GoDaddy launches AWS-style servers and apps to build, test and scale cloud services

GoDaddy, the web hosting and domain registration company that went public last year, is adding new cloud services to grow the revenues it makes from the 14 million small businesses that make up the majority of its customer base. Today it’s taking the wraps off Cloud Servers and Cloud Applications — Amazon-style features that will let companies build, test and scale cloud solutions on GoDaddy’s infrastructure.

Jeff King, SVP and GM of Hosting and Security, says GoDaddy is entering the market aiming not at high-end app makers but smaller businesses that are making the move to cloud services. Pricing is built around a “pay as you go” model, and it starts at $5/month the 20GB option (working out to $0.01/hour), for 512MB of memory, 1 core processor, 20MB SSD disk and 1TB of transfer, through to the 80GB option, which is capped at $80/month (or $0.12/hour) for 8GB of memory, 4 core processor, 80GB SSD disk and 8TB of transfers.

It’s important to note that while these features are “Amazon-style”, GoDaddy believes it’s filling a niche that AWS is not actually serving that well right now: smaller businesses that need cloud services that complement a wider business that may not be in the cloud.

“It’s a long way to get to that,” King said of the scale and audience that AWS largely addresses. “We’re really about enabling small business to get started and grow. You have a long way to go on GoDaddy’s before you consider bringing your business into a dedicated data center.”

It’s not coming out of the blue for GoDaddy. The company has been building up its holdings in cloud services for a while now, most recently acquiring the public cloud customer division of Apptix for $22.5 million. And last year, it launched GoDaddy Pro — a portal that also gives customers the option of using GoDaddy for various SaaS activities like WordPress hosting, running virtual private services — and now added to that cloud servers and apps.

GoDaddy’s move to launch cloud servers and apps comes at an interesting time of increased competition among Amazon and other providers.

On a high level, Amazon’s AWS business has largely dominated the market for companies that are building and deploying apps in the cloud, nabbing some of the world’s biggest online companies as customers. More recently, there have been some high-profile movements, such as Dropbox taking more control of some of its own services; Spotify teaming with Google, and Apple reportedly also diversifying the third parties it works with in the cloud.

By many estimates, changes like these are unlikely to have a lasting impact on AWS’s bottom line, but they underscore the competitiveness in the market and how a business intent on winning more business in this area can find windows of opportunity.

Cloud Hosting The Best Cloud Apps For Web Hosting LandingFor GoDaddy, that has meant building relatively quickly and outsourcing some aspects of the platform. Specifically, the Cloud Apps feature is being powered by Bitnami, a startup originally incubated at Y Combinator that offers users a library of some 130 apps and development environments that they can then use and host with GoDaddy. Bitnami itself is agnostic and also gives users the option of hosting with AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, Google and others.

Bitnami’s VP of marketing David Dennis said that the startup is already profitable and is partnering with GoDaddy here to grow its business, but there is no financial investment being made from the bigger company, nor is there currently a prospect of the two getting even cosier with a potential acquisition down the line.

“We think there is a benefit to being a trusted source for multiple cloud platforms,” he said.

The wider context is that GoDaddy has been building up a suite of services for web companies and small businesses to help build the touch points that it has with customers who may initially turn to GoDaddy to register or host a domain, but have in the past turned to other providers to manage the rest of their online business. These have included acquiring startups like to add on mobile app building services; and back in 2013 buying Media Temple, the well-regarded web hosting and services company.

GoDaddy Cloud Servers are integrated with GoDaddy’s Domains and DNS services. The new cloud offering from GoDaddy is available in 26 languages in 44 countries/territories and 53 markets, the company said.