Cloud

Cloud startup DigitalOcean brings new Amsterdam data center online (update)

Above: Amsterdam skyline shortly after sunset

Updated at 1:10 p.m. Pacific with more information from a DigitalOcean executive

DigitalOcean’s data center footprint is growing quickly.

The New York-based cloud hosting provider, which offers SSD-backed cloud servers targeted at developers, today opened its second data center in Amsterdam, with plans to open a facility in Singapore by the end of January.

The company also has data centers in New York and California.

DigitalOcean’s new Amsterdam data center brings an additional 500 physical servers online, with the capacity to add as many as 9,500 more should demand warrant it. And that extra space might prove essential: Demand has outstripped supply in Europe for the last several weeks, leading to capacity crunches in the first Amsterdam data center. The new facility should help stabilize the startup’s operations in Europe.

“The first [Amsterdam data center] was our initial deployment to test the waters there,” said Moisey Uretsky, DigitalOcean’s chief product officer, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Given the very positive uptake, we built out a second data center there … that features a much more robust network layer and much more capacity.”

Amsterdam provides a host of benefits to the cloud computing startup, according to Uretsky, from its close proximity to other European countries to the Netherland’s strict privacy laws, which could help mollify customer concerns about providing data to a U.S.-based cloud company following the Edward Snowden PRISM revelations. DigitalOcean is currently working to set up a separate legal entity in the Netherlands, but Uretsky couldn’t specify when that process might be completed.

The cloud startup purchased around 100,000 IP addresses for its new Amsterdam data center, which enables customers to create virtual servers with both a public and private address. That means they can utilize the public infrastructure for Internet-facing communications while restricting more sensitive activities to a private network.

“We offer private networking inside of the data center, so it’s not a publicly visible IP, but it’s on our shared private network so droplets [company parlance for virtual servers] in other regions can talk to each other,” explained Uretsky.

This private networking functionality is currently only available in the new Amsterdam facility and one of Digital Ocean’s New York data centers, but the company plans to offer it across all of its data centers soon.

DigitalOcean closed a $3.2 million seed round in August with participation from IA Ventures, CrunchFund, and TechStars. The company differentiates itself from other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers like Amazon Web Services with its low prices and ease of implementation. It’s become a favorite among some developer circles, like the Ruby on Rails community.

“The main thing that we have is simplicity; everything else out there seems a bit too complicated,” said Uretsky. “When we initially surveyed the market two and a half years ago, we didn’t see anything that did a good enough job of letting you spin up your server and then get out of the way.”

The company just crossed the 100,000 customer mark, with a goal to double that figure by the end of next year. Beyond international expansion and customer growth, areas of focus going forward will be object storage and networking — specifically, IPv6 support, private networking features, and load balancing.

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