Indie DevOps - Introduction (Part 1)

Indie DevOps - Introduction (Part 1)

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Welcome this multi-part series on how we deploy and scale our applications on a tight budget while remaining stable! This series will be broken up into multiple parts, describing how we host each and every part of our stack. We'll try to update this post with some basic statistics so you have an idea of how much it costs, how many requests it is able to serve, and what services we use before you dig in deeper.

This guide is mostly meant for solo developers or small start-ups that are looking to deploy their app in a way that can:

  1. Be set up in a single afternoon
  2. Deploy easily via CI
  3. Automatically manage SSL certs, nginx, etc
  4. Have 99% of the configuration done automatically for you
  5. Not cost too much
  6. Automatically scale with increased traffic (via Kubernetes)


  1. Introduction
  2. Storing your data
  3. Deploying your applications
  4. Scaling with Kubernetes

Cost Breakdown

Total cost: $21 per month, or $56 per month with Kubernetes and autoscaling

Basic Setup

  • DigitalOcean main server - $10
  • DigitalOcean storage server - $5
  • DigitalOcean Volume for storage server - $1 (will increase over time)
  • DigitalOcean Spaces for backups - $5
  • Netlify for our landing pages - Free
  • Cloudflare for CDN - Free

With Kubernetes and Autoscaling

  • DigitalOcean Container Registry - $5
  • DigitalOcean Kubernetes (with 2 nodes) - $20
  • DigitalOcean Load Balancer - $10


Currently, Dokku is the only DevOps software we use. It:

  • Deploys our apps
  • Manages and backs up our databases
  • Provisions SSL certs
  • Sets up and deploys to Kubernetes
  • and much more


Requests per month: ~100k

Only one of our apps is currently in production: ctrltab. We also use this setup for some of our upcoming products, namely caddie (in development).

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