Scaling Systems at Revelry with Chris Tortorich
At Revelry, we help clients build products and companies with the intention that they will experience tremendous growth. There are a lot of moving parts required for this process, and a major part of that involves managing the scaling of systems, or DevOps. That’s why I’m thrilled that Chris Tortorich has decided to join the team full time as a Systems Engineer.
We’ve been collaborating with Chris on projects off and on for some time now. He has a lot of experience managing complex and high-scale systems, and I’m looking forward to him applying this experience to help our clients grow with confidence.
He and Gerard go way back – I hear that Gerard met his wife through Chris! – so I know Gerard was just as excited to bring him on full-time.
“I’ve known Chris for a long time. We’ve created a lot of fun projects together. I’ve wanted to work with him for so long.
So when we had an opening, I pulled the trigger. He has tons of experience in systems administration, has run massively scaleable networks in the cloud, and was a great fit to join the team.”
Chris says that he enjoys the process of finding issues with systems running at scale, and he uses a “mostly open source toolbelt” to find solutions. Existing hardware can always be squeezed to produce more transactions per second, and he enjoys iterating on and improving existing systems.
He also looks for ways to automate anything that can keep him from a 3 AM wake-up call to fix an issue. Alerts can be set up so that, for example, a phased restart of the service to clear the memory can be triggered through a memory usage alert.
Chris adds that the opportunity to join Revelry meant that his work would never be repetitive.
“Many of my past positions have involved one large project operating at scale, whereas at Revelry we work on a diverse portfolio of projects. I was interested in working in an environment like that, since there is less chance of getting a bit bored working on the same systems every day.”
It’s true – our systems at Revelry eventually outgrew their infrastructure. And our clients also count on us to equip them with the appropriate methods for scaling.
So, what happens once a startup or SMB needs more serious scaling help?
“Most people now start with a PAAS (Platform as a Service) like Heroku, and it can be fine for them for quite a while. Most websites and services get little traffic, so PAAS services are fine. But once that site or service really starts getting a lot of traffic, they will have scaling issues. The PAAS costs will be out of hand, and they will need a person to manage it better and actually fix things. That’s when they need to look at a DevOps hire.”
So, you get to work alongside an old pal, and you get to solve different scaling challenges every day. Any other reasons that joining Revelry seemed like the right choice?
“I always knew that the team would do well and grow, because I believe in our fearless leader’s ability to attract business. Gerard is so good at talking with people about their ideas, getting excited about it, getting THEM excited about it, and getting projects going. He isn’t afraid to talk to anyone, and he’ll just pitch and pitch and pitch.
I was excited to join the team, too, and help them grow. I have some friendships with many of the folks here and I’m happy to be able to work with them again. I’ve seen this team execute again and again,
and I think we have a great work environment here.”