DigitalOcean launches its container service

It’s KubeCon/CloudNativeCon this week, the world’s largest confab for all things cloud-native, containers, Kubernetes and DevOps. Every company that’s doing anything remotely related to those topics is announcing news at the sold-out event. That includes the popular cloud hosting service DigitalOcean, which is announcing the launch of its Kubernetes-as-a-Service offering to all developers today. This is still a limited release, though, with full general availability planned for early 2019.

DigitalOcean’s service first launched into early access in May. In total, about 30,000 developers singed up for early access and the team now feels that it’s ready for a wider rollout.

Like all of the company’s service, the focus here is on simplicity. By default, there’s nothing all that simple about setting up and managing Kubernetes clusters, but DigitalOcean has abstracted away most of this and promises that the service is “production-ready” for “developers of all skill levels.”

The early access release of the service already introduced most of the basics, like node provisioning, handling durable storage, firewall, load balancing and similar tools. This new release adds open APIs for integrations with existing developer tools, support for the latest versions of Kubernetes (with 1.13.1 support coming soon), as well as a new configuration experience that guides developers through the process of provisioning, configuring and deploying new clusters.

“Kubernetes promises to be one of the leading technologies in a developer’s arsenal to gain the scalability, portability and availability needed to build modern apps. Unfortunately, for many it’s extremely complex to manage and deploy,” said DigitalOcean VP of Product Shiven Ramji  in today’s announcement. “With DigitalOcean Kubernetes, we make running containerized apps consumable for any developer, regardless of their skills or resources.”

While DigitalOcean started as a standard hosting company with virtual private servers, the company has recently expanded its portfolio to the point where it now looks more like a nascent cloud computing company with a set of offerings that include virtual machines, a storage service and load balancing tools. Kubernetes container support is a logical next step now that it has those pieces in place. And while the Kubernetes market often focuses on large enterprises, there’s plenty of room to grow for a company like DigitalOcean that focuses on individual developers and smaller companies — and they, too, would like to have an easy way to use and manage containers.