News / Technology

DigitalOcean Launches Block Storage Service for Storage-Hungry Cloud Users

13 Jul 2016 6:00am, by

Responding from strong customer demand, DigitalOcean is expanding its range of cloud infrastructure services by adding a new block storage offering.

The service will use solid state drives (SSD), and will cost $0.10/GB per month, with no additional costs for data ingest or egress. The block storage will be accessible through DigitalOcean droplets, the OS-based virtual machines that are the company’s core offering. Each SSD volume can hold between 1GB and 16TB.

DigitalOcean “originally started with individual developers building websites and simple solutions,” said Julia Austin, who recently joined DigitalOcean as chief technology officer, explaining the new offering. “What we are now seeing from our customer base is more sophisticated use of the product—SaaS applications, full applications, with their own customer bases. We’re addressing that, trying to provide everything they need to run their businesses.”

Initially, DigitalOcean’s new York and San Francisco regions will offer the service, with Frankfurt to follow shortly. DigitalOcean droplets themselves can come with as much as 80GB of SSD storage. The additional storage will located separately from the droplets, and can be accessed by multiple droplets.

DigitalOcean Diagram

Block storage offers users raw storage volumes that can be formatted and partitioned with the user’s choice of a file system. It differs from file storage, which provides a file system, and from object storage, which allows applications to access data objects directly.

The price for DigitalOcean’s block storage falls roughly in line for what Amazon Web Services charge for its SSD flavor of Elastic Block Storage, though AWS prices vary considerably by usage pattern and region. ESB SSD stoage storage in the Frankfurt region, for instance, runs $0.119 per GB-month.

Like AWS has vowed to do, DigitalOcean promises to reduce the price of storage as the cost of the underlying SSDs continue to shrink. “Over time as hardware gets cheaper and we are able to optimize things on our side, we want to give that savings back to customers,” Austin said.

DigitalOcean will replicate the customer’s block storage, to ensure data loss never occurs through hardware failure (though it is advisable always the customer do this as well). All stored block data will be encrypted by DigitalOcean, though the user will still access the data natively.

One DigitalOcean customer enthusiastic about the news is the GitLab code hosting service. “With Block Storage, customers can now choose the right plan based on their team’s needs (amount of RAM and processors) without having to worry about limited disk space,” said GitLab developer Patricio Cano, in a statement.

DigitalOcean is one of the fastest growing cloud hosting firms. Since its launch in 2011, the company has accrued more than 700,000 customers, who have collectively created more than 18 million droplets.

DigitalOcean's new logo

DigitalOcean’s new logo, also unveiled this week.

DigitalOcean is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image: Cabo San Lucas, via Pixabay.

 


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