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.
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:
Can you please log in via the web console as root, and provide the output of the following command:
ls -lah /lib/modules
PING 184.108.40.206 (220.127.116.11): 56 data bytes
Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
Request timeout for icmp_seq 2
Request timeout for icmp_seq 3
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.