Cloud provider DigitalOcean heads to the subcontinent

DigitalOcean's new data center in India could lead the small cloud provider to gain millions more customers

Cloud provider DigitalOcean heads to the subcontinent
Credit: Thinkstock

News today from DigitalOcean, the little engine that could of the cloud world. Despite being a relative unknown, at least compared to the big three of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, DigitalOcean has managed to grow incredibly fast in its short life.

The company, which is headquartered in New York City, has a massive 700,000 customers globally, customers who are attracted to its super-simple offering. DigitalOcean offers the simplest of products, in contrast to the other cloud vendors that give customers a plethora of different options.

While that simplicity may be a problem if and when DigitalOcean wants to go up market, for the moment it is scooping up hundreds of thousands of grassroots developers in its main market of the U.S. and Europe.

Those hundreds of thousands could well be joined by millions more with the news that DigitalOcean is opening a data center in Bangalore, India. DigitalOcean is also committing to a single pricing plan across all of its regions worldwide. Users in its North American data centers in New York, San Francisco and Toronto pay the same as its European customers who use facilities in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt. They, in turn, have exactly the same cost structure as customers in Singapore and, now, India. DigitalOcean's, SSD-enabled servers start at $5 per month for 1 core processor, 512MB of memory, 20GB SSD disk and 1TB transfer.

In terms of the Indian announcement, it is important to note that India is home to the fastest-growing ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs, with approximately 4,000 startups this past year. Considering the number of software developers throughout India will grow to over 5 million by the year 2018, the region is one of the most important technology markets in the world. DigitalOcean has hired a local team and has also partnered with NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups initiative to grow and support the startup ecosystem in India.

“India is poised to unleash a tremendous amount of innovation in the next decade,” said Ben Uretsky, CEO and co-founder of DigitalOcean. “We want to empower the next generation of software companies by providing them [with the] robust and easy-to-use cloud infrastructure they need to grow.”

My POV

I'm continually surprised by just how fast DigitalOcean is growing. There must be some seriously good processes (not to mention funding) at work to allow that growth within the expected growing pains.

India is certainly an immense opportunity, and if DigitalOcean can attack the subcontinent in an appropriate way (with product, pricing and go-to-market that works in the Indian context), then this can be a hugely significant move for the company.

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