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Meet Jefferson Notaro – Choosing The Right Cloud Hosting Solution for Your Startup

Today cloud hosting is a must for almost every business. The variety of cloud platforms can make the selection of the right hosting solution challenging, especially if you are a newbie in cloud technology. Today we have selected Jefferson Notaro, the CEO and founder of Functional Box, for an interview. This definitely can be a guide for finding the best cloud hosting platform for your startup.

Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your career?

In brief, my name is Jefferson Notaro, I’m from Brazil and currently I hold the position of CEO-Founder of Functional Box company. What about my background, I studied Administration and Technical Development of Systems in Brazil, and here in Europe, I did two years of Computer Engineering and Economics with Computer Science. I started my professional career in 1985, the main focus of my interest is business with mutual benefit trades.

What about your project? How did you found or join this company?

Well, the history of Functional Box started in 2017. I was trying to organize time and place for one of my passions – fitness. I ended up building a little gym in my house, it was my own crossfit gym at home, the so-called “home box”. After some time passed I faced a problem with self-motivation and confusion about what workouts I should do. One more thing I noticed is that I would also have an interest in managing my nutrition. So a number of questions arose in my head: Where could I look for all this? Whom could I talk to about it? Where can I get some tips on good fitness/wellness professionals to hire? And finally, how to manage my budget? Which subscriptions should I buy? Now we are developing all these features plus a subscription system where the professionals could sell using our platform.

Could you describe the technical side of your project? Why did you choose AWS? What were the pros and cons of such a choice?

Since I have been a Python developer since 2003, I went to the Python ecosystem. I chose Django, REST, and Postgres software stacks. The points with modules, middleware, networks are already well done in Django as well as in FASTapi, but Python/Django still remains our main technology. Also, we cannot fail to emphasize a module that is important for us, it is the celery, where we are developing the subscription system.

The idea to use AWS came from our later CTO-Cofounder, he established the following configuration:

configuration

configuration hidora

 

 

It was a bit expensive, even without traffic and users we were paying a lot. The below graph demonstrates expenses for a few weeks only, less than one month. It was more than 200$/month.

expenses for a few weeks only

In my opinion, this is a kind of “fashion”, it is “great” to have your project there, it is quite necessary in today’s IT world and job descriptions also always ask for knowledge of AWS. I started the project alone, did the first deployment on AWS, and our CTO improved the environment. This is a very good platform for sure, offering a lot of options and interesting things.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

I was shocked to hear what happened to the Parler app and the way they treated Trump, blocking him and not Al-Qaeda and Taliban, this was like: «UAU» What is going on? I didn’t support Trump, had a lot of opening points on him. This situation led me to research and, I end up realizing the things are not as they were saying and the «fake news» history, many times, looks more like incontestable truths. They can not argue so they “force” statements.

As a result I lost my co-founder and plus the situation on current social big tech made me quit AWS, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. Milton Friedman is my reference and socialism, social democracy. Socialist companies are not the top models of “being” that I want for me.

Even as no one and as an insignificant company in the market, I still want my freedom of expression, freedom of mind, and most importantly, I also want to hear from everyone’s mind.

How did you find Hidora? Why did you choose Hidora hosting for your startup? What were the benefits of movement from AWS (the platform itself, cutting hosting costs, support, etc.)?

Honestly, it was a kind gift!:) I read and didn’t think twice, I saw it would be a good option.
We got investors and they were waiting for our MVP to make a financial offer for the project. The CTO jumped out and I was still working for another company, having not enough knowledge on AWS. I looked for a host in Switzerland and my main goal was getting out of a socialist company like AWS. It was even better than I imagined, we got an amazing system with Jelastic, paying for real consumption only and supported by real professionals. I could keep the illusion of having my startup and continue to fight for my MVP.

How did you complete the migration (technical point of view)?

We had an interview with one of Hidora’s technicians and discussed the main points of migration. He gave us the right direction on how to start and complete the application movement step-by-step.

I made two environments, one for staging and the second one for production. I could still use Docker Hub to implement my images.

Docker Hub

I faced some issues when started my Celery / Beat / Task module on Django servers. It started complaining about Ram memory, so I tried to handle backend best practices but finally I was able to easily augment it with Jelastic horizontal/vertical scaling feature.

It still doesn’t have users, and I am paying around 57 CHF monthly for the production. It’s a very affordable price, this really helps when you are at a start-up level.

What are the next steps for your product? Evolution? Features?

We are working on Subscription System at the back end. Also a number of improvements and more REST endpoints to use the new Vue FrontEnd are in development.

What about hosting, I would like to try the staging server using the clone feature on the Hidora Cloud Platform. I saw you have the option to create really great staging servers. I am also interested in using Kubernetes on Hidora, tried to start but it is definitely a more DevOps task and it goes out of my capabilities.
And the last thing, I still have to define a better CD to automated Deploy after releasing the image on the docker hub.

Your Final Thoughts

I hope my words can be helpful for those who are at the beginning of their product development and launch, choosing the right hosting solution. Thank you very much for smooth migration, great scalable cloud hosting, highly professional onboarding, support and training!

Written by

Matthieu Robin Hidora
Matthieu ROBIN
03/02/2022

Matthieu Robin is CEO at Hidora, an experienced strategic leader, a former system administrator who had managed and configured more environments manually than anyone on the planet and after understanding that it could be done in several clicks established Hidora SA. He regularly speaks at conferences and helps companies to optimize business processes using DevOps. Follow him on Twitter.

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