DigitalOcean launched a new firewall service today that’s aimed at making it easier for developers to protect the virtual machines they have running in the company’s cloud.

The feature, aptly named Cloud Firewalls, allows developers to lay out access rules for their DigitalOcean VMs from a central management tool. It’s designed to help improve the security of applications deployed in the company’s cloud at a time when businesses are increasingly concerned about security.

Users can set up one set of rules for all of their VMs or apply different sets of rules based on how those virtual machines have been tagged. That way, one application cluster can leave certain ports open while another keeps them closed. New VMs spun up with particular tags will automatically have their firewall rules applied.

Providing users with the ability to lay out those rules makes it easier to manage hundreds or thousands of virtual machines. DigitalOcean is working to enhance its platform to better support production workloads, and this feature is a key part of that initiative, according to Mitch Wainer, the company’s cofounder and head of marketing.

“Our customers have requested a security feature for a while now, so it is one of our most highly requested features to be updated,” he said. “And the reason for that [interest] is we’re seeing more production applications grow on top of DigitalOcean, so we’re building a more robust platform to support those production applications as they scale.”

It’s a major improvement for StackPointCloud, which helps developers spin up Kubernetes clusters on DigitalOcean.

“With this addition, users don’t need to take any extra steps to secure their critical Kubernetes service ports — they are secured by default at build time,” StackPointCloud cofounder Matt Baldwin said in an email. “There are no concerns that a user might collide with an iptable rule Kubernetes is touching, causing reliability issues with their running cluster and workloads.”

Earlier this year, the company launched support for monitoring workloads running in its cloud. Wainer said that additional features coming soon will be focused on supporting developers using DigitalOcean for production work.

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