Runabove (OVH Experiment) vs Digital Ocean


Very happy to post my first message here. I just decided to move on Discourse after several (happy) years with phpbb.

Trying to find a cheap hosting, I tried 30 minutes install on Digital Ocean with no trouble (thanks !) I also tried the same tutorial on french hoster with no trouble.

For a recommended 2 Go VM :

  • Digital Ocean : $20/month, 40 Go SSD, 2 core Processor
  • : $2,5/month :blush: , 20 Go SSD, 1 core Processor

First Runabove downsides : no SLA, no backup

But, I just realized that :

  • Discourse is really easy to install
  • Discourse has a bultin backup

So , I imagine Runabove is the perfect choice for hosting Discourse.

Does anybody feels the same ? Is there major downside that I cannot see at first sight ?

Thanks for all, happy to be here :smile:


That price is introductory. It’s meant for lab/testing purposes. I signed up, and noticed the ssd stalls out on occasion. They’ve “oversold” (except not really, not meant for production).

I do think there $9/m rig is a superior deal compared to DO.

Oh yea, you can even bypass a lil bit of the guide by throwing dokku from runabove control panel. Worked no prob.

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so what would you go for?

Also @frederic what hosting type did you chose? LABS/stead fast/1 VM Host?

EDIT: Oh wait nevermind i workedt out it was LABS

Thanks for your fast reply.

Yes, I tried Labs, but not during a long period.

I catched a discussion comparing Labs and Steadfast here :

The storage we use on Steadfast has many advantages over an array of drives. It is very scalable, fault resilient but a bit slower than local SSDs.

And also :

I’m coming from OVH, where I have a VPS cloud. I need something faster for a bigger project, and I soon tried runabove (is it possible to try both Sandbox and Steadfast Resources instances? I’m limited to a single instance): well, OVH VPS cloud storage is 3 times faster than Steadfast Resources instance of runabove.

I don’t know what impact slower harddrives can have on Discourse ? I suspect 2 Go RAM is better than SSD Drives to boost performances :

  • for $10/month, Digital Ocean offers 1 Go RAM and 30 Go SSD Drives
  • $9/month, Runabove offers 2 Go and 10 Go on slower drives than SSD

What would be the best choice ?


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Best choice would be OVH cloud 2vcore, 2gb, 25gb ssd. I’ve setup a friend on there with a small community. Monitoring the last couple of weeks it rarely goes over 15% cpu. That’s for a new community with about 150 members. The cool thing with OVH cloud is the one-click upgrade. The next step up is $22/m for double the ram, vcore, and ssd. It’s a no-brainer, imo. If you do go this route, check out my guide for install.

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Yes ! Thanks @pl3bs !

Runabove definitely has the kernel etc, out of the box to run Discourse, but they explicitly have those things on lower data resilience and no SLAs. So, you can use that if you want, but be aware that you might have the carpet yanked out.

Better to go with one of OVH’s more proven offers than one marked experimental.

You’re right @riking : It’s too risky for now. But runabove stays clearly appealing to me.

I imagined that Discourse with its quick reinstall + automatic offsite backup could be a remedy to low data resilience.

So the best way to me is to master multisite Discourse install on a stronger hosting plan. :slight_smile:

But right now, I’m blocked on this tutorial : Multisite configuration with Docker

Can anyone help me, and explain step by step how to configure multisite ?

Thanks for all !

So is going for the LABS one particulaly bad, as i’d quite like to knpw this, because for a very small site (20 users) it would be better if it were cheaper, as i’m not made of money!

It’s likely very rare for someone to be making monies off a discourse forum right now.

The only thing I’d want to know in your case is how long the labs will be open, and what that would mean for your community when they decide to phase them out. The backups make it pretty easy to flip to a new server, but you might want to give them a call to figure out how long they’ll be in operation.
For a small community, there shouldn’t be an issue. Runabove gave you $5 in credit, so the question is: why haven’t you already gone forward and taken it until you hit a wall? That’s what I’d do in your situation, but that phone call would be a good idea as well.

Well, through referral links you get 10$ Credit. Shameless plug :jack_o_lantern:

I’d just make regular backups (that you should do anyway) in case that something happens, but in the 2 months I’ve used the service only during one afternoon the VPS was down.


so i sighned up for this, but which instance should i pick? steadfast resources or 1 vm per host? Which is cheaper, or which one suports discourse better, etc

@pl3bs where can i find your instalation guide for run above?

I think it’s time you take off the training wheels and ride freely :slight_smile:

Both of those questions can easily be figured out. Search my posts, and look at the runabove site.

Wait, no! You didn’t even choose OVH cloud. That was what my guide was about. Just use the DO guide.

wait… What’s OVH cloud? and oh i’m an incompetent fool who no’s not much about hosting, just a fellow who wants a cheap, realiable forum, using he best forum software ive seen to date. Sorry, if i’m asking to many questions, but i’ve looked through your posts, and can find nothing about 1 VM per host, and hhow to get labs, as its not on the runabove website when creating an instance (whatever that is!)

  1. Go to
  2. Go to and click on add a SSH key, after that you add an Instance. Select the Region (NA or France?), then Sandbox and then the M “engine”.
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what is my SSH Key? and why do i have to do this? I never did this for DO? @Moter8

You create an SSH key with putty or XShell or if you are using linux with ssh-keygen. There are many many how-to’s about this out there.

SSH keys is an authentication method where you don’t need to remember passwords. The key itself is the password, so make sure to not erase it.

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Yes it’s here :
It works perfectly on runabove too. :smile:

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I made a boostrap benchmark with the same app.yml template, and here we are (faster wins :slight_smile: ) :

  • Runabove - with SLA - $9/m - 2 Go RAM, 1 CPU, 10 Go steadfast HD : 12 min
  • Runabove labs - no SLA - $2,5/m - 2 Go RAM, 1 CPU, 20 Go local SSD : 9 min 30
  • Digital Ocean - with SLA - $20/m - 2 Go RAM, 2 CPU, 40 Go SSD : 13 min

I missed pl3bs best choice (Price is 12 € => $13,6/m) :

Best choice would be OVH cloud 2vcore, 2gb, 25gb ssd.

I’m already a VPS Classic customer, and happy with that.

What do you think about this quick benchmark ? Does it make sense ? Thanks !

I will probably choose runabove steadfast :smile:


Hello, for the moment, runabove steadfast is very stable. But it is not the same service than Digital Ocean : for example, you cannot create snapshots and play with them. I will be pleased to make a snapshot before a upgrade, in case if something goes wrong. But I can’t. So I have to completly trust discourse. It’s not that bad :smile: