, and so you can’t run Docker on them. No docker == much more painful discourse management.

For the sort of figures you’re talking about, I’d go and get a dedicated server from Hetzner’s server bidding platform, which are pre-loved servers at astonishingly cheap prices. At the time of writing, there’s a i7-980 CPU with 24GB RAM and 2x1.5TB+2x240GB SSD for about 42 euro. If you’re willing to give up the SSDs, and only want 8GB RAM, you can get an i7 950 with 8GB RAM and 2x750GB HDD for about 27 euro, or for about one euro more get an i7-2600 with 2x3TB and 16GB of RAM.

Physical servers ain’t dead, they’re just not the cool thing any more. Which is fine as far I’m concerned; more bargains for me!

(Dean Taylor) #9

No docker === unsupported Discourse installation.

(Matt Palmer) #10

Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. :grinning:

(Héctor Fernández) #11

All the public cloud runs on KVM. And the new VPS range also runs on KVM.


The 2016 line no longer runs OpenVZ.

I stand corrected. OVH does indeed offer by the hour public cloud. Never bothered with one. I’m with mpalmer on this, if you’re willing to pay $20+ might as well start looking at dedicated servers.

(Dan Claudiu Gavril) #13

I’m using public OVH VPS SSD 3 2016 (KVM OpenStack, 2 vCores, 8GB Ram, 40GB SSD at <20$ and a possibility to add multiple IPs to the same VM(paid option) VPS SSD : Le VPS pas cher & haute performance - OVH - so it’s quite ok for the price), and it’s running very well Discourse (Docker version).

Performance wise, it’s all well and snappy, but the support is just unbelievable, if you have an issue and you’re not the Pope, you have a better chance to build a full scale datacenter before they will actually do something about it, so Backup in another datacenter, or else!
Backups are not available for this range of VPS SSDs, only the VPS Cloud has it (but you lose the SSD), but you do have a paid VM snapshot.

Another issue is related to the web management console that is still in development (after many years), and it’s still full of bugs, but once you’ve setup the VM, you don’t have to mingle with the web console.

In the past months, they had a lot of stability issues with hardware and connections(globally - you can also check the twitter account), but for the moment they are the only ones that offer the best performance/price in France, and we need to have the servers in France - 80% of visits are from France - peering is extremely useful.

They have grown too large, too fast, without some proper investments in human resources and development.

As for DigitalOcean, I have owned 15+ VMs with them and for 2 years I haven’t had an issue. I’m not using them for the moment, because of free credits with Azure, and when we moved they haven’t had a datacenter in Europe. Ah, and the lack of multi IP on the same VM was a bit hard to overpass for our custom business needs.

To reply to your question, from my point of view, you should stick with DigitalOcean, if you don’t have at least 60% of your traffic from France and if your time spent on monitoring the servers everyday, is less expensive than the difference of price.

(ljpp) #14

Thank you very much @dcgavril. Yes, it really seems that Digital Ocean is a higher quality choice.

For my high traffic site the location doesn’t make too much of a difference, as I tackle that with CloudFlare’s CDN. Currently hosted in Frankfurt, while the traffic is 99,9% Finland based.

Couple of pointers:

  • Growth rate of Digital Ocean has been much faster, yet their QoS is great.
  • I was surprised to find out that they have a support office in Finland - ovh.com redirects to a localized site. I dialed the number and got through without any wait time.

My problem in heavily spiking traffic, which can bring my server to it’s knees few times a year. On the other hand I can have long periods of quite time, several months during the summer. Discourse is resource hungry, so now I am forced to scale up and down with DigitalOcean, as their 4-core/8GB is too damn expensive. With OVH I could go for the similar VPS Cloud 3 and stick with it for half the cost.

I guess I need to do a long term trial with one of the less busy boxes to see how OVH works out.

(Dan Claudiu Gavril) #15

For the spike traffic, I cannot say that it will be fine or not, because if you pass all the requests through CloudFlare, I believe they are the ones that limit you in the first place, and after that the hosting.

Anyway, don’t think that OVH or other hosting companies, will give you their full bandwidth for less than 20$ per month :slight_smile:

@ljpp you could try it, you just need to think that once you paid something, that money is gone (I’ve waited 1month and a half for a refund) and never ever rely on automatic payments(if you have a monthly subscription), for me it didn’t work, and they have shutdown the VM at night, just like that, without even an email. Also, those emails… oh boy, you better look in your account, at account settings, and there you’ll have a tab with emails sent- and most likely no received on your end - but that’s just a part of them, the other part with security notifications, if you don’t get them, you’ll never know about them - you just need to change your email address and ask them to approve it - because you’ll not receive the changed email verification… a lot of headaches.

So, yes, less expensive, but you need a lot of luck and hair on your head (or none at all :slight_smile: )

PS: if you need help with the setup or that web management console, send me a PM, and I’ll try to help you.

Good luck!

(ljpp) #16

Well, I had to try them out - just for kicks, if nothing else. Just made a massive 3.70€ payment for a one month of VPS rental.

Payment sent - now waiting for VPS deployment. Is this 1996 or 2016? :smiley:


If you choose the SSD VPS from their public cloud offering deployment takes about a minute. They should advertise this a little better. I went through the process lastnite to test it out. The discourse test suite finished 5m,02s on the $.0093/hr rate.

(ljpp) #18

How does the 5m02s compare to competing VPS providers?


I have a half hour to spare this morning so will spin up a droplet. My recollection from running the test in a droplet last year was actually the exact same result, 5m02s. I’ll update this with the result shortly.

Also ran a unixbench on the OVH VPS 1 (public cloud), will test this on DO after the test suite.

Benchmark Run: Fri Mar 18 2016 04:03:21 - 04:31:30
1 CPU in system; running 1 parallel copy of tests

Dhrystone 2 using register variables       28560448.0 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Double-Precision Whetstone                     3746.9 MWIPS (9.8 s, 7 samples)
Execl Throughput                               4040.2 lps   (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks       1038168.0 KBps  (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks          291793.2 KBps  (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks       2052570.9 KBps  (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Pipe Throughput                             2111008.2 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Pipe-based Context Switching                 320438.3 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Process Creation                              10758.4 lps   (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent)                   5625.7 lpm   (60.0 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent)                    754.2 lpm   (60.0 s, 2 samples)
System Call Overhead                        3841995.7 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)

System Benchmarks Index Values               BASELINE       RESULT    INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables         116700.0   28560448.0   2447.3
Double-Precision Whetstone                       55.0       3746.9    681.2
Execl Throughput                                 43.0       4040.2    939.6
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks          3960.0    1038168.0   2621.6
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks            1655.0     291793.2   1763.1
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks          5800.0    2052570.9   3538.9
Pipe Throughput                               12440.0    2111008.2   1697.0
Pipe-based Context Switching                   4000.0     320438.3    801.1
Process Creation                                126.0      10758.4    853.8
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent)                     42.4       5625.7   1326.8
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent)                      6.0        754.2   1256.9
System Call Overhead                          15000.0    3841995.7   2561.3
System Benchmarks Index Score                                        1497.4

Wow, the $10 DO droplet got 6m, 31s… I must be recalling the 2vcore droplet.

Now with the UnixBench

Benchmark Run: Fri Mar 18 2016 11:20:03 - 11:47:53
1 CPU in system; running 1 parallel copy of tests

Dhrystone 2 using register variables       21170574.4 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Double-Precision Whetstone                     2793.3 MWIPS (8.7 s, 7 samples)
Execl Throughput                               3255.8 lps   (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks        832124.9 KBps  (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks          223450.6 KBps  (30.0 s, 2 samples)
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks       2200793.8 KBps  (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Pipe Throughput                             1635337.8 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Pipe-based Context Switching                 245001.0 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Process Creation                              10355.4 lps   (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent)                   5895.2 lpm   (60.0 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent)                    763.0 lpm   (60.0 s, 2 samples)
System Call Overhead                        2905385.7 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)

System Benchmarks Index Values               BASELINE       RESULT    INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables         116700.0   21170574.4   1814.1
Double-Precision Whetstone                       55.0       2793.3    507.9
Execl Throughput                                 43.0       3255.8    757.2
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks          3960.0     832124.9   2101.3
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks            1655.0     223450.6   1350.2
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks          5800.0    2200793.8   3794.5
Pipe Throughput                               12440.0    1635337.8   1314.6
Pipe-based Context Switching                   4000.0     245001.0    612.5
Process Creation                                126.0      10355.4    821.9
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent)                     42.4       5895.2   1390.4
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent)                      6.0        763.0   1271.7
System Call Overhead                          15000.0    2905385.7   1936.9
System Benchmarks Index Score                                        1266.4

Well it appears clear the $3.50 OVH VPS1 is more powerful than the $10 DO droplet. I no longer have reason to stick with them. Will be migrating my mail-in-a-box server to OVH this evening.

(Benjamin Freeman) #20


As a french, having low budget, using OVH VPS 1 for 3,59€ / month was an evidence, i’m using it for a bit less than two year year.

Running a gaming community we also have a SoYouStart server (E3 - SAT3) running proxmox with 2 Unbuntu and a windows 2012…

I couldn’t manage to run docker on my proxmox install (LVM template), so I stick to my VPS for the moment, and to this day it run pretty well :slight_smile:

I’m not gonna lie, I had trouble with OVH, but linked to billing point, and the technic issue I encounter was my fault, when I had to contact the support (Since last year they made a unique phone number for the french support) they were realy effective.