The massive and ever-expanding cloud computing industry is dominated by big giants like Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Alphabet’s Google Cloud and they occupy a chunk of the cloud market share. There are however some ‘challengers’ that are striving to make a mark in the industry and are successfully doing so. One such name is US-based DigitalOcean that challenges the likes of AWS, Microsoft and Google (and more) in the lucrative market for cloud infrastructure services. The US-based company which recently made its initial public offering this year, is making waves by working with a different segment of the economy, primarily small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), start-ups, and individual developers and is set to strengthen its operations in the India market.
In a recent chat with CXOToday, Prabhakar Jayakumar, Vice President of Sales at DigitalOcean, discusses some of the most significant cloud computing trends in the SMBs and startups space and how the company is addressing the myriad cloud challenges for these burgeoning segments. Excerpts.
CXOToday: How are open-source solutions democratizing cloud application development?
Prabhakar Jayakumar: India is home to the fastest growing ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs. With the number of software developers throughout India expected to grow dramatically in the next few years, India is poised to become the largest developer market in the world. Cloud enables developers and entrepreneurs to quickly build, test and deploy their innovative applications and products. The faster build-test-deploy lifecycles mean that they can more easily iterate their idea or concept before building a full-fledged product and eventually scale their business and build long term sustainable companies. In short, open-source solutions enable building solutions in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, while also improving the time to market.
CXOToday: What unique offering does Kubernetes have for cloud infrastructure?
Prabhakar Jayakumar: Kubernetes is a system for running and coordinating containerized applications across a cluster of machines. It is a platform designed to completely manage the life cycle of containerized applications and services using methods that provide predictability, scalability, and high availability. With Kubernetes, a user can define how their applications should run and the ways they should be able to interact with other applications or the outside world. They can scale their services up or down, perform graceful rolling updates, and switch traffic between different versions of their applications to test features or rollback problematic deployments. Kubernetes is gaining prominence as one of the leading technologies in a developer’s arsenal to gain the scalability, portability and availability needed to build modern apps.
CXOToday: How can SMBs address issues such as cloud cost, complexity and migration challenges – especially for critical workloads?
Prabhakar Jayakumar: SMBs should ideally use the following criteria to shortlist a cloud platform:
- The cloud platform should be simple and intuitive to adopt
- Pricing should be simple and transparent
- Support should be timely and easily accessible
- The cloud platform should support open standards, so that the customer does not find themselves locked-in
CXOToday: What is unique about your SMB offerings in the crowded cloud market that differentiates itself from the big players?
Prabhakar Jayakumar: DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so developers and businesses can spend more time creating software that changes the world. When DigitalOcean launched in 2012, other cloud providers were neglecting the software developer and small-and-medium businesses (SMBs). Prices were too high, the offerings were too complex to navigate, and the UI was unnecessarily complex. We have always focused on keeping our products simple and intuitive to adopt. While the other cloud providers have focused their energy on large enterprises and legacy companies, we’ve remained dedicated to creating better tools for developers & SMBs who want to run and scale applications in the cloud.
Apart from providing a simple yet performant cloud platform, we offer consumption-based pricing that is simple and transparent. We have also focused on building a true community of developers to help foster the industry and support them as they build the products of the future. Our community site provides extensive tutorials and guides for developers learning to work with Linux and developers seeking to create complex setups within their infrastructure. Along with this, we offer 24X7 support to all of our customers free of charge.
CXOToday: What are your India-specific initiatives and plans for the next 1-2 years?
Prabhakar Jayakumar: We will continue to focus on building tools SMBs and developers love to use and also build the most active and engaged community possible. Last month we announced the acquisition of Nimbella, a serverless platform provider. We’re focused on fully integrating the offering and look forward to launching it under the DigitalOcean brand in the first half of next year. We have capabilities that will be launched in the times ahead that will further meet the needs of our customers. We will also continue to invest in our teams in India who work with our customers to understand their systems and help them with their migration to the cloud. Our goal is to empower developers and software companies around the world to build amazing things, and our robust, affordable, and simple infrastructure is making the cloud more accessible than ever. India is poised to unleash a tremendous amount of innovation in the next decade and we want to be there to support every business to grow and succeed