GoDaddy enters the cloud business with new servers, applications for SMBs

This new toolset is geared toward the individual developers who work for small businesses as they look to spin up raw virtual machines to run software.

Ed Bott

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Small business domain host GoDaddy is entering the cloud business. On Monday, the Arizona-based company announced the launch of Cloud Servers and Cloud Applications -- a suite of Amazon-style cloud computing services that enables small businesses to build, test and scale cloud solutions on GoDaddy's infrastructure.

The service is aimed at smaller businesses making at least a partial move to the cloud. More specifically, this new toolset is geared toward the individual developers who work for small businesses as they look to spin up raw virtual machines to run software.

"We're looking to make it easy for developers to serve small businesses with the technology they want," said Jeff King, SVP and GM hosting and security at GoDaddy. "By offering a powerful, yet simple cloud offering that integrates domains, DNS, security and backups all in one place, developers can save time and exceed their clients' expectations."

The Cloud Servers offering -- available in U.S. datacenters only -- is built on OpenStack and powered by Kernel-based Virtual Machine virtualization. The cloud applications are powered by open-source library Bitnami, and supported distributions include Ubuntu 14.04, CentOS 6 and 7, Fedora 23, Debian 8, FreeBSD, CoreOS and Arch Linux.

Pricing reflects a pay-as-you-go model, starting at $5 per month for the 20GB option. There's also an 80GB option, capped at $80/month (or $0.12/hour) for 8GB of memory, 4 core processor, 80GB SSD disk and 8TB of transfers.

The launch is significant for GoDaddy, a company known for its kitschy, at times ridiculous, commercial advertising. The new cloud tools reflect the company's long term strategy of becoming more of a technology and product provider.

Much of that strategy began when current GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving took over.

"He is a product guy, through and through," said King. "He really set the stage for the company."

In Irving's tenure, GoDaddy has branched out into email marketing, data and analytics, and last April launched its IPO. The company has also started investing roughly 20 percent of its revenue back into product development.

In some respects, the stage for today's launch was set last year when GoDaddy launched GoDaddy Pro, a suite of services for web designers and developers to help them manage client accounts.

GoDaddy Pro allowed GoDaddy to make inroads in reaching the professional web developer community and really redefined the company's standing as a technology provider for web professionals.