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InfoQ Homepage News Qovery: a Heroku for Almost Any Cloud Provider?

Qovery: a Heroku for Almost Any Cloud Provider?

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Qovery started on a journey to build a developer’s productivity tool which would allow scaling companies to keep up the rapid pace of delivery, without sacrificing quality or stability. One of their goals is to combine the simplicity and "magic" of a PaaS, like Heroku, with the flexibility of IaaS’. But more than that, the product tries to satisfy the growing need for increasing the speed of delivery without harming the quality delivered, all these in the context of a broader cloud adoption and DevOps-related practices, standards and tools.

Qovery CEO and co-founder, Romaric Philogene, describes their vision in the following way:

We want to be the glue layer between SREs and developers to make them able to work together very efficiently.

To better understand how close to accomplishing that they are, but also to learn about the challenges of getting there, InfoQ had a conversation with him.

InfoQ: Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for our readers. What is Qovery’s mission? What are your day-to-day activities at Qovery?

Romaric Philogene: I am Romaric, CEO and co-founder of Qovery, a platform intended to provide developers with the ability to deploy applications to the cloud with zero infrastructure knowledge, just by pushing the code to the connected Git repository (GitHub, BitBucket and GitLab are all supported). In an over simplified way, Qovery is similar to Heroku but more abstract, allowing you to work with your IaaS of choice. Currently it is integrated with AWS, Digital Ocean and Scaleway, with plans to support GCP in Q1 2022 and Microsoft Azure in Q2 2022.

Incorporating our experience in running heterogeneous global infrastructure, we aim to improve the interaction between development and operations teams, especially in scaling companies.

As for my responsibilities: I am context switching all day long; building such a product like Qovery requires deep focus so starting with 2020, I renounced active development. Building an ambitious company is not only about having the best product, but also building a great community, defining a clear product positioning, understanding users, and adding value to customers.

InfoQ: Is Qovery ready for production usage? What are the platform SLAs?

Philogene: Yes, Qovery is already being used; our user base evolved from fifty users in January 2020 to 12,257 currently, with expectations of reaching 50,000 by the end of 2022.

We focused on building a robust and stable platform (the current SLA is 99.9% availability, and targeting 99.99% in near future) that works in isolation from the underlying cloud provider; any disruption of Qovery’s service should not affect our users.

Even if we still have things to do, we focus on the quality of our product; we run thousands of end-to-end and functional tests every day on our cloud service providers, so we know what to focus on.

However, as we rely on IaaS, we want to be able to alert our customers if something happens, hence we have probes deployed on all supported ones, to ensure the fastest response time.

InfoQ: What are the toughest problems you have faced so far, and how have you solved them?

Philogene: Maintaining a distributed stack over time with a huge ecosystem like Kubernetes, managing automated updates uniformly over different cloud platforms, and making it reliable with any third party update have been big challenges. We spend a lot of time on the testing part and continue to enhance it daily. But when you depend on many third parties, it’s hard to keep pace with everything, conserve reliability, minimal downtime during upgrades, and cost effectiveness.

In order to accomplish this, we choose to write our open source engine in Rust, even though it’s somehow counterintuitive in the cloud ecosystem. For other responsibilities, we picked the best of the crop in technologies: Go, Kotlin, React and Angular. A big secret is that I still have some Python scripts for my own use.

InfoQ: What does your commercial offering provide to customers?

Philogene: We provide "free", "professional", and "business" plans. Our free plan is really free with no limits of time. The paid plans provide features like cloud cost optimizations or Single Sign On (SSO).

Even though normally we don’t provide hosting, we have a special "community" plan, targeted at developers with hobby projects.

They can deploy and host any project with the condition of giving back to the community. Their involvement is paid in Qovery credits, this being the only way to receive them. The main limitations of this plan are the CPU, memory, and storage resources.

InfoQ: Qovery’s roadmap is public, but is there a major product milestone you are particularly excited about?

Philogene: Our ambitions for the future are very high; we intend to be among those building the cloud’s future. So we keep "killer features" secret.

One major product milestone I am excited about is preview environments created for open pull-request (PR). Once a PR is open, the application is deployed providing a test environment. This will be decommissioned once the PR is merged.

Starting from a target to make developers super-productive, letting them focus on what they value most -- writing code, not managing infrastructure -- Qovery is set on building a PaaS solution that promises to make the developers more productive. It aims to achieve this by building a robust and reliable platform as an abstraction layer between SCMs and cloud providers.

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