Dear Everyone at Scaleway,
It’s about a year since I started using Scaleway and I want to give you some feedback about my experience.
Previously I had been using a co-located server, which was getting old and was relatively expensive to run; I was concerned that eventually it would suffer a hardware failure that could result in at least a few days’ downtime. I was also using AWS; specifically, S3 for data that was too big for the co-located server’s old disk and occasionally EC2 for big parallel data-munging jobs.
I was drawn to Scaleway for three reasons. Firstly, you’re a European company; I like to support relatively local enterprises rather than allowing AWS/Google/Microsoft in the US to get all the business. In particular you’re not Amazon, whose poor treatment of their warehouse workers gets a lot of press. Secondly, you’re offering ARM servers; I used to work for ARM many years ago and I like to support ARM as a server/cloud architecture. Thirdly, your bandwidth price (i.e. free and unlimited) would save me a lot of cash compared to S3.
So I signed up for an 8-core ARM64 server.
Unfortunately, the reality of using it has been very poor.
To mention some of the issues:
It crashes about once each month on average. In some cases you seem to know that there was an issue, e.g. “the hypervisor crashed” or “there was a network problem”, but other times you don’t know what caused it. And it doesn’t reboot automatically.
The flexibility is astonishingly bad compared to EC2. On EC2, I can change an instance from 1 CPU to 72 CPUs in less than a minute (shutdown, change instance type in console, restart). On EC2 I can attach a new storage volume in seconds while the instance is running. Here, the one time that I wanted to add more storage I discovered that I needed to shutdown the instance first, which required a snapshot, which required a multi-hour wait (I believe that may have been partially fixed, but it still involves a long wait). And then I was faced with the possibility that, due to the “low stock” of servers, I might not be able to restart. And then, most ridiculous of all, I discovered that I could only attach the new storage volume if I removed one of the existing ones so that the total amount of storage was always 200 GB! That’s insane, and the claim on the home page that “additional volumes […] are available on all our servers” is totally misleading.
When my business became VAT registered a few months ago I had to report that to all my EU suppliers so that I could be supplied under the “B2B reverse charge” process. Of those suppliers, only Scaleway have failed to implement it; apparently this cannot be changed after the account has been created. So I now pay 20% more than I should - unless I want to create a new account and migrate everything, which I can’t do as there is no way to move servers and other resources between accounts.
As a result of this, and more, I’ve decided to migrate to AWS; specifically to Lightsail, which has much better bandwidth pricing than S3 and EC2. I have a 2-core Lightsail instance for $20/month which is significantly faster than the 8-core Scalway instance. For many users their $5/mo t2.nano instance would be quite sufficient. My Scaleway server is now shut down but I’ll keep the account and the snapshots for a few months in case there is something I’ve forgotten to archive.
If you want your business to succeed you really need to up your game. What you have right now really isn’t good enough. I hope you do improve, but looking at things like your storage bucket offering (constant promises but nothing delivered) I am not hopeful.
Best Wishes, and Goodbye.
P.S. I note that one of the regular posters here, who regularly criticised your offerings, has had all of his posts deleted. That really doesn’t look very clever. I hope that you see this message as an attempt at constructive criticism!