Dr. Nic Williams founded cloud technology consulting firm Stark & Wayne in 2012 on a simple concept: “Everyone deserves nice things.” As pioneers in cloud computing, Stark & Wayne’s founding team saw where IT infrastructure was headed and committed themselves to empower companies to leverage it.
“We began servicing the Fortune 500, and eventually the Fortune 2,000, helping companies migrate, own, build, and adapt to cutting-edge cloud-native systems,” said Wayne Seguin, the company’s CTO. “Open source technology is central to our work: building and augmenting around these systems to ensure the success of our customers.”
A long-time Linode partner, Stark & Wayne amplifies its vision to create technology products for the mass marketplace—beginning with SHIELD Cloud, a centralized solution designed to make it easier for companies of all sizes to protect their critical infrastructure. SHIELD Cloud provides a backup and retention solution that serves every need, from production environments in WordPress to managing core Cloud Foundry backups, BOSH-deployed services, and more. The SHIELD daemon is lightweight and low-impact, and it enables teams to have a fully-functional disaster recovery plan quickly.
Together, Stark & Wayne and Linode are democratizing high-quality cloud technology.
Applying a new kind of expertise
Stark & Wayne has always been a people-first company—and that approach has driven how it works with its clients. “What really makes us unique is the talent of our people,” said Wayne. “We don’t hire cloud experts or Kubernetes experts. We have a collective operating model that enables us to share skills with everyone else. We’re always focused on internally spreading the knowledge, empowering, and serving our customers faster.”
This mindset was integral to Stark & Wayne’s decision to partner with Linode.
James Hunt, the company’s Director of Research & Development, was already a long-time personal user of Linode. As Stark & Wayne’s services evolved, Linode became an increasingly attractive option. “I trust Linode. I like the tech stack. I like the support they give customers. They offer high-quality primitives, and I believe that our sensibilities are aligned in that respect,” he said.
Driving technology trends
Just as Stark & Wayne was early to identify cloud infrastructure as the future, the firm was quick to back Kubernetes when it first emerged. “Through our involvement in the open source community, we’re always hunting for and identifying new trends,” said Wayne. “We saw that Kubernetes had huge mindshare—even back then—and ever since there’s been an explosion.”
Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE) was an attractive option for Stark & Wayne’s stakeholders. A low-cost, low-risk product, LKE takes away some of the fear around the cost that prevents a typical Stark & Wayne customer from exploring nascent technologies. “We’ve always excelled at creating value-add and integration and adoption for our customers,” said Wayne. ”We’re excited to help people do that with the rich feature set that’s evolving in Linode.”
When Stark & Wayne decided to introduce a SaaS product, the company’s leaders knew they wanted it to run on top of LKE and Linode Object Storage. With SHIELD Cloud, Stark & Wayne is reinventing the data protection category. Moving beyond traditional block-based and file-based methods, SHIELD Cloud instead uses system-based data protection that streamlines and adds additional security layers to customer data protection.
“High-quality partners like Linode helps us simplify a complicated tech landscape and provide clarity of vision,” said James Hunt, Director of Research & Development, Stark & Wayne.
De-risking data protection
Stark & Wayne noticed that many companies take an all-or-nothing approach to data protection and backups. Because most backup systems are heavily metered, clients’ willingness to back up is often contingent on cost. “With SHIELD Cloud, we’re trying to get rid of the idea of backups as unyielding block-based snapshots. In the past, you would change something and lose all of it,” said James. “We’re thinking of data as a pipeline that can also travel through time and space. Instead of servers, you’re using containers and ensuring that nothing is lost during a change or migration.”
Other data backup methods are time-intensive and can carry high risks. SHIELD Cloud users can configure frequent backups that take a matter of minutes with no consequences, just peace of mind. SHIELD Cloud has been successfully used by companies of all sizes, from enterprises to small businesses, and can scale up or down as needed. This product is the first of many Linode-powered tools Stark & Wayne hopes to bring to market to help companies tap into the benefits of open source technology, and gain an air-tight infrastructure.
“A lot of our clients have a fear of not knowing what to do with their technology. Most of our consulting conversations focus on removing the decision paralysis and making smart choices for them,” said James. “High-quality partners like Linode help us simplify a complicated tech landscape and provide clarity of vision.”
Together Stark & Wayne and Linode are delivering on the founding principle that everyone deserves nice things.