Considerations when Downsizing to a Smaller Droplet

DigitalOcean Droplets are Linux-based virtual machines (VMs) that run on top of virtualized hardware. Each Droplet you create is a new server you can use, either standalone or as part of a larger, cloud-based infrastructure.

As you create and use your Droplets, you may find that the plan you’ve chosen for any given Droplet is above your needs and downsizing is appropriate. For data integrity reasons, we don’t provide the ability to downsize a Droplet through the control panel, but you can still switch to a smaller Droplet using common migration strategies.

Here are some tips when you’re considering downsizing your Droplet.

Make a Backup of the Original Droplet

We strongly recommending backing up your Droplet by taking a snapshot first. Without a backup, you risk data loss if anything goes wrong.

Unlike snapshots, backup images created by automatic backups are destroyed when the corresponding Droplet is destroyed. If you have automatic backups enabled on the original Droplet and want to keep one or more of its backup images as safeguards, convert the backups to snapshots before you delete the Droplet.

Migrate Files

There are a variety of tools that simplify the process of migrating files from one server to another. If you set up SSH keys between the original and new Droplets, you can use tools like SnapShooter, scp, or rsync. You can also follow a more comprehensive migration process.

Update DNS Records

If you currently use the DigitalOcean for DNS management, update your DNS records to point to the new Droplet.

Wait and confirm that the DNS changes have propagated before deleting the original Droplet.

Replace IP Addresses or Consider Reserved IPs

DigitalOcean doesn’t reserve IP addresses, so you’ll need to update any references to the IP address of the original Droplet to the one by the new Droplet. You can make this process easier in the future by using a reserved IP, a publicly-accessible static IP address that you can assign to a Droplet.

If you’re already using a reserved IP address for the original Droplet, you can modify the existing reserved IP to point to the new Droplet.