DevOps Radio Episode 70: Polystream’s Cheryl Razzell - From Database Details to DevOps Director

Written by: Kiley Nichols
2 min read
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DevOps Radio host Brian Dawson is back , joined by Cheryl Razzell, director of platform and Live Ops at Polystream. Cheryl shares that Polystream is trying to reinvent the way that we use the internet for video streaming by moving the compute power of GPUs away from local machines and into the cloud. She says that part of her role is growing the platform that hosts their streaming technology, which is Polystream’s “magic sauce.” Cheryl notes that there’s a huge number of industries that can tap into and benefit from the use of Polystream’s platform, including gaming and medical.

The conversation starts with Cheryl giving an overview of her career in DevOps. She started back in 1997 at an Apple call center, taking people’s details and typing them into a database so an engineer could troubleshoot their problems with their Mac. One day, her boss called her in and praised her work, putting her in a training program which led her to becoming a third line support engineer for Apple - kickstarting Cheryl's career in DevOps.

Part of Cheryl’s current role has been to understand the market and facilitate the platform to discover new uses based on each industry. She works with a small team of engineers to try and formulate a platform team that can build and support Polystream’s platform at scale. This includes incorporating the “dev” and “ops” together as a singular DevOps team, rather than having to have a separate first-line support, while also building in SRE functionality so that they can also recover, scale and bring in things like login and monitoring alerting within a very small team.

The conversation closes with Cheryl sharing her DevOps must-read: The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim. She says it “gives you a great insight to DevOps at scale and some of the issues that you'll come across when you're trying to scale out at speed.” She also recommends The Unicorn Project – also from Gene Kim - and It’s a Good Time to be a Girl , the latter of which highlights women in technology.

Interested in hearing more conversations like this one? Check out the CloudBees website to listen to our archive of episodes or subscribe to DevOps Radio and Spotify and Apple Podcasts to get access to the latest and greatest.

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