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When the world is not black and white – agile IT Operations and DevOps

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:15 -- Michael Nemecky
With long experience and a clear profile in operating Linux and Open Source solutions, we are a leading provider of agile IT operations and DevOps to customers in the Nordics. With an established organization and culture, the decision to provide services on mixed systems where Linux is not the only OS seems like a natural evolution, and one we believe we can implement without ignoring our heritage.

Our IT operations department, Managed Services are specialized in operating business critical web services and agile IT operations and provides specialized outsourcing services to our customers. Most of our customers, not surprisingly, require us to be able to turn around quickly and to implement changes on their infrastructure in a timely manner. Our service model is build around the idea to provide local and direct geek-to-geek contact, without fostering the notorious silo effect. Embracing the DevOps culture, tight communication between our systems engineers and developers and our highly competent staff are key to our success. A high degree of automation and configuration management of our own Nordic infrastructure enables us to deliver competitive services of high quality.

Experienced and dedicated

The people working in our IT operations department are all experienced and dedicated in their profession, and take a pride in their work and the services they deliver to our customers. Quite a few of us have sought to Redpill Linpro specifically because of the company's OSS and Linux profile. We are convinced that we can deliver the best value to our customers based on Linux and Open Source Software, but of course the world is not black and white, and we operate a lot of closed source and commercial off-the shelf software already.

Over the years, we have been approached by an increasing number of customers who would like us to operate their systems based on a mix of Linux and Microsoft Windows. Up to now, we solved this by partnering up with a subcontractor, but never quite crossed the line to operate solutions based on Microsoft Windows... 

Mixed systems also deserve first class services

Until a few months ago, when we (again) where approached by a company with a mixed environment. We asked ourselves - why should customers with a mixed system be required to do without our services? Is there any reason why we should not be able to provide high quality IT services to our customer, also on an operating system other than Linux?

Part of our success is based on the fact that we have people that are extremely competent in Linux - like, you know, patching the kernel and stuff. It is no secret that we currently don't have personnel with long time experience on operating Microsoft Windows based systems, so we will need to hire new colleagues.

Five success factors

But I venture to state that a lot of our success is related to other things, like for example:

  • engineers that are dedicated to their line of work
  • a culture of open mindedness
  • our organization of small and dedicated teams who work closely together with the customer
  • our automation infrastructure based on Puppet
  • all the tools and the technical infrastructure we use to deliver our services

I personally believe that quite a few of the points above are very tightly tied to Open Source, or at least fostered by using OSS and the community, and I would say that this is at least part of the reason why we are who we are today. 

But we do no see a reason why our model should not work with other operating systems. Yes, we are in the need of new colleagues proficient in operating Windows servers in mixed environments (any takers? We will definitely provide you with a challenge!). We will certainly need to adapt our systems to accommodate for a new OS. And the Tech Net T-shirt might be used as a praise from now on...

Otherwise? Business as usual. It is just another OS.

 

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