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 Odd man out

At OptimaData, we didn’t have a Cloud Platform Engineer on our team until this year. But yes, the cloud is totally hot, everything has to be in the cloud today. “In the cloud or you’re out”. No cloud? Then you don’t belong these days. Fortunately, since December 2022 we have Nathan Koopmans as a Cloud Platform Engineer on our team, now we belong again. In this blog we ask Nathan about his role on the team.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the cloud?

OptimaData cooperates with many organizations and a large number of them have already made the transition to the cloud or are currently in the transition phase. After all, the cloud has a lot of advantages. It is scalable, you don’t have to invest in your own hardware – and therefore you don’t have to maintain it -, you only pay for what you consume, and often geographical separation is easy to achieve. However, I also see two major disadvantages: there are more and more providers and each provider has its own unique approach.

How do you know which cloud solution is best for your organization?

Of course, one would prefer to compare apples to apples. An Opel (Vauxhall )Astra is of course a beautiful car, I know all about that. But if I am completely honest, it cannot be compared to a Ferrari 458 Italia. For one thing. Not in terms of performance, but of course not in terms of price either. If you want to determine which car – or which cloud solution – best suits your organization, you have to compare the right things. In the case of databases and cloud solutions, that’s where the Cloud Platform Engineer comes in nicely.

What is your role as a Cloud Platform Engineer at OptimaData?

As a Cloud Platform Engineer, I deal with – you guessed it – the cloud. Which cloud solution – Kubernetes, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Webservice or UpCloud – it doesn’t matter much. One part of my job is to automate the deployment of such cloud environments. In addition, I can test performance, compare costs and put them into perspective.

In addition, I can clearly map out the amount of work that awaits an organization after the rollout.For example, there are parties that already take some of the setting up of replicas off your hands, while with another party you still have to set that up from scratch. In this case, there is no right or wrong and both variants have advantages and disadvantages and the best variant may differ per organization. It is therefore important to properly identify what an organization wants and then carefully examine what the best-fit solution is.

As a Cloud Platform Engineer, what do you know about databases? Aren’t those two different worlds?

Nathan Koopmans - Cloud Platform Engineer OptimaDataI know a lot about Linux, have had the opportunity to build various environments (from standard virtualization to cloud) and also in web hosting environments I have done a lot with MySQL and MariaDB, but I am indeed not a DBA. That’s what my colleagues at OptimaData are for. All my questions about databases I can put to them. What should I take into account? What can I best use in situation A and what in situation B?

What are the do’s and what are the don’ts? With that knowledge in mind, I translate to the various cloud platform providers and perform performance and various other tests for organizations. I also take care of our own test environment, on which colleagues can easily spin up Kubernetes clusters.

Other test and development environments can eventually be used through this environment as well. I won’t get bored for the time being!

Do you work in the office, from home or hybrid?

Because I live in the north of the country, in the city of motorcycles – Assen of course – I am not at our office in Naarden every day. Every other week I spend two days in the office to meet my colleagues ‘live’. In addition to visiting each other for business issues, it is also a nice time to have lunch together.

There is room for jokes and jokes, but serious matters are also discussed. When I work from home, I can always call colleagues or contact them via Slack or Teams. Of course, sometimes you have to be patient; after all, everyone has his or her own work as well.

This is no different remotely than when we are together in the office. But in the meantime, there are always other activities to amuse myself with. Reading up on certain Kubernetes operators is part of that, for example.

What can you say about your new role, now after about three months?

With any new job, it takes some searching in the beginning. What are the interfaces with your colleagues? Who can you support with what? Especially since my role is really new at OptimaData, I had to invest some time and energy. Now that three months have passed, the common ground is becoming clearer and clearer. It’s a challenge, but if after three months your colleagues are already happy with what you bring to the table, the collaboration can only get better!

Want to know more?

Would you like to talk more about our services and what the OptimaData experts can do for your company? Feel free to contact us, we would love to get to know you. Looking for a job or interim assignment? Take a look at our special web page.