Daytona wants to be an enterprise-grade GitHub Codespaces

4 min read
Daytona wants to be an enterprise-grade GitHub Codespaces


A new company is setting out “fill the enterprise void” left by GitHub Codespaces,” with a platform that enables companies to bring all their development environment endeavors in-house.

Cloud-based coding is all the rage, a trend that that has accelerated in recent years with the introduction of browser-based integrated developer environments (IDE) such as GitHub Codespaces, GitPod, and recent unicorn club debutant Replit. In truth, the cloud IDE movement has been evolving for some time, with numerous players working toward shifting developer tooling off-premises.

One such company has been Codeanywhere, emerging in 2013 from a project initially set up out of Croatia called PHPAnywhere. Codeanywhere is something akin to a Google Docs for developers, allowing coders in different locations to write and run code collaboratively directly from a browser.

Codeanywhere in action

Codeanywhere in action Image Credits: Codeanywhere

Fast-forward to 2023, and the team behind Codeanywhere are back with a new venture called Daytona, which takes their prior learnings and applies them to a new self-hostable product that enables companies to manage their development environment entirely in-house, rather than relying on third-party infrastructure.

“We learned a lot with Codeanywhere, we were essentially the first — as far as we know — cloud development product out there,” Daytona co-founder and CEO Ivan Burazin told TechCrunch. “We went through multiple iterations of building our own cloud IDE and underlying infrastructure, and we learned a lot in this process — mainly about what not to do.”

In-house

While an interface is essential for writing code, developers need to run that code to see how (or if) it works — and this needs infrastructure, such as databases, settings, runtime installations, and such like. This can get particularly complex if a developer has multiple projects running concurrently, as they will have to uninstall, reinstall, and reconfigure various facets of their local tooling — and this is what Daytona takes care of, all the while allowing companies to manage everything entirely under their own roof.

So a developer would check their project out with Daytona rather than on their local local machine, with Daytona reading the entire project setup and installing everything while presenting the user with their editor of choice and ensuring that all settings and installations are present and correct.

“This way, developers can jump straight into coding on their project,” Burazin said.

Cloud-based software development offers many benefits in terms of accessibility and collaboration, but not all companies are happy going all-in on the cloud — there are often security and privacy concerns, particularly with enterprises operating in highly-regulated industries. So while Codeanywhere served more as the interface to its cloud-hosted developer environment, Daytona is basically the engine and tooling behind that — companies host Daytona on-premises and integrate with a local IDE, be it VS Code, RubyMine, PHPStorm, or whatever else.

Daytona

Daytona Image Credits: Daytona

It could be said that Daytona blends some of the benefits of cloud with the inherent security of local. For example, scalability is a big selling point here, with developers able to allocate more resources such as RAM or CPU via the on-prem Daytona installation, while also being able to spin-up multiple environments at the same time.

But more than that, Daytona promises to improve developer velocity — that is, how quickly they are able to fix or ship new code. It does this by standardizing development environments, meaning that developers spend less time messing around with configurations and more time coding and fixing tangential issues.

“For the companies, that translates to faster time-to-market, higher quality software, and ultimately, a better bottom line,” Burazin said. “It’s not just about getting products out the door faster, but also about ensuring that the development process is efficient, manageable, and scalable, which in the long-term, we believe is a substantial competitive advantage.”

Iterating

While Daytona quietly launched in early September, today the company announced it has raised $2 million in pre-seed funding, with a slew of VC firms and angels throwing their finances into the pot — this includes 500 Global, Tiny.vc, Silicon Gardens, Darkmode VC, Firestreak, and founders from renowned developer tooling companies such as Postman, Honeycomb, Sentry, Supabase, and Netlify, among others.

Currently in closed beta, Daytona is working with a handful of early customers while iterating the product. Eventually, it will operate on a per-seat model under a commercial licence, though it will also offer a non-commercial licence with certain restrictions in place.

“This [first] phase is crucial as it helps us gain first-hand insights and feedback, ensuring that Daytona is polished and ready to hit the ground running,” Burazin said. ”

As for Codeanywhere, well, the founders are basically all-in on Daytona which leaves their previous company somewhat in limbo. Put simply, its days are — more than likely — numbered.

“We’ve hired dedicated engineers to maintain Codeanywhere as to honor its outstanding commitments and help with finding new solutions for current users,” Burazin said. “Our experiences and learnings around spinning infrastructure at Codeanywhere were instrumental in shaping Daytona’s vision. Because of this experience, we are convinced that the future of cloud development will be driven by a top-down approach rather than a bottom-up one, and it most certainly won’t be centered around a browser-based editor.”



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