Source by : cio
In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Director- India at DigitalOcean lays out the vision and the business model of DigitalOcean
Headquartered in New York City, DigitalOcean has been growing rapidly — with over 1 million customers globally — by offering simple on-demand cloud computing resources. According to internet services company Netcraft.com, in 2016 DigitalOcean became the second largest and fastest growing cloud computing platform in the total number of public facing apps and websites. Over 50,000 teams around the world rely on DigitalOcean to run their company’s workloads. It’s on a $175 million annualized run rate (ARR) for 2017.
In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Director- India at DigitalOcean lays out the vision and the business model of DigitalOcean.
DigitalOcean is a cloud computing company focused on the developer community. So let’s focus first on your target segment. What do developers need to know about how DigitalOcean makes their work simple? Where does your competitive differentiation lie?
Our goal is to empower developers around the world to build amazing things, and our robust, affordable, and simple infrastructure is making the cloud more accessible than ever.
Globally, outside of the core developer market, the start-ups are driving our growth. The familiarity that developers have built with our platform, even if it is for their personal use cases, enables them to bring DigitalOcean to their business or enterprise environments also.
The requirements of developers and startups are the same universally – they care about a cloud platform that’s simple, performant, feature-rich and easy on the pocket and DigitalOcean fulfills these requirements. We are focused on doing the heavy-lifting on the infrastructure side, letting developers channelize their energies on building applications that solve real customer problems.
If you log on to our portal you should be able to seamlessly choose the kind of operating system you want to run on the platform and you should be able to have a server up and running in less than 55 seconds. On the other hand, the learning curve on other cloud platforms is pretty steep.
We have always focused on keeping our products simple and intuitive to adopt. While the other cloud providers have focused their energy on large enterprises and legacy companies, we’ve remained dedicated to creating better tools for developers who want to run and scale applications in the cloud.
Simplicity is our attribute which runs across all our products. Every product we release exhibits this attribute. Across our offerings like Block storage or object storage option called Spaces, firewall, and load balancer we make sure that the promise of simplicity is maintained.
Apart from providing a simple yet performant cloud platform, we offer pay-as-you-go pricing which is simple and transparent. We have also focused on building a true community of developers to help foster the industry and support them as they build the products of the future.
So the other aspect is the large community we have built around it. With millions of unique visitors each month, Digital Ocean’s community platform has become a go-to resource for system admins and developers looking to deploy to applications to the cloud. Developers will find numerous tutorials, a robust Q&A section, and many community projects.
Our community site provides extensive tutorials and guides for developers learning to work with Linux and developers seeking to create complex setups within their infrastructure. Along with this, we offer 24X7 support to all of our customers free of charge.
Let’s talk about the products. Can you break down your product line and explain what each of the product offerings does?
Our core offering is called the Droplet which is a virtual machine with a predefined compute, storage and networking capacity with the option to add resources like storage on demand as needed. It offers software developers high-performant Linux Servers at market-leading prices, with a hyper-focus on simplicity and user experience. DigitalOcean’s servers use only high-performance Solid State Disks. Their speed directly benefits the performance of hosted websites and applications.
Outside of Droplet, we also have a Block storage offering that provides additional flexibility in increasing storage for an existing virtual machine.
Spaces, our Object storage product is our latest offering. It provides a scalable and cost-effective way to address even the most complex storage needs within the same developer-friendly and easy-to-use UI that DigitalOcean is known for. Pricing starts at $5 per month and includes 250 GB of storage and 1 TB of outbound data transferred per month.
How does DigitalOcean approach the same customer problems differently? Can you give me a customer case here? Who is using DigitalOcean, and what are they doing with it? More important, what benefits have they achieved?
We have more than 50,000 teams across a wide range of organizations who use our platform to deploy their applications. Globally we have more than a million customers TaskRabbit, Atlassian, .io, Rockerbox, jQuery, Compose, InfluxDB and Ghost are among the global customers who use DO. In India some of our prominent customers are NoBroker.in, KartRocket, Betaout, Delhivery, corier, Printo, Vtiger , Coverfox, HackerRank and OYO rooms who run on our platforms.
NoBroker was one of the first customers of DigitalOcean in India. Akhil Gupta, Co-founder & CTO, NoBroker.in says that DO has grown in last 3 years and launched some amazing products like Block Storage, Load Balancers, and a Monitoring Service. Many times NoBroker.in has been stuck with implementation and DO technical blogs have come to their rescue with step to step installation guide.
Let me give you another example. Rockerbox is an advertising and analytics company specializing in understanding user behaviour. At the peak, it processes over 200k requests per second. This translates to a data pipeline that is capable of processing over 3B requests per day. While other companies have huge fleets of servers to run this type infrastructure, Rick O’Toole, Co-Founder and CTO of Rockerbox is able to accomplish this with 200+ VMs. With DigitalOcean, he has been able to make scaling the technical infrastructure of his business cost effective and efficient.
How promising is India as a market for Digital Ocean?
Our core audience is the developer community. The world over if you look at the developer demographics, the US has the largest number of developers. India has close to about 3 million software developers and over the next couple of years it is expected to surpass US. So from the market perspective, it has a large number of our core audience. So it makes sense for us to be present here in a big way. It is a place for tech start-ups and we want to be here to support a lot of these born in the cloud kind of businesses.
Today, India is home to the fastest growing ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs, with approximately 4,000 startups launching this past year. With the number of software developers throughout India expected to grow to over 5 million by the year 2018, this region is poised to unleash a tremendous amount of innovation in the next decade. We want to be there to support every startup to grow and succeed.
We’re focused on making it easier than ever before for startups and teams of software developers from India, and around the world, to deploy and scale their applications. We are excited to see what we can build together in Bangalore.
In June 2016, DigitalOcean launched its datacenter in Bangalore, its first datacenter in India and twelfth globally. How does that fortify your position in India?
India is poised to unleash a tremendous amount of innovation in the next decade. From the product perspective, anything that has been released in the global market will be made available to our Indian customers through our Bangalore datacentre as well.
Having a local datacenter enables service delivery to the large customer base that India represents and improves performance in terms of lower latency for the end-user applications. Bangalore is DigitalOcean’s 8th region globally, following New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, and Toronto.
The Bangalore datacenter will feature DigitalOcean’s latest servers and network architecture, which will ensure a consistent and seamless experience for users everywhere regardless of which region they select. DigitalOcean’s second datacenter in Asia will enable local service delivery to over a billion people in India alone and improve performance for neighboring users. Developers can now launch Droplets in Bangalore.
DigitalOcean will continue to offer a single pricing plan across all of its regions worldwide, including Bangalore. This means SSD-enabled cloud servers starting at $5 USD per month, and identical pricing for all additional services like bandwidth, snapshots and beyond.
Talk to us about DigitalOcean’s Startup accelerator program?
DigitalOcean went through the acceleration program when it started out through the Tech Starts program. Just as we benefitted from the start-up ecosystem, we want to give back to the ecosystem.
We have created a program called HATCH. One of the goals of the program s to help fledging start-ups in the early stages of growth by providing them cloud credit, priority support, and technical mentorship.
For Hatch, we work with top-tier accelerators, incubators, and VCs globally and all the portfolio start-ups who are a part of those companies get access to the program and benefits.
Our partnership with the Karnataka government & DIPP’s Startup India initiative is an example of a Hatch partnership. So all the startups who are a part of the Karnataka startup cell or registered with DIPP as a startup, get access to a certain amount of cloud credit and all the mentorship benefits.
As a company, we are focused on collaborating and contributing to developer communities around the world. In the same spirit, we have driven several activities ranging from workshops, hackathons, coding contests, webinars and conferences to engage with the developer community in India.
Our meetup chapters are operational across more than 10 cities in India and 70 cities globally and the local developer communities use this forum to share best practices and learn from subject matter experts on a wide array of technical topics, including but not limited to Cloud and DevOps.
Our signature Tide conference has become a platform for developers & startups to connect, network, and engage with influencers, mentors, and VCs in the tech ecosystem.
To engage with students, outside of the student-only hackathons and programming contests we also organized a “Product-a-thon” contest named Campus Champ. This contest is targeted at university students and focused on identifying and recognizing the best student engineers across colleges in India. The contest saw enthusiastic participation from student teams across colleges in more than 30 cities.
What can customers expect from DigitalOcean over the next two years?
When we started operations in 2011, our platform appealed to the individual developer and hobbyist who used our platform for their freelancing or hosting needs. As our platform evolved, teams of developers started using DO for their business needs. With additions such as Block Storage, Load Balancers, Firewall, Monitoring, Object Storage and a host of new offerings (across the 3 pillars of Compute, Storage & Networking) in our upcoming roadmap, our goal is to enable businesses and engineering teams to better address their large-scale production environment needs.
We have released up to six new products over the last year. We will add more products to our portfolio to make the experience of our customers seamless.