DigitalOcean starts to make its move to work further up the stack. but can it keep its simplicity while it does?
DigitalOcean is a little known (at least outside of the startup community) cloud infrastructure provider that has seen incredible growth over the past few years. From out of nowhere, DigitalOcean has become one of the leading go-to places for simple cloud hosting. Its growth has, in part, been put down to being very developer focused and simplifying the product down to the barest essentials.
The company is announcing today its intention to build a data center in Bangalore, India. This will be the sixth international location for DigitalOcean, joining Amsterdam,Singapore, London, Frankfurt and Tokyo.
But, exciting as another region is, perhaps more interesting is the news that DigitalOcean is moving beyond its simple roots and is going to start offering higher-level services. There has long been the suggestion that the company would do this, so what is its intention?
First up will be block storage. There are three basic building blocks of cloud infrastructure, computer, storage, and networking. DigitalOcean already has Compute (The Droplet), Networking (Floating IPs), and come the second quarter of this year will be releasing the beta version of its first storage product. This will allow users to easily attach additional storage to a cloud server (Droplet) without having to pay for / scale other resources like memory etc.
Secondly, and perhaps something of a surprise is that DigitalOcean is building a monitoring solution. This marks a departure for the company, the first time that a major product that is not an additional feature of the Droplet. The thinking goes that if customers are managing Droplets, they are likely also concerned with their health. But the monitoring product goes beyond that and will be available as a standalone product for users of other cloud services. This is a move that puts DigitalOcean in direct competition with products like DataDog, NewRelic, and Boundary. Their focus? To produce the most simple monitoring service possible.
While this is a natural progression for DigitalOcean, I wonder how the company will be able to balance the need to offer more complex solutions with a desire to keep things as simple as possible. Add to that the fact that it is now entering a headfirst battle with some big names in cloud monitoring and you have an interesting situation. One to watch for sure.