Companies come to Crafty Penguins to fix their problems. Our team has become known for providing creative and “crafty” solutions to tough problems, yet providing a professional experience. If you’re experiencing any of the following problems and are willing to do what it takes to fix them, then contact us today!

Have you heard of, or said, any of these statements?

“We are running old Linux versions and scared to upgrade”

Many a time we have taken over management of servers that were 2, 5, even 10 years behind on updates. This is a common result of break/fix management, without proactive monitoring, automated testing, and proven disaster recovery.

“We are scared to reboot our servers”

This mentality is similar to the “reboot to try and fix any problem” method, and indicates a lack of understanding, confidence, or courage to actually fix underlying problems. For unmaintained servers, a lot of problems can happen after reboot: hardware failure, services not starting properly and more.

“We have backups but haven’t tested them in a while”

From all the clients systems we have taken over management for, none of them had properly tested backups with fast recoveries. Implementing Business Continuity is a key requirement to bringing on a new client, as we would rather earn money being proactive then by charging for costly emergency responses. These days, as part of our DevOps initiatives we are also actually moving away from backup/recovery to automated builds. This ensures a server can be rebuilt very quickly and identically every time.

“I’m not sure if AWS is a fit for our organization”

Many myths and misconceptions abound regarding cloud computing and platforms like AWS. We work with clients to select the best cloud provider, compare costs, and migrate systems.

“AWS is costing us a lot of money”

It is easy to get going on AWS and forgot to review costs, and allow them to automatically increase and get out of hand. We can review all AWS services and identify areas to cut costs without impacting the user experience.

“New servers take too long to build out”

This problem is common with old scale server management methods, where a technician installs Linux from a CDROM image, manually installs required packages like Apache and MySQL, manually edits the text configuration files, manually adds accounts, manually transfers web content and so forth. We work to automatically build out servers, so that entire clusters of servers can be deployed in minutes instead of days or weeks.

“We always get surprise bugs when launching new versions of the code”

This happens when developers aren’t testing their code properly, have no continuous integration, and have have different development environments (eg: OSX or Windows IDEs) to production (eg: AWS Ubuntu servers). We work with developers to implement our proven recipes to standardize and automate the workflow from development to production. As we say, “tools & processes to cool out your Developers!”

“Our development and test environments are different then production”

This is the same operational workflow issue as the previous problem. Automation, standardization, and centralization are key to smooth testing and production rollouts. These techniques were originally created by large companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook but we have adapted them to work for small teams.

“We are running blind about server health and performance”

A common solution to a “our website is slow” complaint is to buy faster hardware or add more servers. We add detailed metrics to remove bottlenecks and provide usable trends.

“We are being held hostage by our current technician”

We believe in transparency. There is a paradox: the easier we make it for you to switch to another IT provider (with good documentation, passwords, etc), the less likely that is to happen! It’s sad when a technician holds his client or employer hostage by not providing documentation or passwords to their own systems. These are huge liabilities.

“I can’t unplug and relax on vacation”

For in-house IT developers, managers, and other support staff, a common problem is that they are in constant reactive break/fix mode. Even on vacation, they are being called, emailed, and paged about problems. Or, due to lack of confidence in system stability, they are constantly checking in to ensure everything is running OK.

At Crafty Penguins, we work with technical staff to not only provide tools and processes to make their leave better, but also provide backup support.  We can provide optional emergency support so that you can take a well-earned vacation.