What Is DigitalOcean?
DigitalOcean is an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider that recently added an application platform as a service offering. Unlike strictly platform as a service (PaaS) providers such as Google App Engine or Heroku, DigitalOcean provides users with access to the underlying virtual machines supporting their applications. Users can configure the disk space, memory allocation, networking settings, operating system, and more to best meet the needs of their application.
DigitalOcean is frequently called “the developer cloud” due to the wide range of compute, storage, database, and networking offerings developers can use to build and run scalable and high-performing applications. DigitalOcean has a reputation both as an early adopter of new technology—such as solid-state drive (SSD)-based virtual machines and IPv6—and as an active contributor to the open-source community.
In 2020, DigitalOcean released their PaaS offering App Platform, which is built on Kubernetes and open standards and uses the DigitalOcean cloud infrastructure. Since DigitalOcean offers both IaaS and PaaS solutions, it provides users with more flexibility in how they want to scale their applications, either via a fully managed scaling mechanism or by more directly controlling the infrastructure configuration.
From its origin as an IaaS platform based on SSDs, DigitalOcean has maintained its focus on speed and performance. Its Linux-based virtual machines, known as Droplets, offer extremely fast boot times of 55 seconds. The hardware supporting the VMs uses Hex core machines with dedicated EEC RAM and RAID SSD storage. All this hardware muscle ensures reliable and fast performance both for the IaaS and PaaS offerings.
Developers describe DigitalOcean as easy to use. Much of this comes from its uncluttered user interface, which is optimized to provide access to the functions a developer would need without complicating it with unnecessary links or buttons. The APIs DigitalOcean provides are straightforward and can be invoked by standard HTTP tools. DigitalOcean also offers software development kits (SDKs) for programming tools like languages and plug-ins.
The DigitalOcean documentation adds to the simplicity with abundant tutorials, installation guides, how-to guides, and walkthroughs. The documentation isn’t limited to DigitalOcean-specific topics but extends into general cloud platform and technology areas. DigitalOcean also features an active digital community, which responds to queries and can assist with the adoption of cutting-edge technologies.
Monitoring in DigitalOcean
DigitalOcean offers integrated infrastructure monitoring designed to collect system-level metrics using an open-source agent. Opting in to the free monitoring service, users can open the control panel to view graphs, track performance, configure metrics, and set alert policies. Monitoring can also be enabled via an API.
Adding Papertrail to DigitalOcean
The monitoring options in DigitalOcean provide a high-level view of Droplet performance and can be an essential tool when troubleshooting an incident. In terms of application-level logging and monitoring, DigitalOcean relies on third-party solutions like SolarWinds® Papertrail™. Papertrail is an easy-to-use log management solution built to aggregate log data from multiple applications and systems and allow users to search all logs from a single search bar. With full-text search and support for almost every log source, Papertrail features the ability to view, pause, and search live event data. Papertrail complements the infrastructure-level monitoring provided by DigitalOcean by extending visibility to the application level. Sign up for a free trial and try it out for yourself.
Check out these articles for more information on using Papertrail with DigitalOcean: