Many questions about DreamCompute

dreamcompute

#1

I’m completely new to this ‘cloud computing’ lark and I’m wondering if DreamCompute is exactly what I need…

I currently run a website on a DH Shared host. (Well a couple of websites) - The actual web hosting is fine on there, however one of my websites runs a lot of cron jobs continuously, and sometimes I obviously hit some kind of resource limit (I guess memory) and my crons end up getting killed off for a short period. I’m planning an upgrade to this website soon to a new codebase built on Laravel, which I is slightly more resource hungry than my old framework, so unless I do something then I figure I can’t run as many crons, and I really need to if anything run more…

So I’m thinking the cheap DreamCompute option sounds ideal, just 5 bucks a month, and I can setup a virtual server and run all my crons on there, connecting to the website’s existing mysql db for data, and leaving the shared hosting to actually just deal with the webhosting.

However I have a few questions. There doesn’t seem to be much info out there about how to actually Use DreamCompute.

(a) I gather this is technically an IaaS not a Paas (hope I’ve got that terminology correct!), so the entire installation/management of the OS on my virtual server would be down to me. I’m quite experienced at WebDev and have the basics of server configuration, but I’m no expert on actually fully securing a server, so that concerns me. Are there pre-configured OS installs available that are suitable to run on DC and easy to configure/manage? Although initially I would only be running crons, I would plan in the future to run a webserver to handle IronMQ callbacks. My server would need to run some linux, web server preferably Apache2, PHP, Laravel

(b) Is there some getting started documentation available anywhere without actually signing up?

© There’s a ‘floating IP’ - what does this mean? Do I get some kind of domain name or can I (easily) setup a sub-domain of one of my existing domains to point to the instance(s) I setup on DC?

(d) The cheap option currently gives: Up to 2 Instances, Up to 2 GB of Memory, Up to 2 vCPUs, 25 GB of Block Storage. I assume I could run up one instance with the full 2gb ram and 2vcpus?

(e.1) Is it a 12 month contract? If I sign up for $5 per month, can I cancel at any time, or upgrade, or am I contracted in for 12 months from the start?

(e.2) The $5 per month seems to be a special offer, if I sign up, how long can I expect before I start getting charged $10 per month?

(f) Is there any quota on network usage for the DreamCompute service? I don’t see any mention of it. (My crons are doing a lot of talking to other websites and APIs).

(g) Is this still Beta as this forum suggests, or is it production ready? (Or both?) :wink:

My main concerns are regarding (a) and (b)…

Any answers/tips hugely appreciated!


#2

Indeed, you do have many questions! Here are many answers for you. Hopefully they are the right answers. :slight_smile:

We do have some basic installed OS images available for popular OSes (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS), but you will need some experience in server administration to make use of them. DreamCompute is not a managed server offering; maintaining and securing servers you run on DreamCompute is your responsibility.

Yes! Start here: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/DreamCompute

Basically, it’s a single IPv4 address you can assign to any one of the instances you create. You can move it between instances at any time, even while they’re running. Instances that don’t have a floating IP address are only accessible over IPv4 from other instances within your project, or via IPv6. (Every instance gets an IPv6 address.)

DreamCompute doesn’t manage DNS, but if you have one of your domains set up on the DreamHost side, you can add your floating IP as a custom DNS A record to map a domain or subdomain to your DreamCompute project.

Correct. But keep in mind that there are a specific set of instance “flavors” that can be launched. This mostly comes into play with the larger plans; for example, there is no single instance available with 6 GB of memory.

All of our current DreamCompute plans are billed month-to-month - no contract - and the prices are good for as long as you choose to stay on them. (That is, the only way your bill will change is if you switch to another plan or cancel the service.)

Not at the moment, no.

It’s still a beta. In this case, this means primarily that, while we think the service is getting close to release, we’re still working out some bugs, and we can’t guarantee its reliability or performance yet. Things might go wrong. Keep offsite backups of any important data. If you do plan on using DreamCompute for production work, we strongly recommend that you have a “fallback plan” ready at all times in case something comes up.


#3

Great answers, thanks Andrew! I’ll be reading through the Wiki this evening…


#4

We’re also available to answer questions on IRC. Join us in #DreamCompute on freenode.