According to the December 2013 Web Server Survey by NetCraft, DigitalOcean showed a month-on-month gain of 6,514 computers while Amazon grew by just a few hundred less Web-facing computers. Together, the two companies actually accounted for more than a third of all the internet-wide growth in Web servers in December.
Most people consider Amazon, Microsoft Azure and Rackspace to be the main competitors in the landscape. DigitalOcean, however, appears to be blazing its own trail ahead of the pack due to its low cost solution and ease of deployment. DigitalOcean is remarkably now the 15th largest hosting company in terms of Web-facing computers, which is impressive considering the company only had 280 user computers at the start of the year!
Even though DigitalOcean is competing directly with Amazon EC2 overall, there are still a number of Amazon Web Services which do not have a DigitalOcean equivalent yet. Take Amazon’s file storage (S3), load balancing (Elastic Load Balancing) and Content Delivery Network (CloudFront) as examples. By simplifying its offer, which doesn’t include enterprise features or any Microsoft Windows support, DigitalOcean has been able to appeal to savvy cost-minded Web entrepreneurs and small businesses.
By simplifying its offering, though, especially not supporting Microsoft Windows or offering enterprise features, DigitalOcean appeals to users with straightforward requirements such as small businesses and developers. The cheapest cloud solution or virtual computer (“droplet”) at DigitalOcean uses a solid state storage and costs less than one cent per hour, which is about a third of the price of Amazon’s cheapest on-demand instance.
So it’s not a surprise that a large number of new users are moving over to DigitialOcean which included 818 existing Amazon customers making the migration with only 88 sites going in reverse. DigitalOcean currently has 490,000 websites, of which 120,000 were new according to the Netcraft December 2013 Hosting Provider Switching Analysis.
Some of the major sites which made the migration from Amazon to DigitalOcean included text messaging service Phonify, several Windshield Guru sites and the real-time crowd photo sharing site Zingly.
Which cloud solution do you prefer?