Interview with Joakim Öhman, CEO at Elastx
The cloud is our future. As more and more people rely on distributed systems for serving their files versus a single point for all their files, especially since it could amount to significant failures, cloud products and services is where we are moving toward. More and more brands and companies are capitalizing on this, both from a usage perspective and a service offering perspective. It's great to learn more about this from our friends in Sweden, Elastx. Joakim Öhman talks to us candidly about Elastx and explains what benefits it offers customers. Here's his story.
How did Elastx form and how did you get involved?
I founded Elastx together with my colleague Henrik Grankvist. Before Elastx, I founded 24 Solutions a more traditional managed services company but I saw the huge benefits of the cloud delivery model of IT and decided that I wanted to work with this 100%.
At that time there were no public cloud services available here in Sweden so I really wanted provide a local public cloud platform alternative.
If I would describe what Elastx is doing in one word, it would be automation.
Can you describe what PaaS is and what Elastx does?
Platform as a Service is when you automate the infrastructure and the software stack that allows customers to develop and deploy their application without having to build and manage the platform.
Elastx has a public PaaS where you can start a server environment and hava an automated deploy process configured in a couple of minutes. We also have a public IaaS where we help customers to build and support their custom PaaS that is built based on the the requirements from customers with more complex requirements.
Also, what is IaaS and how are your PaaS and IaaS services different?
Infrastructure as a Service is a virtual data center where all the infrastructure components are automated up to the operating system. PaaS is when you also add the automation of OS and the software stack on top of the IaaS.
Please tell our readers why your services are located in Sweden (I already know!) :)
We wanted to provide local public cloud platforms here in Sweden primarily for the the Swedish and Nordic companies but we have discovered that many international customers also find the political and environmental stability attractive for hosting.
Where are your clients based out of? Are they primarily European? What's the breakdown?
Around 80% are Swedish customers, 10% other European customers and the last 10% are spread around the rest of the world.
What types of clients does Elastx serve?
We work with all types of start-ups, SaaS companies, media companies and generally all companies that develop any type of online service.
Can you tell us a bit about the DevOps consultancy you also run?
In the work of automating the IT delivery one important factor is to DevOps enable the platform for the customer. In that work we help our customers to set up CI/CD (continues integration and deployment) processes, procedures and tools for the development team.
How did you gain the skillset to support these types of services that are offered by Elastx?
By hard work of and a team of people that are curious really like IT automation. Almost everyone have a infrastructure and a developer background and that is a key factor to understand and support our customers needs in these type of environments.
Over your three years as CEO of Elastx, how have you seen the industry evolve, and how do you predict it will evolve over the next three years?
When we started we had to educate companies and explain what IaaS and PaaS was and what the benefits are and we only saw specific industries actively consuming these services. Today all customers know what IaaS and PaaS is and we see most industries starting to move in to cloud platforms. In three years there still we be a lot of legacy platforms out there but I hope that all new systems with be deployed on cloud based platforms and take advantage of the cloud delivery model benefits.
What is Elastx's relationship with open source software and tools? I see you're using Openstack.
We really like and have a strong focus on open source software. We try do contribute as much as we can and make tools and work we do open source.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
If you ever come to Stockholm please visit us and we will take a Swedish "fika" (drink coffee and and eat buns together :) ).