Support own operating system images
I just thought about some running votes on this site, like 'please support Windows' or 'please add OS [xyz]'. I can understand that these tasks aren't that easy, because the control panel sometimes requires access to the filesystem of the VM. For example, setting a new root password requires chrooting into the VM environment.
But, why not offer 100% unmanaged servers? I'll count up some facts so you can fully understand what my thoughts are:
-> Each user should be able to upload own ISOs, which then could be mounted via the control panel.
-> If a user decides to use his own image, things like "set new root password" or "automatic IP adjustment when restoring snapshots" should be disabled in my opinion. The only necessary thing would be console access, which is already implemented, and support for ISO mounting as mentioned above. In my opinion, a user should be able to mount atleast 2 images at the same time. (Example: Windows Server 2012 + virtio drivers disk)
-> There could be a hosted pool of ISOs available for free by DigitalOcean, so that not every user of this feature would have to upload the same image over and over. Custom images, which aren't in the pool, could be hourly or monthly billed like snapshots.
So what new things would that change offer?
-> Windows Support - A user could upload his own image, install it via Console Access and that's it. There are experimental virtio drives available, and I am currently using them on some production servers - they work like a charm and Windows Server on SSDs are -really- smooth.
-> Custom partitioning - I'm guessing that DO is either using LVM partitions or raw images for the VMs. No matter what they're using, users would be able to choose their own partitioning. Again, console access is already given, and it wouldn't be a problem to setup a new operating system via console access.
-> Disk encryption - I'm sure that DigitalOcean is a reliable, trustworthy company. But still, some users might want to encrypt their disks. This would be also much easier when installing the operating system by its own instead of using prebuilt images from DO.
-> Own distributions - Each user could use its own distribution - no matter if it is something common as Debian, a distribution made for firewalls or anything else like that.
-> Advanced recovery - boot up some ISO which contains a live linux, mount your disk, chroot into it and tada - you're able to repair your VM.
-> And much more - it would provide nearly endless freedom...
There are some KVM VPS providers which are supporting custom ISOs - but I don't know any hourly-billed provider like DigitalOcean offering this. In my opinion, this would be a huge improvement. 'Normal' users just want
to select some image, wait a minute and tada, their server is up and running. But I'm sure more advanced users would sometimes like to setup their servers completely for their own. And, as far as I know, Windows support
would be then also possible as long as users got their own license. Sorry if there are some grammatical mistakes, but I'm not a native english speaker. If there are any questions about my idea, feel free to ask.
agreed... particularly we need options like ,Custom partitioning kind of advanced options.
Matt Williams commented
This is already requested at http://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digital-ocean/suggestions/3276477-allow-custom-images