What Can I Use Digital Ocean Droplets For?

I started using Docker containers a few months ago. I must admit, initially I didn't really see the value in it. But, recently I use containers almost every day. I really started to appreciate Docker containers when I moved this site from a Godaddy hosted Wordpress site to a Digital Ocean droplet. The article Why Use Ghost in a CoreOS Droplet, describes how this site is setup.

Having a CoreOS container running all the time is very handy. For instance, today I wanted to test a Python program for how to do a ping sweep across a network and how to configure Node-RED to require a login and password. In both cases, I just logged into my CoreOS Droplet, created a Docker container, did the test and destroyed the container. Even though I'm using the smallest package available ($5/mo), creating a small container or two doesn't affect the main site at all.

Normally, to do this I'd need to keep a Linux VM on my computer, install the packages, run the test and figure out how to remove the packages. Which is no big deal, but it's pretty easy to just accumulate garbage then have to clean up the VM. Yet another computer to maintain. Yuck. Containers are can be just removed like a file.

Here's an example of the Python test I did.

core@coreos-512mb-nyc3-01 ~ $ docker pull python:2-slim
2-slim: Pulling from library/python
5040bd298390: Already exists 
b303f6ac5c34: Pull complete 
70354f0062a4: Pull complete 
Digest: sha256:05433e1cd442803108e2e7cfe74701a39f4c12bc93bc4635bd9956ada12b2419
Status: Downloaded newer image for python:2-slim

core@coreos-512mb-nyc3-01 ~ $ docker run -it --name python python:2-slim sh
# pip install ping
Collecting ping
  Downloading ping-0.2.tar.gz
Building wheels for collected packages: ping
  Running setup.py bdist_wheel for ping ... done
  Stored in directory: /root/.cache/pip/wheels/3f/85/91/a421c9a20884b182704809dcae37673d67e730ccf03f74e8d6
Successfully built ping
Installing collected packages: ping
Successfully installed ping-0.2
# python
Python 2.7.13 (default, Jan 17 2017, 19:42:07) 
[GCC 4.9.2] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import ping
>>> ping.verbose_ping('')
ping with ... get ping in 2.3551ms
ping with ... get ping in 2.0192ms
ping with ... get ping in 2.0080ms
ping with ... get ping in 1.9960ms

>>> exit()
# ^D
core@coreos-512mb-nyc3-01 ~ $ docker rmi -f python:2-slim
Untagged: python:2-slim
Untagged: python@sha256:05433e1cd442803108e2e7cfe74701a39f4c12bc93bc4635bd9956ada12b2419
Deleted: sha256:3f14dc7c29da35c25c3fafcef245db0587fa0d086e379c994da26e669359d318
core@coreos-512mb-nyc3-01 ~ $ docker rm -f python
core@coreos-512mb-nyc3-01 ~ $ docker images
REPOSITORY          TAG                 IMAGE ID            CREATED             SIZE
ghost               latest              783cee09899e        3 weeks ago         325.8 MB

All done. At this point everything used to create the container has been removed, no more cleanup is necessary. The ghost container running the site was completely unaffected.