Deimos first in SA to achieve both Google Cloud Security, Infrastructure Specialisations – ITWeb

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Deimos achieves Google Cloud milestones.

Digicloud Africa Premier Partner Deimos has become the first company in South Africa to achieve Google Cloud Specialisations in both Cloud Security Services and Cloud Infrastructure Services, the company says.

David Roos, Site Reliability Engineering Director at Deimos, says the company was the first in Africa to achieve the Security Services specialisation in 2022, and followed this with its Infrastructure Specialisation in November last year.

Roos says: “We invested in achieving the Security Specialisation first because security is a top priority in the market. We learned a lot of lessons while working on our Security Specialisation and we have taken those lessons to heart. As a DevSecOps company, security is at the heart of everything we do, especially our infrastructure work.”

“Continuing our journey, we diligently pursued the Infrastructure Specialisation, adhering to our Shift Left methodology for early risk mitigation. In our tech journey ahead, we are setting our sights on achieving Google Cloud Migration and DevOps Specialisations. These milestones will solidify our standing as a formidable force in cloud migration, infrastructure, security and automation. By offering a comprehensive end-to-end solution, we aim to deliver world-class services to our customers, ensuring their success in the digital landscape,” he says.

Roos adds: “Amid the current cloud migration trend, we are strategically positioning ourselves as a premier partner in security, infrastructure, migration and DevOps solutions. Anticipating evolving market demands, we remain agile in our approach and may explore additional Specialisations to meet emerging needs.”

Specialisation indicates the strongest level of proficiency and experience, and partners can achieve Specialisation only if they have established a Google Cloud services practice, proven customer success and have been vetted by a third-party assessor.

An Infrastructure Services Specialisation indicates that a partner has proven success building customer infrastructure and workflows on Google Cloud, with products including Compute Engine, Container Engine, Cloud Operations, Google Cloud VPC Network, Cloud Load Balancing, Cloud Interconnect, Cloud DNS, IAM, and Cloud Key Management Service, Anthos and Google Kubernetes Engine. The partner must also have at least four employees with Professional Cloud Architect certifications.

A Security Services Specialisation confirms a partner is experienced in securing customer data and workflows through Google Cloud, with products including Security Command Center, Cloud Security Scanner, Cloud DLP, Shielded VMs, HSM, CKMS, IAM, Cloud Identity, Titan Security Key, Identity Platform, Phishing Protection API, reCAPTCHA Enterprise, Chronicle, Assured Workloads and Web Risk API. The partner must have at least four employees with Professional Cloud Security Engineer certifications.

Optimising infrastructure and costs

Roos says: “Our Infrastructure Specialisation goes beyond creating secure, resilient infrastructure; it integrates Financial Operations (FinOps) practices to pre-emptively address potential cost overruns in cloud infrastructure, ensuring efficient resource management from the outset.”

He explains: “Cost is one of the biggest concerns in the market right now and, while cloud offers great flexibility, it is not without risk. One small mistake in your infrastructure could mean the difference between a $100 bill and a $10 000 bill. It happens all the time – people can make one mistake and rack up massive bills.

“We build in guardrails to ensure that the client does not get any nasty surprises at the end of the month. We also ensure that any deviation in cloud spend is identified and flagged before it becomes an issue. With our policies and controls that we implement, we can stop certain costly mistakes from happening, rather than detecting them after the fact.”

Addressing complexity, skills challenges

Roos says Deimos is growing strongly thanks to its ability to improve speed to market by abstracting infrastructure complexities. “We allow teams (big and small) to focus on their code and deploy with confidence that their environment has been configured in line with industry standards and best practices.

Deimos also helps organisations overcome constraints linked to a shortage of expertise, he says.

“Anyone recruiting for experienced site reliability/platform engineers will know how tough it is out there. Finding a single quality engineer is tough, let alone a few engineers who can form a cohesive team. Here at Deimos we leverage the power of the team,” Roos says. “Together, there has yet to be a problem that our team has not been able to solve. Our client engagements might offer one or two engineers, but behind the scenes, you have access to a large, highly skilled and diverse team.”

Team challenges

While Deimos addresses client challenges, the company has also had to adapt to overcome its own internal challenges, Roos says.

“Passionate engineers want to do it all. Most of our engineers are perfectionists at heart and want to deliver the best solution possible for their clients. We often have to de-prioritise certain objectives to meet the ultimate needs of our clients. One way around this is to leverage our shared learning and automation skills; no need to reinvent the wheel or, in our case, a series of infrastructure-as-code (IAC) scripts that can deploy, configure, secure and optimise multiple environments with the click of a button.”

He adds that it can also be a challenge to architect solutions that meet industry standards and best practices while meeting the client’s needs, which are often linked to short timelines and even shorter budgets.

“We overcome this by ensuring we leverage the shared knowledge of the team and continuously improve and use our automation skills. We take the approach of ‘build once, use many’, ensuring our work is modular and re-usable and meets quality standards, improving our security and FinOps objectives at the same time,” he says. 

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