In this podcast episode, KernelCare CEO Igor Seletskiy talks with Gaper.io’s Mark Allen about CloudLinux, and why it’s a fully remote company. In this article you will find a podcast recording and an overview of what they talked about during their conversation.
About CloudLinux History
When Igor was in college, he loved using Linux, and did a bit of kernel development. He has worked in the web hosting space since 1997, and started his first software company to address the “pain points” of web hosting firms. Mostly, they were problems that came with hosting multiple domains on the same server.
Ten years ago, he decided it was time to start a second company. His company, CloudLinux, created its own Linux distribution, a fork of RedHat with add-ons for shared hosting. For software engineers that might seem simple, but the distribution took a lot of work to fine-tune. It still takes many of the company’s 170+ people to make sure that new releases are flawless.
The company’s operations team takes a lot of time to make sure that its software just works, right out of the box, with no tweaking needed by the customer. A web hosting firm doesn’t need to know how CloudLinux software works, because it just does. That goes for its security and live patching products as well as its Linux distribution.
Most security software, for instance, requires highly-skilled engineers to operate it. The goal of CloudLinux is to do away with that entirely, by using highly-skilled engineers to create it. The company’s security product, Imunify360, employs complex technology such as machine learning and AI heuristics that make it very effective, yet simple to use.
The result is that web hosting firms using CloudLinux software can let amateurs deploy web sites safely into shared hosting environments. A single server can handle thousands of web sites, safely and efficiently, because the software stops more than 99% of attacks without any attention from sysadmins.
Remote Work At CloudLinux
Igor had his first experience with remote work back in 1999. When his first company ran short of money, he opted to hire software developers in his home country of Ukraine. Back then, Eastern European countries had depressed economies, but excellent Soviet-created education systems, and educated people went into software development because it paid comparatively well.
Those conditions enabled him to hire very good people, very inexpensively, and the emerging Internet enabled him to communicate with them via email and chat. Connections were low-bandwidth, and crowded, so even chat was slow. Most work was coordinated through email.
When he started CloudLinux ten years ago, internet infrastructure in both Eastern Europe and the US had dramatically improved, so remote work was part of the company’s operations right from the start. It had an office in the Ukraine, but five years ago Igor decided to shut down the office and go fully remote.
Why? Because he realized the company had silos: one for that office, and one for everything else. By going fully remote, communication improved, and so did hiring. Because it no longer needed to hire locally, the company gained access to a huge number of very talented people. Now it has people working on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
The Future Of Remote Work
Igor has seen the Covid-19 pandemic accelerate the trend toward more remote work. At a time when most companies are seeing their business contract, his is still growing. As more work moves to the internet, hosting companies are buying more CloudLinux software.
He’s also seen firsthand that businesses’ concerns about the safety of professional gatherings, whether in an office or a conference, are well-founded. Two CloudLinux employees who went to the RSA conference in February contracted the virus. Both are fine now, but no one from the company has attended any conferences since then.
He believes that remote work will become more widespread in the post-Covid world. Most companies will still maintain offices, he says, but will allow their employees to work from home. He also thinks that many will realize that they can be more effective and efficient by moving to fully-remote work arrangements, especially companies that have multiple offices.
With remote work, he maintains, there’s a learning curve, but once enough people get up to speed with it, many companies may not decide to renew their office leases, and go fully remote.
Listen to other KernelCare podcasts here: