DigitalOcean, a cloud hosting provider that has grown significantly since its launch in 2011, has opened its first data center in London, which is aimed at providing its cloud hosting services to developers in the UK, and meeting United Kingdom’s rapidly burgeoning technology and information sector
The new data center, known as “LON1”, will run the latest version of DigitalOcean’s backend codebase, which supports IPv6 and allows more changes to virtual machines or “Droplets” without restarting them. It also enables a more robust backups.
LON1 is DigitalOcean’s third facility in Europe, with the other two being in the Amsterdam region. DigitalOcean co-founder and CMO Mitch Wainer said the company is considering further expansion to Australia, Canada and South America.
However, Wainer said expanding to London was an obvious choice given the significant number of requests from customers, but also as a way to reach a growing tech community in the London area. “London is going through a tech renaissance of sorts, similar to what NYC has recently experienced, so it’s important for us to be there to provide those innovative businesses with the infrastructure they need,” he said.
The London data center also helps its cloud services comply with data location regulations. “The European Data Protection Directive currently makes it difficult for data to move outside the nation,” Wainer said. “We wanted to provide UK devs with a native location to serve their customers.”
While some of DigitalOcean’s original customers including app developers and hobbyists aren’t overly concerned over the location of data, this is a crucial concern for organizations which need to comply with these regulations. And providing different data center locations is crucial for DigitalOcean as it tries to build its appeal to larger corporations.
“We’re starting to move upstream,” Wainer said. “We’re basically at the bottom layer when we started targetting individual developers, and providing them with the best user experience, the best in class hardware, deploying their infrastructure, and affordable pricing…now that businesses are starting to use Digital Ocean more and more, we’re seeing that our product is starting to evolve.”
Wainer said many of the features needed by larger corporations will be introduced in the next 6 to 12 months. A $37.2 million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz that the company closed in March will help finance this transition.