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Life at Nordcloud

This time we got a chance to talk to our Solution Architect and Serverless Ambassador Paul Lyons who puts high value on expertise of the Nordcloud team! Paul was voted as the 2019 “Nordcloudian of the Year” for the Finland region. If you want to talk about astronauts and 3D printing with someone, you know who to look for. Here’s his story.

 

1. Where are you from and how did you end up at Nordcloud?

I’m from the UK originally and I’ve been working around Europe since 2006 in Spain, Germany and Finland. I started out in broking and banking and then worked with sports trackers and wearables. Now I’m a Solution Architect and Serverless Ambassador for Nordcloud.

I was working in finance when the 2008 crisis happened, so suddenly I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I used this time to learn distributed systems with Erlang and this was the start of a journey.. First learning about Integration Patterns, messaging systems and how to build systems as separate elements that can talk to each other, but aren’t directly connected. You’ll know this today as Microservices.

When the cloud came along and opened up so many opportunities, I was hooked. Off-the shelf scaling of databases, web servers and even our own applications. Suddenly complex set-up tasks that sucked time out of every project were a commodity. Also immutability! The exact same servers in all environments – no more late nights tracking down subtle differences in server set-ups. 

Then Functions as a Service became a thing, there were “no servers” at all, just code responding to events elsewhere. A microservice dream! Other serverless services too – store files without considering disk space, insert data to a database without worrying about shards and partitions.

I joined Nordcloud to put these concepts into practice. 

 

2.What is your core competence?

My speciality is being a generalist. If that makes any sense… There’s better programmers than me, people who know each of the cloud providers better than me, better project managers than me. I aim to learn just enough of everything and guide people to make decisions with their eyes open about alternatives.

 

3.What do you like most about working at Nordcloud?

There is a focus on the human side of things, people are not just their CV or job title. Recognising this uniqueness, people ask each other for advice and opinions and there are always unexpected people getting involved in the conversation. I love how we all interact in this way – hierarchy free zone.

 

4.What is the most useful thing you have learned at Nordcloud?

That’s a bit like asking which drop of water makes the ocean wet. There is such diversity at Nordcloud. Not just from having offices throughout Europe, even within the offices there are people from all different backgrounds, nationally, culturally, training, hobbies. The expertise that all these different people have is amazing. Every day I feel like I learnt something from someone – a new word in another language or a way to misuse some cloud service to save time and money on a project.

 

5.What sets you on fire / what’s your favourite thing technically with public cloud?

I would have to say that it’s the democratization of infrastructure and the freedom that gives to developers – no more fights over limited capacity. 

Compared to the “old days” when there was one development server in the basement somewhere which was shared with everyone on the team. There is now (effectively) an infinite capacity in the cloud and they are all an API call or mouse click away. Want to try a different database? Want to see if your application can do auto-failover? Need to store and search terabytes of log files? 

All just a click (and credit card number) away!

 

6.What do you do outside work?

What any self respecting nerd would be doing: Preparing to be an astronaut. 

I have a few 3D printers and the aim is to design and build a spacesuit for Mars which can be repaired several million miles from home with a few watts of electricity and a couple of rolls of the right plastic.

 

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    Google brings the Public Cloud to Finland

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    The first public cloud region in Finland is finally open!

    Google has finished its many years long project of turning Hamina paper mill into a modern data centre in June 2018 and connected it to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), one of the largest public cloud services in the world.

    The new Finland region, europe-north1, is the 16th region in the cloud network, but the first in the Nordics and fifth in Europe accompanying the Netherlands, Belgium, London, and Frankfurt regions.

    A new hub bringing concrete benefits

    Opening the Hamina data centre is not only a big nod to Finnish application know-how, but it also offers a lot of concrete benefits.

    The most obvious one being is the physical location of the data and computing power. Google regions are independent and won’t automatically share or replicate with other regions, meaning data will stay in Finland. The location naturally improves the latency of the whole area. Google estimates that the new region can improve latencies by up to 65% for end-users in the Nordics and by up to 88% in Eastern Europe.

    The Hamina region is split into three zones and distributing the data across multiple zones will protect against service disruptions but will still keep all data within Finland.

    Added value from Multi-Regional services

    While offering strong local presence, Google also offers a portfolio of Multi-Regional services. The biggest added value of the public cloud lies in the complete toolbox enabling usage of, for example, ready-made Big Data, Compute, Networking, Security and Storage applications to compliment customers own environments.

    Nordcloud is excited about all the possibilities Google Hamina brings and are eager to support companies and organisations in their cloud journey. You can read more about our cloud services here.

    Nordcloud is a Google Cloud Platform Strategic Partner.

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      Nordcloud’s Fast! Makes Finland’s Top 5 Fastest Growing Tech Companies (Again)!

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      Nordcloud comes fifth in Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 50TM

      Helsinki, December 1st, 2017. Nordcloud, the Nordic’s market-leading public cloud provider has been named one of Finland’s fastest growing technology companies by global consultants Deloitte.

      Nordcloud was placed at #5 in a list that ranks the fastest growing technology companies in Finland based on revenue growth, having established itself as the fastest growing public-cloud managed-service provider in Europe.

      The company has set ambitious targets for the years leading up to 2020. Nordcloud is aiming to quadruple its size with annual revenue to reach over €200m. It expects to almost double its staff in the next year alone, by recruiting more than 150 people to maintain its high levels of customer service, R&D, and international expansion.

      “Having topped the Finnish Fast 50 in 2016, this year’s results confirm that we’re continuing to grow incredibly strongly as we mature as a business,” says Nordcloud CTO Ilja Summala. “The company was launched in 2011 with a clear vision, inspired by the potential we saw for cloud services to give businesses the flexibility and speed they need to innovate, transform the way they do business, and develop their services.”

      “We’ve achieved this result with the help of outstanding partners and customers”, says Summala. “Together we’ve been rolling out our vision of transformed corporate IT using hyperscale cloud and software, with the greater agility and efficiency that brings”.

      Nordcloud is focussed on building a full-stack cloud-native system integrator with the aim of being the top Europe-wide choice and one that also addresses specifically European concerns such as compliance with EU regulations, as well as having a local presence on the ground in every territory where it has customers.

       

      About Nordcloud

      Founded in 2011, Nordcloud is a European leader in public cloud infrastructure solutions and cloud-native application services. Since 2012 it has completed more than 300 successful deployments that have helped its enterprise customers reap the full benefits of the cloud, including better security, agility, scalability and reduced costs.

      Nordcloud is forecast to turnover €50M in 2017 and employs 250 people at offices in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, London, Munich, Amsterdam, Poznań and Malmö.

       

      The Deloitte Technology Fast 50

      The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 programme lists the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Finland based on revenue growth over the previous four years. The Finnish Fast 50 is part of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 EMEA and Global Technology 100 programmes and includes all areas of technology: from Internet to biotechnology; from medical and scientific to computers and both public and private companies.

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