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DigitalOcean India head Jayakumar on taking on cloud giants like AWS and market outlook

DigitalOcean India head Jayakumar on taking on cloud giants like AWS and market outlook
Prabhakar Jayakumar, Country Director, DigitalOcean

US-based cloud computing infrastructure provider DigitalOcean Inc. started operations only in 2012 and is now the third-largest hosting company in the world in terms of web-facing computers. The company, which helps developers build and deploy apps on multiple platforms, has built 12 data centres globally including one in Bengaluru and has more than 1 million developers in 196 countries.

Prabhakar Jayakumar, country director at DigitalOcean, is responsible for building localised go-to-market strategies to drive growth in India. In his previous stints, he played key roles in planning and launching Junglee.com and Amazon.in marketplace businesses in India. In an interaction with TechCircle, he explains how the company that began only in 2012 plans to take on big cloud companies such as Amazon Web Services. He also talks about the potential of Kubernetes, an open source platform created by Google on which DigitalOcean also focuses, for the cloud computing needs of the future. Excerpts:

As a comparatively small cloud provider, how are you able to take on the likes of AWS?

We have always focused on keeping our products simple and intuitive to adopt. While the other cloud providers have focused their energy on large enterprises and legacy companies, we’ve remained dedicated to creating better tools for developers who want to run and scale applications in the cloud.

We have focused on building a true community of developers to help foster the industry and support them as they build the products of the future.  

DigitalOcean is closing the massive gap between platform providers and the 30 million developers who want freedom from infrastructure headaches so they can focus on writing code.

What is the market outlook for cloud providers such as DigitalOcean?

India is home to the fastest-growing ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs. With the number of software developers throughout India expected to grow to over 5 million over the next couple of years, India is poised to become the largest developer market in the world.

Cloud enables developers and entrepreneurs to quickly build, test and deploy their innovative applications and products. The faster build-test-deploy lifecycles mean that they can more easily iterate their idea or concept before building a full-fledged product and eventually scale their business and build long-term sustainable companies.

Also, with costs of cloud infrastructure being lower than traditional on-premise infrastructure, the barriers to entry are constantly being lowered for startups and developers. This enables them to scale their business much faster.

DigitalOcean’s peer group is not legacy cloud providers. It is an aggressive new breed of developer-focussed software companies such as Twilio, GitHub and Stripe, which are focussed on reducing complexity and building great products that developers love to use and recommend to their peers.

Our goal is to empower developers and software companies around the world to build amazing things, and our robust, affordable, and simple infrastructure is making the cloud more accessible than ever. India is poised to unleash a tremendous amount of innovation in the next decade and we want to be there to support every business to grow and succeed.

Your platform allows for a lean product line-up where several infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) pieces are built-in. How is this made possible?

When DigitalOcean launched in 2012, other cloud providers were neglecting the software developer. Prices were too high, the offerings were too complex to navigate, and the user interface (UI) was unnecessarily complex.

DigitalOcean creates simple and elegant solutions for software developers deploying and scaling their applications in the cloud at the best price-to-performance value. From inception through the entire product development process, we are obsessed with the user experience, which includes everything from the UI / UX to having a transparent pricing model.

How can Kubernetes provide greater efficiency and reduced cost on hardware? What are its applications in India and globally?

Kubernetes is a system for running and coordinating containerized applications across a cluster of machines. It is a platform designed to completely manage the lifecycle of containerized applications and services using methods that provide predictability, scalability, and high availability.

With Kubernetes, a user can define how their applications should run and the ways they should be able to interact with other applications or the outside world. They can scale their services up or down, perform graceful rolling updates, and switch traffic between different versions of their applications to test features or rollback problematic deployments.

Kubernetes promises to be one of the leading technologies in a developer’s arsenal to gain the scalability, portability and availability needed to build modern apps.

How will Kubernates grow in 2019? What other trends do you see picking up?

Kubernetes will continue trending upward as more people use the technology. We see a huge opportunity in making Kubernetes easier and more approachable and that is going to be one of our focus areas.

We also see that there are so many open-source components that you can add to your Kubernetes deployments to make it easy to operate and scale your applications. We have plans to support those integrations in a simple, native way inside the product.

Infrastructure automation is becoming more relevant and DevOps is getting simplified. Businesses are increasingly adopting solutions that are simple, performance and cost effective--enabling their teams to quickly build, test and deploy their innovative applications and products.

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