Looking for a hosting service? For about 55 seconds, Digital Ocean said that's how long it'll take them to provision a server. That sounds effective, and the cost is relatively low compared to others, making it a cost-effective option.
Create A Virtual Server
I signed up at Digital Ocean, requested a server with CentOS, and chose Singapore region for hosting the image since that location in Asia is closer to one of my projects' target audience. It took 58 seconds wait time for creating the image. It lives up to the promise. Immediately, in my email box I received the IP and the root password so I can access the virtual host remotely via SSH.
Access the Virtual Server
SSH is simple. I had done it thousand of times. But I couldn't ssh into it. Bummer!
A test using ping failed due to timeout, suggesting server is not accessible. I contacted customer service and they responded timely:
Here's what I got:
The support said it was a weird situation and suggested me to rebuild the server. I then 'rebuild' (Select 'Destroy' then 'Rebuild') the server, followed by a Power Cycle (reboot) just in case:
Still, not accessible through ssh:
PING 220.127.116.11 (18.104.22.168): 56 data bytes
Rebuild Virtual Server
At this point, the inaccessible image has been created 2 days, billing continues to accrue. Unfortunately, their FAQ states there's no refund policy.
I decided to 'destroy' the server and create another one in a different region. This time, I selected San Francisco 1 (sfo1) which is closer to where I currently live. The server was created in just 55 seconds. The new virtual server was not immediately accessible through SSH, but a minute later, I had successfully SSH'ed into the server. Mission accomplished!
My impression with Digital Ocean is their prompt support via email. If you ever had issue with your infrastructure, you definitely need someone to contact for straightening out ways you may try to resolve the issue.
If you'd like to lower your hosting cost, head over to Digital Ocean now. Give it a try and hope my experience helps you save some of your time and money.
UPDATE (2014-07-27): Within the same hour the issue was resolved their support briefly explained to me there was a kernel related issue revolving around their new CentOS 7 images, that are now resolved. For the inconvenience I had gone through, Michael gave me $10 credit toward my Digital Ocean account without me asking for it.
UPDATE (2014-07-29): Logged on server, the CentOS prompted show us we were under ssh brute force attack. Digital Ocean's support responded our concern and question in a timely manner and provided us with actionable preventive solutions.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn credit if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with Digital Ocean, and I cover it because it is helpful and useful to achieve my goals.