Before we kick off the year with a preview of all the things we plan to bring to our customers in 2018, let’s take a moment to review all that we accomplished in the last twelve months. 2017 was an exciting build year for DigitalOcean teams. I started about a year ago as the Head of Product and the journey to date has been nothing short of amazing. In 2017, we shipped more products and features than ever before. We introduced Load Balancers, Monitoring and Alerts, Cloud Firewalls and Spaces. We extended the availability of Block Storage to Singapore (SGP1), Toronto (TOR1), Bangalore (BLR1), London (LON1), and New York (NYC3). In the summer, we introduced High CPU Droplets that deliver the best price to performance for production applications in the market. We also announced upgrades to our network, connecting all of our datacenters to create a DigitalOcean network backbone that is scalable, reliable, and performant. Above all, we welcomed our 1,000,000th user to the platform.
All of the significant products mentioned above and the hundreds of features we launched are the direct result of our teams listening to feedback from our developer community. We are incredibly grateful that they continue to support us and elevate us to new heights and milestones. It is your love and feedback that drives the 400+ "sharks" (our employees) to come to work every day and deliver the products and services you rely on to keep your applications running in the cloud. (If you want to be a part of this amazing journey, join us—we’re hiring!)
2018 Product Horizon
The Product team’s mission in 2018 is to make it simple for businesses to scale their applications in production. We have invested a ton in our core platform, and the roadmap for this year builds on those new strengths to give developers a simple, elegant, and secure platform to develop, deploy, and scale any application in the cloud. We are also in the discovery process of adding additional features and services that make it easy for businesses to work and grow with us. With that context, here is a preview of what’s shipping this year:
Droplets in More Shapes and Sizes
Developers have been asking for new Droplet plans to meet their resource and scalability needs. We will be announcing the availability of new plans and plan classes throughout the year. The new plans will provide more choices for your production workloads and add new capabilities for data, AI, and ML use cases such as dedicated CPUs and the availability of GPUs. We are currently doing discovery work on Machine Learning and you can share your insights by completing this survey.
Another frequently requested feature from our customers is the ability to allow custom images on your Droplets. We are exploring ways to enable this, and you can help us by providing your input here.
Deployment with Containers
We have a lot of customers who use the Docker 1-click application on our platform to run and manually operate their containerized applications. We have received many requests from you to make this simple, similar to all of the products and services that we already offer. We also believe that we can do a lot more to take away the operational complexity of managing containers and have plans to support the easy deployment and management of applications using Containers to our platform. You can sign up for early access here.
Security and Privacy by Design
Developers shouldn’t need to be security experts in order to have a safe application running, and we want to help make their applications and networks secure by design. We will be introducing virtual network capabilities (commonly known as Virtual Private Cloud or VPC) that will allow you to launch and operate your cloud resources in a logically isolated environment. Our goal is to make these new capabilities available to our customers with minimal interruption while building a scalable, resilient network architecture for our datacenters. We will also look to add additional security updates with our VPC releases to Cloud Firewalls and Load Balancers.
In May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the existing EU Data Protection Directive. Our teams are working hard to make all of our services compliant by then and will share relevant updates to our Data Processing Agreement when ready. We will also share relevant updates and tools as appropriate to help our customers also be compliant with the new regulations.
Spaces in More Regions with More Features
We will be expanding Spaces to SFO2 and SGP1 and tuning our service to increase performance and reliability. In addition to that, we plan to add new features throughout the year such as object versioning, bucket policies (for granular permissions) and lifecycle deletion. We will soon be previewing the static sites feature with select customers and giving everyone the ability to view their bandwidth usage.
At DigitalOcean, we care deeply about improving your developer experience. We want to continue to rapidly add new capabilities while holding the bar high for the simplicity and ease of use you have come to love and expect from us. To that end, we will be introducing a new Control Panel experience in Q1 specifically designed to help you more easily manage all of the infrastructure needed to run your applications. Get early access to the new experience by completing this quick survey, and we'll send an invitation when it's available.
We also recognize that the developer experience extends further than the Control Panel. Success means providing you with the interfaces and information you need to quickly and easily create, operate, and scale your infrastructure, applications, and teams. In 2018, we are focused on decreasing friction during onboarding, improving the API experience, extending the capabilities of our Monitoring service, and making our documentation and tutorials even easier to access. All with an eye toward helping you focus on what matters the most: your applications.
The Open Source Software ecosystem has led to an explosion in tool choices for developers making their workflows ever more difficult. We, as members and supporters of the Open Source Software model, believe that we can bring the community together, remove friction for developers, and create a sustainable model for monetization for Open Source tools and services. There is a large community of partners in the ecosystem who keep reaching out to us to enable them on our platform and make them available to our developer community.
This year, we are exploring ways we can enable partners to provide their tools and services through our platform so that our customers can quickly discover, install, integrate, and operate them with their application atop of the core platform we have built. To help us navigate this complex ecosystem and do this well, we recently hired Nick Wade from Atlassian. Nick brings a wealth of knowledge from his experience building and running the Atlassian Marketplace business. We’d love to hear from you (developers and partners alike) on your specific needs, and you can do so by answering a few questions here.
Give Us Your Feedback
The themes above are just a preview of what we are thinking about this year. It is not an exhaustive list of updates and features we plan to release. I hope you are just as excited about these as we are!
Let's keep the dialogue going. Do you have ideas about what we should do next? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
💙 Shiv, VP, Product