Scaleway seems too good to be true

The French virtual private (VPS) hosting provider Scaleway looks damned impressive offering four dedicated ARM processor cores and 2 GB of RAM for 3 Euro per month. They’ve got some of the lowest prices and offer the most hardware for your money. Their website looks beautiful and it has all the information you could want. Unfortunately, I found that the advertised information doesn’t really match the products on offer.

Scaleway’s product pages advertises its “native IPv6” support but fails to mention a couple of crucial limitations. If you dig further onto the frequently asked questions page, you’ll discover that IPv6 support is limited to some of their products but it’s not clear exactly which products support IPv6 and which don’t.

Another limitation is that you’re not assigned a static IPv6 address. Your servers’ IPv6 addresses are dynamically assigned and change if you stop and restart your server. This is a pretty darned big limitation and means you’ll have trouble reliably routing your visitors to your server.

Scaleway also clearly states that you can configure your IP address’ Reverse DNS (rDNS/PTR) records; something which is crucial to ensure email deliverability from your server. The catch here is that you can only do so for IPv4 addresses as you’re not assigned a static IPv6 addresses. Scaleway’s Network FAQ page mentions that rDNS is only available for your “reserved IP addresses”.

At this point it’s clear that Scaleway’s “native IPv6” support is quite limited and not suited for offering your end-users services over IPv6.

When you register with Scaleway, you have to provide a phone number and go through a verification-number process. They also verify your address and credit card as well as your email address. However, they block TCP port 25 (SMTP) by default and require that you send them your government issued identification records to unblock SMTP access for your server.

Scaleway’s website leaves no doubt that you can choose from a number of operating systems. The first logo you’ll see in the operating system list is Fedora. The list looks quite different when you actually go to and setup a server, however. The available operating systems are limited based on the exact type of server you select. E.g. Fedora Server edition officially supports ARM, but it’s not available if you choose to go with Scaleway’s ARM server offerings. I assumed Fedora would be supported given the Fedora logo’s prominent placement on Scaleway’s product pages.

I had spent some time verifying that Scaleway checked all the boxes and met all my criteria before I signed up. Afterwards, I felt that they’d pulled a bait and switch on me. The product they offer doesn’t match the expectations their website had left me with in terms of feature support.