We fundamentally believe your infrastructure needs to be your competitive advantage; it determines what your business is or is not capable of doing. That's why we've developed the processes and implemented the advanced solutions that will solve your business needs. We call it SweetOps and it's a comprehensive plan for how we approach every engagement with our clients. We have the largest library of cloud infrastructure components and reference architectures available today and provide high-touch support to help our customers achieve DevOps excellence in record time. Our approach enables companies to collaborate on infrastructure across corporate boundaries by using a shared library of Open Source infrastructure as code developed and maintained by Cloud Posse. It's a framework for creating and building consistent platforms to be shared across team environments. Everything we create is Open Source (APACHE2) and free to use—no strings attached.
Here’s a sneak peek at what that looks like.
We work closely with your CTO/VPE and engineering teams to architect solutions that will support your current needs and strategic initiatives. It’s our top priority to establish a strong rapport with your team by earning their respect. We promote efficient collaboration with as little management overhead as possible because we understand developers (we are developers). A strong emphasis is placed from the very beginning on cross-training engineers to hone their operational competency so that they have the necessary skills to triage critical problems, setup development sandboxes and ultimately handle production environments with confidence.
Here’s how we go about it.
We believe that small cohesive teams stand the greatest chance of long-term success. This is because autonomous, self-organizing teams are able to avoid undue bureaucracy and micromanagement.
No one understands your business better than you. Therefore we listen to your engineers and strive to understand your business requirements so that we can work together to solve your problems. Everyone on your team adds value to the project.
Executing well is a skill. Working with good people and teams trumps any rigid process. The goal is always the same - to consistently deliver on time. One-size does not fit all, which is why our "Agile" ensures your needs are met providing the greatest likelihood of a successful outcome.
We cut out the middlemen. By working with us, you always have a direct line of communication with anyone on our team via Slack, Email, and Jira. There's no complicated management structure or process involved with getting in touch with us or the help you need.
Our Posse + Your Team = Collaboration
Cloud Architect / Solutions Architect
Our Senior Cloud Architect leads the overall technical vision and implementation of the cloud architecture from beginning to end. They have vast cross-domain expertise and are capable of bridging the gap between business and technology. They are responsible for overseeing the project until completion and will participate in all calls and demos.
DevOps Engineer (1-2)
Our Senior DevOps engineers have vast experience working with a wide array of cloud-native technologies and are responsible for hands-on implementation, deployment and orchestration/automation of the infrastructure. They'll pair heavily with your team to get them up to speed on the complete technology stack.
Our Release Engineers are responsible for designing the end to end CI/CD pipeline with Docker compositions for integration testing and continuous delivery pipelines. This includes designing piplines for "Preview Environments" spun up for every branch or PR, as well as the pipelines for staging and production environments.
Research & Discovery
Work with you to perform a comprehensive Technical Audit to inventory the entire stack, covering all components and external systems or backing services in-scope for migration.
Conduct thorough Stakeholder interviews to learn what has worked well in the past and uncover the current pain-points, because no one understands your business better than you.
Identify and codify all Technical & Business Requirements, including the financial motivations, departmental budgets as well as technical motivations for the project so that we can achieve success.
Review existing design documentation and code repositories. Identify what is re-usable and what will need to be tweaked in order to be compatible with an elastic cloud environment.
We'll work with you to fast-track a comprehensive "Statement of Work" that will describe what we want to achieve and how we'll do it. We'll iterate on this using a shared Google Document until everyone is excited about the outcome.
Execute Master Services Agreement that describes the overall expectations of working with us; a Mutual NDA that describes how confidential material will be handled; then sign the Statement of Work to get started.
We'll establish the well-defined project plan in Jira with relevant timelines for when significant deliverables from the Statement of Work will be completed, as well as any major "Design Decisions" for your input.
We provide total transparency throughout the process. You'll have direct access to our Jira Cloud, up-to-date time reporting from Harvest, and see Pull Requests in your organization from Day One.
Our “agile” development process is designed to help us better parallelize work to achieve aggressive timelines. You'll have access to Jira from day-one and follow along in our Slack channels.
Every week knock off significant deliverables (aka “Small Wins”) tied to the Statement of Work. We demonstrate continuous real-time progress in the form of git check-ins, Pull Requests, status updates, and documentation.
We hold regular weekly or bi-weekly calls via recorded Zoom sessions to review "Design Decisions", give product demos, answer questions, and update the project's status so the organization can stay informed.
At any time, our priority is to unblock developers when issues come up. We see our role as enabling developers to do their jobs better, which is also why we place significant emphasis on documentation and collaboration.
"Go Live" Launch Preparations
Develop a comprehensive Go-live Plan. The checklist will address everything that needs to happen up to the point we flip the switch to make the system live. It will also include a rollback plan because we can never be 100% certain.
Verify all Monitoring & Alerting escalations are in place. Define responsibilities for the On-Call Engineer (OCE) and setup PagerDuty rotations. Establish processes for communicating outages and conducting postmortems of outages.
Conduct a final security audit to review security groups, access controls, and key rotation.
Support with VPC Peering to legacy environments and data migration to new environments.
Support & Maintenance
We stay engaged for as long as it takes, as part of our continued investment in your company’s success. Your team can rest assured there’s an expert ready to assist them via Slack or Zoom. Need some help configuring a new service? No problem.
Life-cycle management is inevitable with any large scale infrastructure. This includes assisting with upgrades and addressing/patching bugs as they come up or suggesting improvements to your workflows as new technologies come along.
Perform periodic audits or reviews to ensure everything is working right. Ensure the cloud spend fits the budget. Produce cloud spend forecasts and implement cost controls.
Prepare any/all documentation that you request. Typical examples include diagrams of cloud architecture, including the various components, flow charts of network traffic and complex processes, and other visual aids.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you're interested in keeping us around after you're finished with our DevOps Accelerator program, we suggest a quarterly retainer that covers 3 months (120+ hours) that will enable us to continue to consult and support you.
This would include:
- Slack support via shared channels
- Zoom pair programming sessions
- Project management with direct Jira access
- Weekly status check-ins (for 120+ hour retainers)
Typical tasks include:
- Patch and update services (e.g. kubernetes and associated services)
- Keep infrastructure code current (terraform modules, helm charts)
- Support major version upgrades of Helm and Terraform
- Implement new infrastructure components, monitors, or environments
- Assist with triaging incidents and remediations
- Optimize performance and cloud spend
How we use the retainer is entirely up to you. We'll suggest tasks as they come up and add them to the backlog. We'll prioritize the work together with you on our check-in calls.
Tasks (and projects) are typically assessed by how much time we want to invest in them. We are happy to collaborate with you to help figure out the best use of our time, but we generally don't guarantee estimates and deadlines as part of ongoing support. This is why we recommend instead to timebox requests, that way you can stay informed if something takes longer than you had expected. It also gives the engineer(s) the ability to quickly communicate if the requested task is going to take shorter or longer than expected.
Our standard quarterly retainer size is 120 hours. You can expect to be provided with detailed billing reports and have direct communication with us every step of the way. We invoice retainers in advance of services under Net-30 terms. Additional retainers can be purchased at any time with written approval. In other words, any time you want to guarantee more bandwidth with us, all we need is an email approval.
Can you help me understand where the boundaries of CloudPosse's responsibilities end, and where ours would start?
Cloud Posse's mission is to help companies own their infrastructure. We accelerate this journey by architecting your 4 layers with you and by taking the lead on the implementation.
Getting Started With Us
We always start with a green-field approach, where we build your infrastructure from the ground up together with your team. As part of our process, we'll walk you through all of the required design decisions, ensuring you have sufficient context to make informed decisions. This is why we expect our customers to have someone on their engineering team invested in the outcome. This part is absolutely critical, as it ensures what we deliver suits your business needs. Everything we do is delivered by pull request for your review and we can augment the documentation on anything you want. Along the way, we'll assign homework exercises and provide ample documentation. This approach provides the best opportunity to gain a deep hands-on understanding of our solution.
We encourage you to ask as many questions as you want and challenge our assumptions. You also can volunteer for any task you want to take on and we'll help you out as needed.
When You Own It
Once our job is done, this is where you take the driver's seat. We'll help you get everything set up for a smooth transition from your heritage environment to your shiny new infrastructure. Rest assured that we'll stick around until your team is confident and has the know-how to operate these platforms in production. We don't expect teams to pick this up overnight, that's why we'll stay engaged for as long as you need. We're happy to answer questions and jump on Zoom for pair programming sessions.
After our engagement, you will have a solid foundation powering your apps, and all the tools you need for infrastructure operations. This means your team is responsible for the ongoing maintenance, including upgrades (e.g. EKS clusters, and all open-source software), patching systems, incident response, triaging, SRE (e.g. adding monitors and alerts), as well as security operations (responding to incidents, staying on top of vulnerabilities/ CVEs). Cloud Posse is continuously updating its Open Source module ecosystem, but it's your responsibility to regularly update your infrastructure. Staying on top of these things is critical for a successful long-term outcome, with minimal technical debt.
For companies that want to focus more on their business and less on maintenance, we provide ongoing support engagements exclusively for customers that have completed our accelerator.
Check out our approach to learn more!
Our goal is not to sell you on a solution that you don’t need or one that will frankly be overkill for you. We've worked with several customers that were pre-product and helped them launch successfully. What's important is that owning your infrastructure needs to be a competitive advantage. We work best with companies that have some experience running their apps in containers, using AWS in some capacity, companies that flexible in adopting the open-source tools we deliver as part of our solution.
Your best bet is to schedule a discovery call and we'll quickly assess if we're a good fit for your company.
Unfortunately, we're not able to take on small engagements. You can, however, join us every single week for 100% free “Office Hours”—where we seek to answer your questions. Just register for an invitation.
We hold our “Office Hours” every Wednesday at 11:30 am PT via Zoom. We're typically 30+ people on the call and all skill levels are welcome.
We work with companies who need to own their infrastructure as their competitive advantage.
Our customers are typically post-Series A technology startups who are seeing success in the market and need to accelerate their DevOps adoption in order to take their company to the next level.
They are backed by some of the biggest names in the industry and are solving really difficult problems with technology.
- Gruntwork doesn't provide open access to all their modules, they are a subscription service. Cloud Posse open sources everything.
- All of our code is in GitHub and can be forked and used with no concerns about licensing issues (APACHE2).
- Gruntwork does not help with hands-on implementation. That's left up to you.
- We provide a comprehensive project plan consisting of hundreds of implementation tasks and design decisions that we execute together with your team.
- Our Slack community is free for anyone to join, not just paying customers.
- Because our work is Open Source, there's a lower barrier to getting started. That's why it's in use by thousands and thousands of companies. We receive dozens of Pull Requests every week enhancing our modules and fixing bugs.
When you hire Cloud Posse, you're buying an outcome that few others can provide. What a company is really buying from Cloud Posse is an end-to-end solution that includes time for implementation and integration. This is a solution that has cost our customers millions of dollars to implement and we are selling for a tiny fraction of the cost to implement it in-house.
We are not a traditional “DevOps as a Service” company that only does the grunt work; we provide thought leadership combined with expert execution and implementation. We have chosen to use an “Open Source” licensing model to simplify the software distribution because we provide 10x the value in our implementation.
During the course of our engagement, our customers have direct access to our team with tremendous experience in cloud architecture & implementation. Companies hire us to implement in a span of only 3-4 months would take even the most senior experienced team DevOps engineers years to develop, which makes our offering insanely affordable by comparison. By partnering with Cloud Posse, you're sparing all the hard “lessons learned” to achieve a greater outcome in a shorter amount of time with less risk.
You will find the industry-standard rate for experienced independent contractors/freelancers is around $150-250/hr. Note, when you hire freelancers they don't bring to the table the unparalleled library of code and experience that you get when you partner with Cloud Posse. We put our best foot forward on GitHub so you see exactly what you’re getting. Plus, freelancers and employees cannot offer business continuity, which leaves your company with no one to turn to when/if they leave or go on vacation. While a company might shave off a little bit on the hourly rate by going with an independent contractor, it's several orders of magnitude more expensive to implement a custom solution that is remotely comparable to what we offer; that solution will have greater uncertainty and result in greater risk for your business.
What’s it costing your business if you wait?
The longer you wait, the more time & effort you'll waste on maintenance rather than innovation. The more tech debt you'll amass. The more opportunities you'll miss.
Your developers will be less productive, which means you'll be paying more while getting less done in return.
The sooner you streamline your operations the faster you will move:
- Reduce your opportunity cost and capitalize on the investment sooner
- Release more features to customers faster
- Control operating costs to do more for less
Not to mention, your developers will love you for making their lives easier. The last thing developers want is to do things by hand.
Here are some additional resources you can review:
- Our GitHub is where we publish over 140 terraform modules we've written and open-sourced under the Apache 2 software license. Our repos see over 11K unique visitors every single day and have over 5000 stars. We receive dozens of Pull Requests every week.
- Our Reviews are glowing both from our customers and from our community.
- Our Community will tell you how much we've helped them. You can scan through all of our archives to see what they say.
- Our YouTube Channel showcases many of our presentations and webinars
- Our Office Hours Recordings demonstrate our depth of knowledge and commitment to help others.
- Our Service Catalog is what lets us rapidly deploy the applications you see in our demos and is regularly updated.
- Our Work is Cited all over the place.
We have a very specific mission, which means we may not be a good fit for all companies.
- Companies who are too small (1-2 engineers) may struggle with the upkeep of managing their own infrastructure.
- Companies who do not commit any in-house resources to learn the new software stack will have a tough time (you own it after all!)
- Companies who prefer to use different tools than we prescribe may run into integration challenges (we recommend what we know works)
If any of these sound familiar, please discuss with us before proceeding.
It depends. Your best bet is to schedule a discovery call with us so we can go over your specific concerns. Assuming your software runs on Linux and that you're able to make any necessary code changes to ensure your applications are “12 Factor App” compliant, there's a very high likelihood we'll be able to help you out.
Our experience ensures you reach your goals in record time. Time is money. Salaries are by far the biggest cost for most startups. Think about how much you would pay to do this in-house and combine that with how long it will take you. During that time, your teams will be blocked or at the very least slowed down. Plus, you don't even have a predictable outcome. You can easily quantify this as your opportunity cost.
Our solution will pay for itself. You get a predictable solution delivered in record time for a fair price. Your engineers will be unblocked sooner and you'll be able to move faster.
Make sure you include all costs associated with your project.
- What is the cost of recruiting your team?
- What is your team’s fully-loaded cost?
- How long will it take to build and train the team?
- Will they stick around long enough to see the project through?
- What happens when everyone goes on holiday or takes a vacation?
- Will you have enough work for them when the project is over?
Our total project costs predictable. You'll know upfront what to expect and there are no surprises.
Cloud Posse's typical engagement is for greenfield projects.
The typical duration of our initial rollout is 3-4 months, broken down into 2-week sprints. Each sprint is focused on specific deliverables that are summarized in this list: https://cloudposse.com/what-
The whole package is recommended but not every item on this list is required to be delivered in every engagement, this is per-customer requirements. We work with your team to help them own the solution we build together once the engagement winds down, but we're always here to help!
Community support is available through our internal and public Slack communities (slack.sweetops.com) and our public Office Hours are available every Wednesday at 11:30 AM Pacific Time, you can also listen to previous sessions on our podcast or on our YouTube channel.
After an engagement ends, we offer optional ongoing support, and starting new projects is always an option as well
If everything is open sourced, why don't teams just do it themselves instead of work with Cloud Posse?
Anyone is free to fork our repositories and try themselves, but our support eliminates the guesswork and shortens the time it takes to implement correctly.
Think of it like this: anyone can walk into a hardware store and pick up the materials to build a house. Very few people can build a house that won't fall down if they don't have the experience of using all the tools and hardware correctly. We fill the gap by providing the knowledge and experience to get you where you want to be faster than doing it yourself.
We believe in total transparency.
For this reason, you can expect no hidden fees from us.
IMPORTANT: Depending on the features you want to be implemented, certain third-party software subscriptions may be required (SaaS).
We do not include these costs in our contract because they are negotiated between your company and the vendor. Sometimes you may qualify for “startup” pricing.
We can start as soon as you sign our Statement of Work. Typically we see this process take 2-3 weeks from the first introductory call to the start of our engagement.
Here's our checklist we'll need to complete before we can start.
- Execute Mutual NDA (ours or yours)
- Collaborate on Engagement Workbook via Google Docs
- Execute Statement of Work, and Master Services Agreement
- Deposit Payment
We can kick off the initial introductory call immediately, so please make sure that you schedule it today.
After talking with you and assessing if we're a proper fit, we'll execute a Mutual NDA and then send over an Engagement Workbook so we can gather all the requirements for your project and estimate the cost.
We charge a fraction of what it costs to do it in-house and deliver it in half the time or faster. Check out our calculator just to see how much it can cost to build your own cloud infrastructure. Make sure you review some of the risks of doing it yourself.
We practice “agile” development. We charge a flat fee per sprint but allow for scope changes (which are billed separately) at customer request. A typical engagement consists of 8-10 sprints that are 2 weeks (80 hours) in duration.