Working @ Home | Rémi Sauvat
A Portrait of Rémi Sauvat
DevOps & Sysadmin
June 2020. Interview with Rémi Sauvat, System Administrator and DevOps at QOS Energy.
How would you describe your job at QOS Energy? Please tell us about what you do.
I am system administrator and DevOps at QOS Energy. Basically, I am in charge of developing and maintaining the cloud architecture that runs the Qantum® application.
In the scope of my occupation, I cover four main missions.
I maintain the Qantum® cloud infrastructure with the view of keeping it scalable, reliable & secure.
I am working towards the automation of server management, processes, and tasks. I develop and provide tools to the development team to allow them to be more independent in certain functional areas, such as software deployment. I take part in R&D to ensure our technologies are always up to speed, while taking in consideration the large quantity and diversity of data we deal with every day.
I also have on-call duty periods on evening and weekends, where my responsibility is to ensure everything runs properly and act should there be any alerts.
What is your background and how did you come to work for QOS Energy?
I graduated in computer science, following a development-oriented cursus, then I went for a bachelor’s degree in system administration. Since then, I have had the double profile of a developer and system administrator.
Afterwards, I have worked for ten years, near Paris, for a SugarCRM partner, a company developing a CRM software. There, I had the opportunity to experience software development and system administration. It was a small company, and thanks to that, I’ve been given many different missions.
Then, I felt the need for a change and moved to Nantes. While looking for a job, a friend of mine, which was working at QOS Energy, told me about the company. Coincidentally, they were looking for a sysadmin/DevOps at that time, so I applied thanks to my friend’s recommendation.
What do you enjoy the most about working here?
For start the team here is really friendly. I think it is important to have co-workers we go along with. I also enjoy having independence on the work we do, being allowed to make decisions.
We have a choice when it comes to pick technologies, the Product Management establishes the roadmap, but we have flexibility on the means and processes to implement them.
We are allowed to debate and decide as a team to make technical choices. Nothing is imposed by hierarchy that cannot be questioned and discussed. I am also enthusiast about cloud-development, and I enjoy that we’re really trying to use present-day technologies, acknowledged to be interesting and to keep things moving.
There are challenges and technical complexity, and it’s interesting to think about how to solve them.
Apart from your work at QOS Energy, do you have side projects or hobbies outside the office?
I like to travel as a hobby. I have the chance to go abroad quite often, at least once a year. Recently I have been to Japan, Sweden, and Poland. These journeys are the opportunity to discover other cultures, it is always interesting and there are plenty of things to discover.
I am also into e-sport, more specifically, I play Counter Strike. I took part in the INSALAN tournament in Rennes, with a group of friends. We are training earnestly, meeting at least once a week to play together. For this tournament we prepared with a coach, we ranked 2nd in the amateur play-off but were happy with our game.
Have you met any challenges you would like to talk about? Any special accomplishments?
Data management on the Qantum® platform is complex, for two reasons: data quantity and data diversity.
In the one year I have been here, I have seen a lot of questions related to the sheer amount of data. Managing an ever-growing database makes it a key issue to maintain the platform stability.
Furthermore, we specify, develop, and maintain over 250+ ways to connect to renewable plants, each posting a different type of data. To properly stock, save, archive, and take care of these different data types, is a key problematic we are addressing on an everyday basis.
Can you tell us about what you are working on at the moment?
Currently, my most important project is the new software architecture called internally ‘QNG’ for Qantum® Next Generation.
We’re working on new capabilities for the event management features to increase our scalability levels on this particular item and provide advanced statistics to our clients.
This project encompasses two underlying questions.
First, how to store lastingly the substantial volume of events produced by the many different renewable plants and devices of our clients. Some devices can produce up to 16.000 events per day so the volume of data can be very important.
Second point, how to process advanced statistics and calculations in a best possible time frame to be use in all platform’s current features (analytics, reporting, alarms).
On this project, we work the DevOps way. We use new tools and methods, new ways to deploy, monitor and backup our infrastructure.
These ambitions imply a new toolset, and this core of modern tools need to be implemented to move to the production phase. We are adapting to the latest development best practices, and put into action a technology watch group, to keep up with state-of-the-art development of framework trends.