Digital Ocean and CoreOS partner - Why you should know about these startups

Digital Ocean is cheap, simple IaaS; CoreOS is lightweight, container-friendly Linux. It’s a match made in the cloud.


A pair of cloud-focused startups announced a partnership today that will bring the CoreOS Linux-based operating system on to the Digital Ocean IaaS public cloud.

While these are not name-brand cloud companies (yet), each of these startups are garnering attention in cloud circles and combining their technologies together is a win for developers.

Digital Ocean started in 2011 and has had a steady flow of venture capital money backing the company to build up its global IaaS public cloud platform. The company offers inexpensive, easy-to-use, fast to spin up virtual machines, specializing in various flavors of Linux. Some consider it a less expensive alternative to Amazon Web Services, but the company pales in comparison to the market leader’s breadth of offerings.

CoreOS began last year by some former Rackspace engineers who wanted to build a Linux-based operating system that would be ideal for scale-out architectures. CEO Alex Polvi describes CoreOS as a “minimalist” OS that’s meant distributed systems. Perhaps most exciting for CoreOS is that it is a container-native OS, which means it supports Docker and the entire operating system is based on the idea of containers, which are a hot topic in developer and cloud camps. The OS also has some built in tools that make it easy to manage clusters of CoreOS systems, and it provides live patching and updating.


CoreOS joins Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and CentOS as guest operating systems in Digital Ocean’s cloud. CoreOS is also available in Rackspace and Google’s IaaS clouds.

Polvi says running CoreOS on Digital Ocean allows developers to build massively scalable systems on commodity hardware. Or, it can provide a sandbox environment to try out and test container technology at a low cost. Even though CoreOS is meant to be a massively scalable OS, Polvi said the management practices that are used in a large distributed system are equally as valuable in smaller deployments too.

As a startup like Digital Ocean looks to make a name for itself in the competitive IaaS market, partnering with intriguing platforms like CoreOS that appeal to the newest trends in developer momentum seem like as good of a call as any.

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