Digital Ocean: Moving Up In The Cloud Hosting World
Cloud hosting is an industry that is growing fast, and Digital Ocean is quickly rising to the top. They recently announced a total of $3.2 million raised in seed capital, and with new subscribers joining at a rate of 500 per day, this money is much needed to adjust to their growth.
The seed round, led by IA ventures and participation from TechStars and CrunchFund, came at a perfect time according to Digital Ocean CEO and co-founder Ben Uretsky. The company was growing so fast, they couldn't add users due to a lack of resources available on their servers.
Uretsky knows that the nature of the cloud, in users eyes, is unlimited resources, so it's important to him that they are able to add servers whenever the need arises. “We raised at the time where we got to the limits of what we could do on our own,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Digital Ocean: Simple And Cheap
Users are attracted to Digital Ocean likely because of its simplicity (though the $5 per month price tag on their entry-level virtual private server hosting plan doesn't hurt, either). You get a quality service at a low price, so it's understandable why the company had to buy servers left and right in order to keep up with the new accounts.
This model of keeping it cheap while offering quality hosting services has led to 50X growth from December 2012 to May 2013. But the real question: how does it stack up to competitors? Let's take a look.
Digital Ocean vs. Competitors
Digital Ocean, in their smallest hosting package, offers a 512MB server at the $5 per month price point. According to Nik Cubrilovic, tech blogger and entrepreneur, if you were looking to get the same experience on AWS from just one server you'd need to purchase the extra-large instance plan that costs $374 per month. In fact, the cheapest offering from AWS, the Micro, costs $15 per month and only offers 10% the performance of the cheapest Digital Ocean server. That's a big difference!
Wondering how Digital Ocean stacks up to providers like Rackspace and Linode? Besides being much more expensive, these other options are more for larger, enterprise-level hosting needs. Digital Ocean is perfect for small businesses and developers, especially the price (Rackspace and Linode offer packages starting at $20 per month.)
Last month alone, 1,475 users switched to Digital Ocean from Rackspace, and 626 from Amazon. Also, many websites associated with Ruby on Rails project that used to be hosted at Linode have migrated over to Digital Ocean.
Drawbacks of Digital Ocean
Although they do offer numerous tutorials to guide you, there is no cPanel or Plesk. All tasks such as installing MySQL, PHP, or a Web server must be done through the command line. Therefore, this is suited to developers or your IT department.
They offer unmanaged hosting, so again, you should have an IT department or person well-versed in Unix in order to make sure the server is safe from hackers and all software is up to date.
Would Digital Ocean be a viable choice for your business?