What is a Droplet?

Published on October 14, 2022 by Kevin Graham

A Droplet is what DigitalOcean, a cloud hosting provider, calls its Linux-based virtual private servers (VPSs), that run on virtualized hardware. It’s a neat, low-cost service based on cloud computing with which one can create a virtual server environment on company servers.

The Droplets can be customized through the DigitalOcean control panel and can be used to run almost anything that you could on a dedicated server. Basically, each Droplet that you deploy is a new server that you can use as you see fit. They can be standalone servers or part of a larger cloud infrastructure.

The Droplets give you complete control of your virtual server. This means that you’re allowed to choose your operating system during deployment and that you’re also allowed to configure the VPS to your own needs and enterprise.

Why Use DigitalOcean’s Droplets?

Well, for starters, Droplets are reliable and they’re quite convenient for developers, with a wide range of customizable options and features, as well as support. As you may already know, DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting company particularly aimed at developers, offering great options for individual users as well as small businesses. It gives you quick and easy options to create as well as deploy cloud servers, all the while keeping you well within budget.

DigitalOcean is also a great platform for developers who want to experiment and get more technical with new technologies offered on the market. There also a number of DigitalOcean alternatives that offer similar services, at similar pricepoints but with more data center locations.

Are There Any Risks to Using Droplets?

Generally speaking, Droplets are quite safe. However, there are always potential risks involved and it’s a good idea to know their Achilles’ heel.

For one, Droplets are exposed to the internet, which means you need to add appropriate firewalls and software configurations to secure your server. If this is not done correctly, the Droplets can be used for launching attacks on other services or websites.

So, it’s always a good idea to invest in appropriate protection to both protect your own servers and other peoples’ ones as well. If your server is not adequately protected and is used to attack other servers, you may face account suspensions or terminations.

How Do These Virtual Machines Work?

Virtual machines or virtual computing is when a physical computer is made to act and perform like several computers. These computers, however, are invisible, they don’t exist in real life, only the one simulating them does. And this is precisely what makes this kind of computing cost-effective, while at the same time it’s easier and faster to maintain resource control. Not to mention it doesn’t take as much space as multiple physical servers do.

What Happens If One of the Servers Fails?

If the physical server that your Droplet is on fails for some reason, you don’t have to worry too much, because DigitalOcean has a lot of them lying around, and you’ll automatically be moved to another server quickly.

What Are Some of the Things You Can Do With DigitalOcean’s Droplets?

  • Droplets can be used to deploy a bare-bone operating system (OS), meaning you can tinker with the available ones and suit them to your own needs. You can choose between Centos, CoreOS, AlmaLinux, FreeBSD, Ubuntu, Debian, Windows Server and Fedora.
  • You can also deploy a 1-click app without any additional configuration of the OS. Apps included are WordPress/ClassicPress, MySQL, Django, Ghost, and lots more.
  • Something else you can do is to scale disk space, RAM, or CPU, should you start getting more traffic than anticipated. You can also easily downscale if necessary.
  • You can program your server to scale on-demand through DigitalOcean’s API access if you have more technical knowledge. If you don’t have the technical knowledge, however, you can always do the resizing of the Droplet through the control panel interface.
  • You can rebuild a Droplet, which is useful in instances where the Droplet has somehow been compromised, or where you want to switch to a different OS.
  • When a Droplet is destroyed, the content and the backups associated with it are gone as well.

Conclusion

DigitalOcean Droplets are a great choice for developers and small businesses alike because one doesn’t have to do the maintenance of the hardware – that’s the job of the hosting provider. What’s more, the Droplets allow you to automatically scale the capacity of the server whenever you need it.

Hope this article covered the basic stuff you wanted to know about DigitalOcean’s Droplets, why use them, and very importantly, how to use them and what’s their purpose. If you’re looking for an easy way to use DigitalOcean Droplets to power your own web site, check out WP Bolt’s plans. We offer full management for DigitalOcean servers at an extremely low price.

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