Gabriel Cain

Seattle, WA
gabriel at gabrielcain dot com


I am seeking a position that offers me technical challenges, and the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution. I am interested in leadership and mentoring opportunities, and working at scale with large systems involving big problems. I am also interested in automation, configuration management, monitoring and site reliability via internal and external tools and services.


  •, Inc.
    Aug 2015 to present
    Senior DevOps Engineer (Sr Systems Engineer in fact)
    Bellevue, WA

    Coming soon.

  • Moz
    Dec 2012 to Aug 2015
    Senior Systems Engineer / DevOps Team Lead
    Seattle, WA

    At Moz, I am deeply involved in a wide range of technical initiatives. I work on our OpenStack deployment, known as the MozCloud; on OpenStack Swift; on our ElasticSearch/Logstash/Kibana logging system; and on Chef. Using these tools, my team works to build architectural solutions to the company's needs. We partner with development teams to provide them with the technical infrastructure to implement their projects, and we assist them with cookbook development.

    We use OpenStack compute and object storage (swift) to address the need of development teams storing large amounts of data, spinning up nodes to test and stage changes for the production environment, and to experiment in a setting where developers can be self-empowered to build instances as needed.

    With Chef, we implemented universal user management, we push out common configuration elements to enforce system state, and we define development projects in a repeatable way.

  • Real Networks
    April 2011 to Dec 2012
    Senior Systems Administrator - Gamehouse
    Seattle, WA

    At GameHouse, I'm responsible for managing our dev/test/production infrastructure. This consists of Linux / Cherokee / Apache / KVM / MySQL / PHP / Tomcat services; monitoring with Nagios; maintaining MySQL databases; Virtualization with KVM and EqualLogic. Current projects include evaluation and implemention of private cloud systems, and configuration management of new and legacy systems with Chef.

    Other tasks included development work on tools to facilitate the needs of my customers. This including such things as: self-service CDN cache clearing (interaction with InternapCDN API), and the development of various utility programs that are the usual fare of a DevOps SysAdmin.

    Furthermore, I've been implemented such projects as:

  • PalominoDB
    May 2010 to March 2011
    Operations DBA
    Seattle, WA

    In my role at PalominoDB, I address lots of different kinds of operational problems for many clients, including: Gaia Online, Technorati, CastFire, and many others. Some of the kinds of problems I solve include: database backups/restores, data migrations, SQL tuning, multi-master replication configuration, daily health checks, major version upgrades, managing databases in the cloud, monitoring/trending, and a variety of other operational tasks.

    In addition to MySQL, I also worked on Cassandra clusters, and have developed tools for making operational challenges therein easier to deal with.

  • Pop Cap Games, Inc
    November 2005 to May 2010
    Senior Systems Administrator, Online Operations
    Seattle, WA

    At PopCap Games, I have served as Sr Systems Administrator, a position that has exposed me to many different technologies and problem spaces. I have had to deal with systems at scale for our Bejeweled Blitz platform, a Facebook application that serves more than 100 million games per day, and has millions of unique users. I am responsible for the original and ongoing platform design choices -- DB/Hardware/Ops side scaling. I work closely with our Engineering group to solve problems with the platform, and offer insights into performance and growth of the systems platform.

    My responsibilities at Pop Cap Games consist of the architecting and management of Unix (primarily Linux, some FreeBSD) server infrastructure, Cisco and Foundry Networks based network, and database clusters. The management of our unix infrastructure includes Apache/PHP/Memcached/MySQL web clusters, global server load-balancing (foundry gear), postfix based email system, and various other systems.

    Notable accomplishments include:

    • The buildout of our Dublin facility which involved design decisions and systems deployment, as well as travelling to Dublin to actually implement
    • Cross-continent MySQL multi-master replication utilizing Cisco IPSec VPNs to implement inter-site links
    • Vendor negotiations and selection relating to IP services and colocation

    I also was responsible for implementation of a multi-country database architecture to support our e-commerce system. And aditionally, for implementing CFEngine-based configuration management of our server systems to automate and provide change control over our server deployments to reduce sysadmin time required, and to facilitate change tracking.

    I have grown the sysadmin team at Pop Cap from just myself when I started to a team of four systems administrators. I lead a team of three other systems administrators in response to supporting our global e-commerce website.

  • MeadGroup, Inc / ColoCenters (contract position)
    August 2005 to November 2005
    Systems Administrator/Developer/Many Things
    Seattle, WA

    ColoCenters/The Mead Group is a consulting and colocation company located in downtown Seattle, in the Westin building. My role is that of being an interrim sort; I have done cabling, mail server configuration, development, and anything else that needs to occur. I brought in the use of a ticketing system and a wiki to this organization to centralize and streamline documentation and issue tracking.

  • Dialup USA, Inc. (acquired by Ikano Communications in August 2005)
    December 2001 to August 2005
    Senior Systems Administrator
    Lynnwood, WA

    I maintained systems, including mail, web, dns, databases, and web proxies. I developed software for handling sysadmin tasks (database maintainance, db user creation, systems monitoring and reporting). I developed and utilized monitoring software to track system stability, availability and proactively handle capacity planning and system outage management. I managed MySQL-based databases, including mail and dial user account information. I handled networking implmentation issues, and specified networking components for growth, which included router configuration, routing protocols (BGP, OSPF), and similar technology. I handled implementing, and improving network security, and incidence response. I managed development of internal tools to improve employee productivity. I also handled second-level support issues. I implemented request-tracker at our location to aid in issue tracking, and troubleshooting. I managed four employees (another sysadmin, a developer, and the support staff.)

    January 2000 to December 2001
    Systems Administrator
    Grand Coulee, WA

    I designed and implemented the networking and server enviroment at This is an ISP that I built with my father, Alan Cain. My responsibility including implementation of all network services, including: dialup service, email, web services, dns, and all other information services. I developed software to manage our userbase, monitor our systems, and generate reports. I implemented web-based email services to allow our customers to read their email remotely. I assisted in the implmentation of our fixed wireless network deployment serving four counties. is still in business serving the local area around Grand Coulee, and the surrounding counties.

  • Gabriel Cain Photography
    January 2006 to Present
    Principal Photographer

    In addition to all the technical skills I have, I also run a small photography company that has been published by various media organizations and non-profits. My photography tends towards capturing arts events and people; my work captures people as they are, and often shows a hidden side of things. For more, follow the link to my photography website.


  • Operating Systems
    • Linux (Debian/RedHat/CentOS/Slackware/others)
    • FreeBSD (3/4/5/6)
    • Cisco IOS
    • NetApp DataOntap
    • Windows 3x/9x/NT/2K/XP
  • Networking, Storage, and Monitoring
    • Nagios for service monitoring
    • Cisco routers (26xx, 3725, 72xx)
    • Cisco switches (29xx, 35xx, 37xx, 65xx)
    • Foundry switches and load balancers
    • OSPF and BGP
    • IP Networking and Routing
    • Netapp F7xx and F8xx series filers
  • Programming Languages and tools
    • Perl
    • SQL
    • Ruby
    • C
    • PHP
    • Bash/Sh/Tcsh shell scripting
    • Subversion
    • Git
    • CVS
  • Unix Services
    • OpenStack (mostly, Nova and Swift)
    • Chef 11/12
    • MySQL, 5.5/5.1/5.0/4.1/4.0/3.23
      • (including complex configurations, multi-master replication, 1000+ QPS)
    • Cassandra 0.7
    • Zmanda
    • Memcached
    • Apache Web Server (1.3/2.0/2.2)
    • Virtualization with KVM and Xen
    • Amazon EC2/S3
    • Postfix Mail Server
    • Bind v8/v9 DNS
    • SpamAssassin
    • Radius
    • NFS
    • Squid
    • Samba
    • NTP
    • FTP
    • CFEngine
    • LDAP
    • Many other tools and services...
  • Creative Tools
    • Adobe Photoshop CS3
    • Adobe Bridge
  • Other Skills
    • Clear and effective written and oral communication
    • General ISP skillset; dialup networking, routing protocols, diagnosing consumer computer issues, etc
    • Capacity Planning and monitoring with tools such as MRTG/RRDTool/Cricket/Scripts I wrote/etc
    • PC troubleshooting/systems integration/repair
    • Pulling and terminating ethernet cable systems, including 25 pair cable
    • Cable plant management and grooming
  • Management
    • DevOps Team Lead @ Moz, with three engineers
    • Lead a team of three systems administrators at Pop Cap Games
    • Lead our operations team at Dialup USA (SA, Dev, Tech Support)

Certifications and Training

  • CCNA, April 2007
  • MySQL 5.0/5.1 High-Availability Training