DO Ideas 2

Revisit new snapshot pricing structure

"Starting October 1, 2016, we will begin charging for snapshot storage at $0.05 per gigabyte per month. This will first be reflected in the invoice posted to your account on November 1, 2016. Like other features, snapshot storage uses hourly pricing, and size is calculated from a compressed version of the snapshot—not the total disk space allocated to the Droplet."

I see a problem with this method stemming from the way that snapshot sizes are calculated:

"Our snapshot sizes are determined on the size of your Droplet's sparse disk image, and any data that is added to your server and then deleted will still remain in the disk image unless the disk has been zeroed out to reclaim this image size.

When you delete files inside the droplet, that simply marks the space available again, but doesn't zero out the space in the underlying disk image on the physical server. Snapshots are compressed, though, so you could try using a program like zerofree while the Droplet's disk image has been mounted read-only (such as through our Recovery ISO) to see if that has some effect"

This seems to be quite confusing and possibly not feasible for many customers. This is my suggestion: I would much rather there be a threshold before being charged. So, maybe only charge for storage after, say 15GB. So, if I have some snapshots that total 20GB, I would only be charged for 5GB over threshold. I mean seriously, storage is ridiculously cheap these days. I'd much rather see snapshots preserved as a value-added service.

  • Ross
  • Sep 11 2018
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  • hlv_trinh commented
    September 11, 2018 16:18

    Dear DO,

    One of functions I love most at DO is free unlimited snapshots.
    I understand that it could be exploited by some people OR people keep wasted snapshots which consumes much space on your snapshot storage system.

    However, I think it could be better before starting billing snapshot storage by support us - your customers - one or both of following options:
    - Have option to download & restore droplets from local snapshots (your customers can save their cost by using their own storage)
    - Provide each user a free but limited size for storing snapshots (I think it's a win-win solution that DO won't loose much resources for snapshots and DO's customers is still having their loved features - in the limited way). The free size could be fixed or depend on the number and size of active droplets.

    Hope my feedback be understood.

  • Fred commented
    September 11, 2018 16:18

    The idea is to allow a user to have 2 or 3 free images per active droplet and 3 or 4 with ready to roll installs to be used on common new droplets.

    After so much time without charging for the images you could keep a little of that great feature instead of start charging all the images a user may have.

    I´m sure there are abuses but this suggestion I´m doing it´s very reasonable and having pre installed droplets make a dev life much easiers and in the end more active droplets for DO

  • Director commented
    September 11, 2018 16:18

    Before about half a year, I discovered that the snapshot created had substantially bigger size. Later I found that the size of snapshot gets bigger and bigger upon use.

    I began to make testing. For the same Droplet created from the same snapshot, the later snapshots created grew bigger. I made tests and found that the size of snapshots grew at the rate of about 0,5 Gigabytes per week.

    The size of all files stored is on the Droplet was about 6.1 GB.

    The snapshot created from it after a fresh installation was about 7GB.

    The current size of the snapshot from the same Droplet is now 18GB, i.e. more than double.

    If DisitalOCean begins to charge people per Gigabyte, then customers will be compelled to pay the company for a size that they do not want or is not real.

    After contacting customer support, I received an answer that the growth in size is because certain deleted data remains in the image. Erlier, DigitalOcean a file based method was used to make snapshots. After the change, a sector-based method is used, the support said.

    Consequently, DigitalOcean change the method of creating snapshots sector-based that causes fictional charge of 0.05 $ per gigabyte.

    I hope that the responsible people would act to this request and make changes accordingly, which can only avoid a class action lawsuit against DigitalOcean for charging money for garbage.

    I suggest the followng:

    Offer a slot of three images for free to be included in the price per month.

    Then charge customers only if they choose to store more images and pay for them.