Interview with FreySoft Cloud Operations engineer

Denys Lapenkov has been working in the IT niche for 8 years. Currently, he operates with Cloud providers AWS and Azure, is responsible for monitoring the application and infrastructure as well as takes an active role in incident management.

When is the transition to the cloud a key imperative for business segments?

Every business should definitely choose that cloud path if it: 

  • wants to be flexible,
  • aims to withstand challenges on the modern markets, 
  • aims to be in line with its customer needs, 
  • and sure to get all up-to-date opportunities that the developing technology provides.

Then, to continue, what particular advantages of using cloud technologies for business can you emphasize?

The first point, that I distinguish, is manageability since the modern toolset allows organizations to decrease the number of engineers operating cloud infrastructures and mushroom platform stability. 

The second one is flexibility. Cloud technology allows you to get what you need in a matter of minutes. 

The last but not the least benefit is the implementation of edge technologies – they are available to every cloud user.

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Can you name the examples of projects you were involved in where cloud services solve the particular problems of the company?

Applying cloud services in a specific case can cut operational costs for the company.  That is bringing down the need for CAPEX funds in order to operate its IT infrastructure.

Choosing the SaaS approach or even PaaS allows companies to leverage modern technologies, systems, platforms without the need of deep diving into details. Consequently, it makes the implementation and management of the specific product more productive and sustainable.

One of the organization’s highest concerns is its data and information privacy. How does cloud computing deal with it?

Cloud computing providers ensure that their data centers and management approaches meet industry standards. For special requirements, there are dedicated cloud platforms or data centers (government, banking areas).

Let’s say the industry-specific business is exploring the opportunities of Cloud services. If it fits the bill, they will adopt it by migrating their computing environment. Therefore, from a high-level point of view what are the important things to do beforehand?

It’s all about analyzing existing needs and planning migration. The better you do the homework, the better result you’ll get. In our case, that works in a similar way. Thus, describing and identifying your needs appropriately will protect you from broken expectations upon migration. 

As far as I know, within the project, you take an active part in Incident Management. Based on your experience, can you say what issues arise and how the team handles them?

The Incident Management process is like a patchwork sewn from numbers of different tiny pieces. The larger the product, the wider the surface of potential problems. Thus, our project can suffer from many different areas, ranging from fraudulent attacks, human error to misconfiguration, and, of course, changes. Thus, the better the change management process is built, the fewer incidents you will get. Read more in “How to reduce the cost of software bugs?

Incident handling involves diagnosing and identifying bad areas, narrowing the scope of an incident to a specific element, and finding a way to mitigate problems. Another part of the work is analyzing the root cause of the incident and describing the corrective actions.

What incident management tools to support your cloud incident response processes do you use? In your opinion, what are the most effective ones?

Monitoring and log aggregation tools are the most convenient, for example, AppD and Splunk. Team collaboration tools such as PD or Slack are worth mentioning. Besides, one of the most important of these is automating the incident management process. In turn, it gives you, as an incident manager, the ability to focus on mitigating the problem rather than organizing the process.

If to talk about the current market of cloud services, what is the tendency of its development? 

Over the last years, cloud services tend to grow slower than previously. However, I believe that Covid-19 and the need for transformation for lots of businesses will push those numbers up a bit. Despite that, the market share of cloud computing is continuously growing and expenses on cloud platforms are getting bigger every year.

Accordingly, in your view, what are the prospects for the cloud services market in the short and medium-term?

Market share will definitely grow, as more and more companies will turn to cloud services. However, not that dramatically. IaaS and SaaS segments will be moving to PaaS or serverless solutions and the next step of cloud transformation of the companies.

In essence, what are your favorite resources to keep on top of Clouds, and/or IT trends/news?, YouTube channels, learning portals. Though, they are comparatively basic sources of information. However, you can go as deep as you need starting from them.

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