As open source is mak­ing things sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter for devel­op­ers, cloud ser­vice providers have started us­ing the power of the open source com­mu­nity to grow their pres­ence. Dig­i­talOcean, a New York-head­quar­tered com­pany, founded in June 2011, is among t

OpenSource For You - - For U & Me | Interview -

Q What does Dig­i­talOcean have for devel­op­ers around the globe?

Dig­i­talOcean gives devel­op­ers bet­ter soft­ware and tools to launch and scale any ap­pli­ca­tion in the cloud. By of­fer­ing the sim­plest plat­form, the most trans­par­ent pric­ing and an el­e­gant user in­ter­face, we re­duce com­plex­ity so devel­op­ers can build great soft­ware – faster.

Q From the avail­able port­fo­lio, what are the ma­jor open source-fo­cused devel­op­ments by Dig­i­talOcean?

Dig­i­talOcean is built on a foun­da­tion of open source. Whether you look at our hy­per­vi­sors that are run­ning ker­nel-based vir­tual ma­chines (KVM) or our Rails apps run­ning on our Ku­ber­netes clus­ters, they are all open source-pow­ered stacks. On top of that, our users are de­ploy­ing open source based so­lu­tions to our plat­form ev­ery sin­gle day.

One of our core val­ues as a com­pany is that our com­mu­nity is big­ger than us. We pro­vide host­ing cred­its to many open source projects, host sev­eral mee­tups in our of­fice and even sup­port them across the world. We are also mem­bers of or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Cloud Na­tive Foun­da­tion and Ruby To­gether to help sup­port the tech­nolo­gies we use.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Hack­to­ber­fest is a yearly ini­tia­tive we pro­duce in part­ner­ship with GitHub to gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment around con­tribut­ing to open source in the month of Oc­to­ber. The aim of this ini­tia­tive is to in­spire devel­op­ers to con­trib­ute back to the projects they use. Last year, over 10,000 peo­ple com­pleted the chal­lenge open­ing up over 92,000 pull-re­quests to over 29,000 re­pos.

Q Do you feel it is dif­fi­cult to sup­port open source be­ing a cloud ser­vice provider?

No, it is not dif­fi­cult.

Q What was the idea be­hind bring­ing Dig­i­talOcean to a mar­ket that al­ready has Ama­zon Web Ser­vices, Google Cloud and Mi­crosoft Azure?

When we launched back in 2012, the other cloud providers were ne­glect­ing the soft­ware de­vel­oper and fo­cused on the en­ter­prise/legacy cus­tomers. Prices were too high, the of­fer­ings were too com­plex to nav­i­gate and the UI was un­nec­es­sar­ily com­plex. We wanted to pro­vide an ex­pe­ri­ence for devel­op­ers around the cloud that was sim­ple and in­tu­itive, at the best price-to-per­for­mance value.

Q How is the mar­ket­ing model adopted by Dig­i­talOcean dif­fer­ent from the ones opted by mar­ket lead­ers like Ama­zon, Google and Mi­crosoft?

As a com­pany, we are fo­cused on col­lab­o­rat­ing and con­tribut­ing to de­vel­oper com­mu­ni­ties around the world. We drive ac­tiv­i­ties rang­ing from work­shops and hackathons, to cod­ing con­tests, we­bi­nars and con­fer­ences to en­gage with the de­vel­oper com­mu­nity. Our meetup chap­ters are op­er­a­tional across more than 60 cities glob­ally, and the lo­cal de­vel­oper com­mu­ni­ties use these fo­rums to share best prac­tices and learn from sub­ject mat­ter ex­perts on a wide range of tech­ni­cal top­ics, in­clud­ing but not limited to the cloud and DevOps. Our com­mu­nity site also pro­vides ex­ten­sive tu­to­ri­als and guides for devel­op­ers learn­ing to work with Linux and those seek­ing to cre­ate com­plex set­ups within their in­fra­struc­tures.

Q Why does Dig­i­talOcean pri­mar­ily fo­cus on devel­op­ers in­stead of tar­get­ing en­ter­prises?

As a com­pany that pre­dom­i­nantly com­prises soft­ware devel­op­ers, we un­der­stand and em­pathise with the pain points of the de­vel­oper com­mu­nity. When we started in 2012, we found a mar­ket gap that had to be ad­dressed. Devel­op­ers wanted to be re­lieved of the bur­dens around in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment, and have the com­plex­ity of wrestling with com­pli­cated bills and un­wieldy APIs re­moved from their de­vel­op­ment process. More­over, we fo­cus on do­ing the heavylift­ing on the in­fra­struc­ture side, let­ting devel­op­ers chan­nelise their en­er­gies to­wards build­ing ap­pli­ca­tions that solve real cus­tomer prob­lems.

Q What are the vi­tal chal­lenges you face while serv­ing var­i­ous cloud so­lu­tions in In­dia?

There are cer­tain nu­ances to set­ting up a data cen­tre fa­cil­ity in In­dia. But the fact that we are able to pro­vide an in­fra­struc­ture ex­pe­ri­ence to soft­ware devel­op­ers in the coun­try that matches the qual­ity of our ser­vices in New York or Sin­ga­pore speaks of the devel­op­ments that In­dia has seen over the years.

De­spite our op­er­a­tional costs be­ing a lit­tle higher in In­dia com­pared to other lo­ca­tions where we op­er­ate our data cen­tres, we are main­tain­ing a sin­gle pric­ing plan across all our re­gions world­wide. This means that our SSD-en­abled cloud servers (known as Dro­plets) as well as all other ser­vices, such as load bal­ancers, have iden­ti­cal pric­ing across ge­ogra­phies.

Q Do you see any growth po­ten­tial for a cloud so­lu­tions provider like Dig­i­talOcean in the coun­try?

Ab­so­lutely. In fact, In­dia is the fastest grow­ing in­ter­na­tional mar­ket for Dig­i­talOcean. Our value propo­si­tion of sim­plic­ity, trans­par­ent pric­ing and ro­bust per­for­mance res­onates with In­dian devel­op­ers as much as it does for their coun­ter­parts in other parts of the globe.

Q How do you man­age to ful­fil the ever-grow­ing cloud de­mand in the In­dian mar­ket?

Not only do we plan and com­mis­sion our in­fra­struc­ture to meet the grow­ing de­mand of our cus­tomers but we also work to­wards mak­ing our lat­est of­fer­ings, such as block stor­age and load bal­ancers, avail­able in our In­dia data cen­tre.

Q What are the prime hin­drances for In­dian devel­op­ers opt­ing for cloud-first plat­forms?

While the cloud is the new re­al­ity and devel­op­ers are al­ready aware of the ben­e­fits that a cloud plat­form could bring to their busi­ness, there are some mis­con­cep­tions around se­cu­rity and plat­form avail­abil­ity (up times). How­ever, these are un­founded con­cerns and these mis­con­cep­tions have largely been de­bunked.

Q What are the key skills a de­vel­oper re­quires to pick a so­lu­tion from Dig­i­talOcean?

At Dig­i­talOcean, our mis­sion is to sim­plify in­fra­struc­ture and cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence that devel­op­ers love. There are no tech­ni­cal pre­req­ui­sites for us­ing our plat­form. In fact, we have cus­tomers with lit­tle to no knowl­edge of tech­nol­ogy, us­ing our plat­form to per­form a va­ri­ety of tasks in­clud­ing host­ing their web­sites or blogs. For those who need help, we have thou­sands of tu­to­ri­als that pro­vide de­tailed in­struc­tions on us­ing our plat­form for a wide range of use cases.

Q What do you think about the fu­ture of the cloud in In­dia?

In­dia is home to the fastest grow­ing ecosys­tem for star­tups and en­trepreneurs. With the num­ber of soft­ware devel­op­ers through­out In­dia ex­pected to grow to over five mil­lion over the next cou­ple of years, In­dia is poised to be­come the largest de­vel­oper mar­ket in the world. We’re fo­cused on mak­ing it eas­ier than ever be­fore for pro­fes­sional devel­op­ers from In­dia, and around the world, to de­ploy and scale their busi­nesses.

With the num­ber of soft­ware devel­op­ers through­out In­dia ex­pected to grow to over five mil­lion over the next cou­ple of years, In­dia is poised to be­come the largest de­vel­oper mar­ket in the world.

Prabhakar Jayaku­mar, coun­try man­ager, Dig­i­talOcean

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