In systems development, as in many technical areas, the quality and talent of input is frequently the major factor. However having extensive experience in a rapidly moving environment is also vital.
Drawing up a mere list of the areas of experience we have within Systems won't give the full flavour of our capabilities. We don't believe experience can supplant talent on innovative and demanding projects. Nevertheless we think it would be useful to give a flavour of the systems that we have built, sourced, operated and managed in the past.
The server hardware products our clients have most call for us to work with are those from Sun and Compaq. Other server hardware vendors we deal with frequently include Dell, OEM rackmount PC hardware, IBM and HP.
As might be expected from the above, Solaris and NT are the major OS platforms on which we work. However we also have strong experience with the free Unices (FreeBSD/Linux/NetBSD/OpenBSD) as well as many other flavours of Unix ranging from SCO to IRIX.
Databases invariably play a part in projects we are involved in. We often work closely with database vendors in such cases. Oracle, MS SQL and MySQL feature heavily in our projects but we have also worked on projects with significant Informix, Sybase and PostgresSQL use.
Beyond databases there are many other application level software products we have worked with. This ranges from web servers such as Apache, iPlanet (Netscape) and IIS to application servers such as ColdFusion, Vignette or ATG Dynamo. It also ranges from support products such as CVS, Epiphany or Kana to the extensive experience we have with mail servers such as Exim or Qmail.
Naturally the lowest layer of hardware infrastructure such as structured cabling, patch panels, power devices, and 19" racks themselves all play a part in the majority of our previous projects. Furthermore we've also worked with/in most of the usual data centres such as Exodus, Globix, Telecity, Telehouse and Redbus as well as many ISPs and their own data centres.
Similarly, networking infrastructure, from firewalls, caches and accelerators to switches and routers, is prevalent in our projects. Naturally Cisco products are frequently involved, but we have worked with products from the likes of Extreme, Fore, Alteon as well as Unix hosts of various kinds. We use such hardware to provide switching and routing solutions utilising anything from BGP, RIP and OSPF to VLANs and channel trunking as required.
Two important areas which must not be overlooked are security and test/QA work. Our experience with security consulting goes beyond mere firewalling through to intrusion detection, OS hardening and penetration tests as well as both functional and stress/load testing work. Projects of high value requiring quality delivery within tight timeframes benefit from these issues being tackled early within the initial development design. This is because the efficiency gains from addressing these issues early are likely to mean a more rapid deployment of the final solution.
Finally, with our strength in software consulting and development it's not surprising that we bring significant experience to bear in the sphere of systems programming. This has typically been in perl and shell script but on occasion we have resorted to Unix kernel hacking. Normally these skills are utilised to enforce better configuration management and thus maintainability on systems.
In each of the above areas we have worked to build systems. In addition, we have in many instances worked to reduce time or costs in sourcing them, worked to configure and apply configuration management of them, and managed their development or ongoing operations.