Readying Developers For Next Gen Cloud Biz

by Priyanka Pugaokar    Dec 07, 2016

prabhakar

With over 4,000 startups launching in 2016, India is soon expected to overtake US to become the world’s biggest hub of startups. The startup ecosystem, which is anyway, bringing a lot of disruption in the industry, is also fueling up the demand for software developers. India’s contribution in the software space does not require any special mention and the region is always strategic for major IT big wings, to fulfill the demand of qualified software developers.

US based cloud infrastructure provider, DigitalOcean is betting big on the flourishing startup and the developers ecosystem in India. The company, which recently announced the launch of its 12th datacenter in Bengaluru with an estimated investment of reportedly about USD 5 million, has revealed big investments and expansion plans in the country.

The company which has more than 750,000 registered users globally, is also very big on the cloud awareness and training and has joined hands with multiple engineering institutes and incubators in the country. The company has also secured $130 million in credit for business expansion, and recently hired former Amazon India head of seller marketing Prabhakar Jayakumar to lead its business in the region.

In a candid interaction with CXO Today, Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Manager, DigitalOcean, shared company’s vision of providing cutting edge, simple and cost effective developer cloud infrastructural services to startups and developers. Jayakumar also sheds light on the current scenario of cloud adoption among Indian enterprises and the unique value proposition DigitalOcean offers to Indian businesses. 

What is your engagement in India? Which are your key offerings for software developers in the country? 

DigitalOcean is a developer focused cloud infrastructure company. We cater to the developer community by offering on-demand cloud computing resources that are simple to setup, can be deployed in less than a minute and also comes at an attractive price point. Our core focus is on startups, developers and small and medium enterprises (SMBs). We recently announced the launch of our datacenter in Bengaluru. The focus of our India team is to create more value for DigitalOcean customers and ensure that more enterprises understand the benefits of our cloud offerings. 

We have a flagship solution Droplet, which is a combination of compute storage and networking. Our smallest Droplet start at 5 dollar a month and it comes with 512 MB memory, 1 core processor, 20 GB SSD storage and 1 TB transfer. Users can deploy web application or any complex application on this virtual machine. While DigitalOcean’s standard Droplets make it easy for developers to deploy a healthy balance of RAM, CPU and local SSD-based storage, High Memory Droplets enable developers and businesses with RAM-intensive use cases, such as high-performance databases or in-memory caches that require more RAM such Redis or Memcache. 

Over 750,000 developers around the world have launched more than 30 million Droplets on our platform in just four years. Users include next generation startups such as Oyo Rooms, Delhivery, Rockerbox, Datanyze, Outbound.io, and GitLab. Teams from Zendesk, Salesforce, Atlassian and Akamai are using the platform for various use cases and projects.

What is your bet on the developer and startup ecosystem in the country? 

At present, US has a largest market of software developers, but reports suggest that India will soon take over US and have the highest number of software developers. When we started off way back in 2011, one of the key things we found that enterprises experience with migration to cloud with the existing cloud vendors was very complex, ambiguous and was not very price competitive. Therefore, the developers and startups found it very difficult to get started on their platform. So, we wanted to simplify the entire cloud experience for them, where they can spin-up their server on DigitalOcean in less than a minute. We started with the industry leading SSD-enabled cloud servers starting at $5 USD per month. The key differentiator of our solution is that it is very simple to get started and much more performant. It is important for us to engage with the software developers and startups and help them get ready for work requirements. Our aim is to make them ready for the next generation cloud business. 

The technology startup sector in India has exploded in the past few years and our agenda is to fuel this growth and support the innovation landscape in India. We consider ourselves “the startup for startups”. 

How do you see the adoption of cloud computing among the SMEs and startups in the country?

More people are looking at public cloud platforms because cloud gives them much more efficiency at a minimal cost. We see that all startups and SMBs are increasingly adopting public cloud. Today, the internet based businesses can increase their server capacity when they need it and reduce it whenever require at a single click. That is the agility cloud offers. Hence. both startups and SMBs are embracing cloud. 

Indian enterprises who want business agility but at the same time they are cautious about security and privacy of their critical applications are widely opting for hybrid cloud business models. How do you see the growth of hybrid cloud in the country? 

A lot of people were very apprehensive before going to any kind of cloud. Now they are becoming a little liberal to shift some of the applications on the public cloud for the business agility. I think it is a natural evolution and hybrid cloud is a part of this evolution. It is completely okay for people to test waters. They could start with a hybrid approach before moving completely to the public cloud. 

According to you, what are the pain points of CIOs in terms of leveraging the full potentials of cloud? 

The pain points of CIOs may vary from organization to organization, however, one of the critical pain point  could be apprehensions about how they can adopt cloud for their business. Here Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers like us can come in a big way. Outside of our tutorials and community content, we have dedicated teams that help a business migrate to the cloud . We provide architecture support and also share best practices that they can adopt to migrate their applications to the cloud. We provide a lot of hand holding and support to enable that. So, CIOs should leverage the services of IaaS providers like us to understand the best practices. 

DigitalOcean recently started its data center in Bengaluru. How much investment you are pouring into the Indian market to expand your base?

Bengaluru is the 8th international location for DigitalOcean, following New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Singapore, London, Frankfurt and Toronto and we have 13 datacenters globally. While we do not reveal region specific investment numbers, but we are making a substantial amount of investments in India. India is one of the strategic markets for us and it is going to become a big hub of startups and developers. Therefore, it is a natural extension for us to focus on India business. DigitalOcean will continue to offer a single pricing plan across all of its regions worldwide, including Bengaluru. 

What is your community engagement in the country? 

DigitalOcean, being developer-centric is deeply involved with the developer community. Our intention is to provide rich content to the developers, that they can use to build their applications. Our in-house content team provides the content and even the community makes content submissions. Our team selects the top contributors for this purpose. We also arrange for meetups in many cities to bring the local tech community together and learn best practices from others. In India, we run these meetups in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad. 

We have another program called as Hatch. Hatch is our online incubator program designed to help and support startups. Hatch program comprises DigitalOcean’s established partnership ecosystem with several of the top accelerators, including Y Combinator, Techstars, 500 Startups, and NASSCOM 10K. Over the past few years, DigitalOcean has powered the applications and production workloads for hundreds of startups that are part of these accelerator programs by offering support and infrastructure credits.

We also run Hackathons and contests targeted at University students in India. For example, we recently collaborated with Indiastack on one of our hackathons where developers used their APIs (such as the Aadhar API, payments API) to build useful applications. So we are pretty big on ensuring enablement of community.  

What is your Engagement with the Indian Government? 

We work with the Government of Karnataka on their Startup Cell initiatives and are in talks with several others. The main aim of these partnership is to grow and support the startup ecosystem in India. Through such associations, we plan to assist startups—on both technical and non-technical aspects—through one-on-one interactions, workshops, boot camps and mentorship programs.

What are your future plans in terms of business expansion and technological innovation?

We are going to increase our partnerships with different stakeholders of the industry. India is going to build a lot of next generation internet based business and we are to help them build those exciting businesses.  We are also open for tie up with other vendors, however, it depends on what kind of synergies that we would get from the collaboration.