Interview with GzEvD

By Girish Ramakrishnan on Tuesday, July 7th 2020

This is an interview from Girish, founder of Cloudron and GzEvD, an avid Cloudron user.

Girish: Please introduce yourself.

Tobias: My name is Tobias Bähr and I'm working for the Gesellschaft zur Entwicklung von Dingen (Company for the Development of Things) as a software developer. We are a Berlin-based company with 6 employees and a lot of freelancers and partner companies.

We are strong in technology consulting and planning, especially in free and open source software. But we also develop a lot of web applications for customers (and for ourselves).

Tobias, please tell us which products you used before you came to Cloudron.

One of our last technology stacks was based on a private cloud. We used OpenNebula, Rancher, and a hell of a lot of automation scripts. Parts of that stack we are still using today for custom projects.

Ah I see. What was your reason for using Cloudron?

For our consultance business it's necessary to know a lot of FOSS apps, therefore we always install a lot of those. However, security issues are a concern for us. We would not want to have abandoned installations around.

We stumbled upon Cloudron and started with a small trial. What was most appealing to us was the prompt updates. Obviously because of that, Cloudron now is our first choice.

What do you like most about Cloudron?

A few weeks after our initial try, I realized that Cloudron is the missing piece in our stack.

In our development workflow it's important for us to show customers the results from a feature branch. But before Cloudron, it was difficult to create a stage environment for customers to empower their quality assurance. Especially when we have several parallel feature branches.

Today our workflow looks like this:

  • Add the code base of the project into a prepared Cloudron base image
  • Push it into our private docker registry (Gitlab)
  • Use the Cloudron-CLI to start the app or remove it, after the branch was merged or deleted

All done via the CI of Gitlab

Tasks like obtaining a certificate, binding it to LDAP user directory, and supporting non-technical staff through the Cloudron dashboard are all done by Cloudron magic. We love it.

Which apps do you use on Cloudron?

We have several instances of Cloudron. As I said before, one instance serves our staging environment, another instance is more a playground for new apps and a third one is used by our company for collaborative work. On those we use the following apps:

  • Rocket.chat: for our internal company communication.
  • Nextcloud: for sharing documents in our company and with customers
  • ONLYOFFICE & Collabora: to replace Office 365
  • Bookstack: as our internal wiki
  • Wekan: as our Kanban board
  • OpenProject: as our project management tool
  • Kimai: for timetracking
  • EspoCRM: for contacts
  • InvoiceNinja: for invoices
  • CodiMD: a wonderful piece of software for notes and meeting minutes
  • Surfer: for some websites
  • Commento: for some static website content
  • Matomo: to replace google analytics

Thank you, Tobias!

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