The end of 2013 was an interesting time for SSD cloud hosting provider DigitalOcean, with major positives like growth numbers that exceeded Amazon's and the opening of a second Amsterdam data center on the one hand and a late-December data security setback on the other. In the first quarter of 2014, growth seems to have the upper hand. Today, DigitalOcean announced the opening of its first Singapore data center, SGP1, which the company says will improve connectivity and performance for users throughout the Asia-Pacific region as well as India and Australia.
For DigitalOcean, the location of this newest data center is exciting for a couple of reasons. An Asian data center was among the top 10 features most requested by DigitalOcean customers, according to Mitch Wainer, cofounder and CMO. The company often touts its responsiveness to customer feedback, and this shows that it can deliver the goods. In addition, Wainer pointed out that DigitalOcean's target customers are individual developers, and the Asia-Pacific region is "the fastest-growing developer market segment in the world."
"There's a ton of potential opportunity there for us to expand our international presence and also enhance and spread our brand awareness as well," Wainer said.
SGP1 will be hosted by data center and collocation provider Equinix, which also handles one of the company's New York data centers, but will run on DigitalOcean's own servers. This gives DigitalOcean customers the best of both worlds, according to Wainer.
"We fly out our COO, Karl Alomar, and our director of operations, Lev Uretsky, and they set up racks and servers to build out the infrastructure for our customers in that region," he told me. Then management is handled by "blue chip publicly traded companies, whether they be Telx or Equinix, that have been doing this for years. If anything fails or we need them to pull a plug or restart a machine, they're able to do so and have staff on site 24/7" to handle outages and other issues.
Singapore is just the start for DigitalOcean this year. "We've established a significant amount of credit to lease out and expand our hardware and capacity worldwide. The real challenge right now is just keeping up with demand," Wainer said. Also on the roadmap are a UK presence, which he said DigitalOcean is aiming to open as early as the end of March, and then Canada and Brazil. The company also has plans for a new website to facilitate user communities and open source projects and to provide updates on security vulnerabilities. Wainer also noted that DigitalOcean is continuing to build out load balancing, object storage, and CDN and expects to make the switch to IPv6.
"We have a very aggressive roadmap this year," he said.
When it comes to the cloud, Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers like DigitalOcean give many enterprises an attractive alternative to building and maintaining their own infrastructures. Competition is stiff, however, particularly from giants like AWS and Rackspace and veterans like Linode. DigitalOcean appears to be holding its own thanks to a user-friendly interface, low pricing, and simple fee structure. These features continue to appeal to its customer base, which Wainer said includes "anyone who is hacking away in their basement building an application, or the startup company building the next Facebook, or growth companies that need fast infrastructure, fast deployment times, and fast performance."
"It's been a lot of fun and a real challenge keeping up with the demand," Wainer said.
Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Jude Chao is managing editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Follow her on Twitter @judechao.
Correction: SG1 has been corrected to SGP1.