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Cloud VMs without sane firewalls is nutty, right? Digital Ocean agrees

Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall! Build the wall!

By Simon Sharwood

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Running a virtual machine in the cloud without a firewall sounds a bit nutty, right? Because security.

And because even when your servers are designed for developers to spin up on the cheap, as is the case for Digital Ocean's droplets, it's a good idea for folks to at least add a fig leaf of security at the beginning of their efforts instead of hoping it can be shoehorned in later.

After years of renting firewall-free VMs in the cloud, Digital Ocean has come around to this way of thinking, adding a free firewall management to its Droplets. You can always install individual firewall software – such as ufw on Linux – by hand on your droplets, but now Digital Ocean has added a way to setup safeguards from a web interface.

The company isn't revealing the source of its firewall, but does suggest they're rather limited beasts with the instruction that you might want to run multiple firewalls per droplet if you want to apply rules for different security chores. The company says the effect of running multiple firewalls will be one big unified happy virtual firewall, even if you have to manage each alone.

The new firewalls are free and reflect the fact that Digital Ocean is slowly moving away from offering just simple cloud servers. In recent times it's also added block storage and load balancers and has a roadmap promising new products for networking and reliability too. ®

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