First, there was compute. And it was good.

And then came monitoring. And that, too, was good.

Finally, Firewalls were created, and all was at peace in the land (or, at least, in the land of DigitalOcean).

That peace is, once again, being rumbled with the announcement that DigitalOcean is today releasing its object storage product, Spaces. Much like DigitalOcean’s “Droplet” compute offering, Spaces is designed to be a cheap and cheerful 9and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way) object storage product.

Developing through customer demand

While they’re not the only company who develops products and services based on their customers’ needs, DigitalOcean does seem to have a particularly robust customer-driven approach. Spaces was born in response to what the company suggests were “thousands” of requests from its developer community, and comes after opening up early access to almost 90,000 users. In terms of its intended use cases – the product is well-suited for hosting web assets, acting as the origin for CDNs, storing user-generated content such as images and large media files, archiving backups in the cloud and storing logs.

The CEO of DigitalOcean, Ben Uretsky is effusive about how important Spaces is for the company, saying that:

Spaces is the most important product we’ve released since Droplet, the first SSD-based compute instance in the market. DigitalOcean is becoming the developer’s platform, providing storage, compute and networking capabilities to scale applications of any size. Despite the technical complexity of launching a product like this, we’ve worked incredibly hard to ensure Spaces maintains the same ease-of-use and effortless UI as our other products. We wanted to simplify the way developers can innovate so they can spend time building great software.”

Leveraging the existing ecosystem

DigitalOcean have been smart and seen the way organizations work. As such Spaces works with many tools which are compatible with AWS S3. In terms of pricing, Spaces starts at $5 for 250 GB of storage and 1 TB of outbound transfer. Additional storage is available for 2 cents per GB per month, and 1 cent per GB served out to the internet. Uploads to Spaces are free.

One beta customer sees the simplicity of Spaces as a big sell. Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity reflects that:

After our production launch, we expect that millions of VR content creators and server operators will have the need for exabytes of new digital storage for the virtual reality environments they have created. Spaces is perfectly designed to make this process far easier, sidestepping the complexities of typical hosting products. We are very excited to be able to offer Spaces to our community and to integrate even more deeply in the upcoming months with DigitalOcean.

MyPOV

DigitalOcean has an ever-growing tension to deal with: balancing the need to introduce new features, while still retaining the high-levels of simplicity that the company is known for. Spaces is a simple object storage offering but is another product that the company needs to add into its messaging mix. Thus far DigitalOcean have done a good job of balancing these two aspects – it will be interesting to see how they go down the line.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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