DigitalOcean is now the second largest hosting company in the world, by web-facing computers. This is according to Netcraft’s May 2015 Hosting Provider Server Count, released last week, which shows that DigitalOcean has grown to host over 163,000 web-facing computers, passing French host OVH for second among providers behind AWS.
DigitalOcean’s rapid rise from startup to IaaS heavyweight is emblematic of cloud computing in general. The cloud provider’s growth rate surpassed AWS in late 2013, and became the third largest web-facing cloud in November 2014. In December DigitalOcean received $50 million in funding, which was earmarked to enable the company to keep up with the demands imposed by adding so many customers so quickly.
Resource management software company Mesosphere released an auto-provisioning tool in October for DigitalOcean customers to build additional fault-tolerance and scalability into their application development environments. DigitalOcean expanded its infrastructure with a presence in Telx’s SCL2 data center in Caifornia in February and added a German region with a Frankfurt data center in April.
While DigitalOcean still has less than half as many web-facing computers as Amazon, it will expand its product line to fuel growth in the near future. “We only delivered a single product to date in a meaningful way, and that’s the Droplet,” co-founder and CEO Ben Uretsky told the WHIR in a January interview. “There’s so much more that our customers are asking for, and I can’t wait to deliver that.” DigitalOcean’s number of web-facing computers has increased by over 100 percent since May 2014.
While it has been expanding geographically and working on new products, DigitalOcean has also introduced a FeeBSD offering as its first non-Linux OS, and launched a second version of its API. FreeBSD servers are considered reliable, as Netcraft’s Paul Mutton notes “it was not unusual to see web-facing FreeBSD servers with literally years of uptime in the past.” Mutton points to DigitalOcean’s low prices and relatively easy set-up and provisioning as reasons for the cloud host’s smashing success.